Transcendence, truth, and faith: the ascending experience of God in all human inquiry

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There is a tragedy and a paradox in bad faith, in an explicit confessional stance which is rooted in anxiety and is sustained through dishonesty, pretense, and false apologetics. It appears in the manifold tensions of self-deception or in the falseness between verbal belief and actual practice. Bad faith constitutes a contradiction at the heart of consciousness, because what is projected as piety or orthodoxy and social costs of reflection and freedom. Paradoxically, this attempt to escape human responsibilities in the name of religion undermines any chance of genuine faith, because it disengages personal commitment from the truth within life. Bad faith destroys the experiential basis of authentic faith.

The following pages discuss something of this experiential basis of authentic faith-not in all of its dimensions, but in one series or unity of experiences: the movement toward truth within human transcendence. The question this paper treats is whether this movement is a fundamental experience of God which the graced acceptance of Jesus Christ develops, supports, and specifies, whether without this prior and sustaining surrender to the truth within life any explicit confessional stance is inauthentic. In order to specify this question, it is necessary to locate it within the general contemporary concern with experience.