Faith and Inquiry

Document Type : Research Paper


Researcher at University of Religions and Denominations, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


Contemporary philosophers of religion have predominantly focused on understanding the nature of faith, yet there has been a lack of attention towards a particular type of faith that we can call inquiry-based faith. This paper aims to address this gap by exploring some challenges associated with inquiry-based faith. I argue, in particular, that while this is a widespread kind of faith, we face a dilemma in showing how it is possible and plausible. On the one hand, faith that P requires acceptance of P, and on the other, if someone is inquiring into whether P is the case, she must not already accept that P is the case. Borrowing a conceptual framework from recent literature on inquiry, I propose a solution to this dilemma by appealing to parts of the story of Abraham in the Quran. I suggest, specifically, that one can have faith that a partial answer to a question is the case, and at the same time, seek further inquiry into the question for a more complete answer. As such, I support the idea that inquiry-based faith is a possible and plausible option for both faithful people and inquirers.


Main Subjects

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