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NTU Philosophical Review

Issue 15, January 1992

Carlo Kwan
Pages 53-100

Faith and Fidelity as Interpreted by Gabriel Marcel

To have "faith" in a person is to say to him, "You will never betray me!" To be "faithful" to a person is to say to him, "I will never betray you!" Faith and fidelity which seem to be two separate iterns, are nevertheless sprung from the same loy lng-presence of an "I-Thou Relationship". They simply are two different foci of the same mutual call and response. In addition to the horizontal-human dimension of faith and fidelity between two human persons, we also have the vertical-transcendent dimension of faith and fidelity between man and God. The one cannot be separated from the other any more than love of neighbour can be separated from love of God. Those unbelievers who live in fidelity create a climate in which belief in God can grow just as small trees create a climate in which a forest of large trees can grow. The article is divided into three main parts: Part I meditates on Marcel's analysis of the meaning of Faith. Part II discusses about Marcel's description on the meaning of Fidelity. Part III is a synthetic explanation of the combined meaning of Faith and Fidelity together. An emphasis is placed on the connection between the horizontal aspect and the vertical aspect of the two notions.

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