Faith and Belief: The Difference Between Them

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Oneworld Publications, 1998 - Religion - 347 pages
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Is what, or whether, one believes the significant religious question? Although the religious communities of the world differ in belief, how much do they really differ in faith? Do two people who assert a particular statement of belief necessarily share the same sort of faith? Written by a highly respected scholar in the field of comparative religion, these issues are directly addressed in this investigation of the personal quality of faith, and its relationship to the concept of belief. Wilfred Cantwell Smith draws on various religious traditions to address how, why and with what implications our understanding of the terms 'faith' and 'belief' has altered with time. He examines how our increased awareness of the history of religion and comparative culture has contributed to our current understanding of humanity and faith. Firmly rooted within historical enquiry, the author's study of the nature of faith, which draws on Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism, also extends into the realm of philosophy. It is a book for anyone seeking a fresh evaluation of the concept of faith as a human value.

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About the author (1998)

Smith is Professor of Emeritus of the Comparative History of Religion at Harvard University.

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