Volume 4, Issue 1, January 1987
Eugene Thomas Long
Cantwell Smith’s Proposal For a World Theology
In Towards a World Theology, Cantwell Smith offers a new approach to the issue of conflicting belief claims in the world religions. He argues that most approaches err in considering religion in terms of belief rather than faith. He proposes a world theology of faith that requires persons to move beyond their particular traditions in order to interpret comprehensively the religious faith of human kind. I present Cantwell Smith’s central thesis, analyzing it in term of the relation between faith and belief. I argue that faith and belief are distinguishable but not separable and that to do what Cantwell Smith proposes would require an interpretive scheme or metaphysical theory that can be evaluated in accordance with its ability to make sense of the experience of humankind.