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Solved by Sacrifice
Austin Farrer, Fideism, and the Evidence of Faith


Series:  
Authors:  MacSwain R.
cover


Year: 2013
ISBN: 978-90-429-2738-4
Pages: XIV-275 p.
Price: 52 EURO

Summary:
Austin Farrer (1904-1968), Warden of Keble College, Oxford, was a remarkably creative and significant figure in twentieth-century theology. Robert MacSwain argues that one explanation for Farrer’s relative obscurity is that most commentators have focused on his metaphysics, and in particular on Finite and Infinite (1943), his monumental treatise of ‘rational theology’. By contrast, MacSwain proposes an epistemological analysis that takes seriously the neglected but crucial theme of fideism in Farrer’s thought. MacSwain charts the development of Farrer’s thinking on the proper relation between faith and reason from 1924 to 1968—including his engagements with Karl Barth, logical positivism, Thomism, and Wittgensteinian philosophy—and offers a reading of Farrer that resonates with contemporary religious epistemology and the growing focus on spiritual praxis. The final chapter considers Farrer’s provocative claim that the logical paradoxes of religious belief are ‘solved by sacrifice’ in the lives of those whom we recognise as ‘saints’: as Farrer puts it, ‘Such a life, then, is evidence, and what other evidence could you hope to find?’

 

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