Why Faith Makes Sense: On Graham Ward’s <em>Unbelievable</em>

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Khegan M. Delport


Ward’s recent volume on the entwining of belief and perception, while not being an explicitly theological monograph, nonetheless evinces a subtle texture that displays his continuing fidelity to certain aspects of Radical Orthodoxy’s vision. This can be seen in its interdisciplinary focus and its rejection of dualistic philosophies (including the supposed divisions between the sacred and the secular, nature and grace, transcendence and immanence, visibility and invisibility), and argues for the ultimate “fittingness†between mind and world, thereby rejecting any representationalist account of this relation. By grounding the practices of belief within a re-telling of evolutionary history and phenomenological accounts of perception, Ward seeks to show the pervasiveness of belief in all worldly interactions, and therefore cannot to be relegated an epiphenomenal, lesser form of knowing, since all seeing is a ­seeing-as, being imbued with affect and valuation. Religious faith is simply a deepening of the logic that is already present within ordinary modes of finite engagement, and therefore should not be seen as an “unnatural†intervention within the realm of human culture. Overall then, this work can be summarized as an apologetic for the rationality of belief in our “secularized†societies, and furthermore, for the constitutive role of belief and faith for sensibility as such.  

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Khegan M. Delport, Stellenbosch University

Ph.D Candidate (Systematic Theology)