Trust: Who or What Might Support Us?

Trust: Who or What Might Support Us?

Trust: Who or What Might Support Us?

Trust: Who or What Might Support Us?

Synopsis

This phenomenological study begins by presenting trust as a characteristic form of interpersonal and communal relationship. In the second chapter, the scope is narrowed to someone's reliance on one or more trustworthy individuals. Chapters 3 to 5 explore specific aspects of trust, insofar aswe confide in social structures or movements, the impersonal regularities and events of nature, or our own particular talents, motivations, and possibilities.In a world that is ravaged by the omnipresence of suffering and the most outrageous manifestations of evil, no philosopher can avoid the question of what kind of trust may be profound and strong enough to overcome the ultimate anxiety or despair that threatens all human existence. In the Westerntradition of belief, thinking, faith, and searching for the first and ultimate, that question is approached here through reflection upon the radical difference between trust (or faith) in the universe (the totality) and faith (or trust) in God.

Excerpt

I began writing this book when Professor Robert Crease, chairman of NYU’s Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook, sent me an invitation to give a series of lectures on trust as part of a Templeton grant for research and discussion on The Relevance of Trust from the Perspective of the Relations between Religion and the Sciences. On March 16, 2009, the first lecture was delivered and discussed with an interdisciplinary group of colleagues. Five other lectures and discussions followed in March and April of that year. However, the completion of this book had to be postponed until the summer of 2010, while reviewing and additional editing took about a year. To contextualize the questions that are emphasized in this book, I sketch here briefly, while using words of my introductory lecture, how I understood the task that was implied in the grant and the situation in which I tried to do my part in its execution.

Several elements of the proposed topic deserve emphasis and preliminary observation before we can concentrate on a direct answer to the questions implied in it. We cannot begin an examination of the triangle religion-science-trust, for example, unless we rely on an already available, albeit naïve and possibly deficient, acquaintance with . . .

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