Faith, Act of Faith, Belief


“Without faith one cannot live.” “Faith is the capacity for openness to something more; a capacity that is given to us neither by the senses nor by the intellect. This openness could be called openness to transcendence. Through faith man is capable of transcending himself, of growing, of opening himself to something more … to God” (The Experience of God).

Faith is “a constitutive human existentiell”; it is an existential openness to transcendence, an ontological relationship with the Absolute. Every human being, by the fact of being human, has faith, whether cultivated or not, whether conscious or unconscious. Faith is not the privilege of a few or the “specialty” of certain chosen groups; it is not a “luxury”, but rather “an anthropological dimension”.

The act of faith is the activity by which faith is manifested; it springs from the heart as symbol of the whole man and by which he is propelled to the third dimension). The experience of faith is “a primordial anthropological act”, that is not to be confused with belief with its symbolic (credo) and intellectual (dogmas) conceptual formulation. “An act of faith is salvific by itself … and can only be elicited by a human being when he is moved by divine grace” (Faith and Belief”.

Belief is the symbolic expression of faith; it is “the formulization, the doctrinal articulation generally made by a collectivity, that has been crystallizing in propositions, phrases, assertions or in Christian terms, dogmas” (The Experience of God). Beliefs entail an institutionalization that gives rise to the religions.

Raimon Panikkar

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“Writing, to me, is intellectual life
and also spiritual expirience…
it allows me to ponder deeply the mistery of reality.”