Faith and Justice in the Catholic Tradition

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The term “faith” actually has more forms than most common people realize. It is not simply a word that can be understood by a definition. “Faith” is much more of a spiritual concept and delves so much deeper than the words conventional definition. There are numerous outlooks on the subject of faith and although these outlooks may not all be the exact same, each one is significant and most importantly, each one has justice at the very core of it.

Avery Dulles provides numerous understandings of the nature of faith. One of the most prominent views is referred to as the propositional model. As Dulles states, “A large number of theologians look on faith as an assent to revealed truths on the authority of God the revealer” (170). The “truths”, otherwise known as propositions, can be found written in Scripture and in given situations, can be formed into strong declarative statements.

One of the most crucial aspects of the propositional model is the idea of assent, or the agreement to God’s will. However, even more important than the aspect of assent is that, “one must also trust in [God], love Him, and keep his commandments” (Dulles 172). When one reads and then accepts the revealed truths, that person is successfully practicing the first of two steps towards salvation. The concluding step involves staying true to the commandments and following God’s will.

One can make the connection between the propositional model and justice through these steps. There is another understanding of faith, called the transcendental model. “According to theologians of a second tendency, faith is not, or not primarily, an acceptance of particular revealed truths. More importantly, it is a new cognitive horizon, a divinely given perspective, that enables one to see and assent to truths that would otherwise not be accepted” (Dulles 172). The transcendental model is different from the propositional in that it holds that assent to divine…

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