Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen

Second Advisor

Edward Cox


This essay introduces ‘The Puzzle of Faith,’ which highlights an apparent tension between faith and belief. To resolve this tension, I will present a solution to The Puzzle of Faith by identifying the sort of cognitive attitude that is sufficient for faith. I will argue two theses. (1) That the cognitive attitude in religious faith need not be belief in the philosopher’s regimented sense, but it can be an attitude which I call creedal acceptance. (2) If there are cases in which faith entails belief, then these ‘beliefs’ are different from the evidentially vulnerable beliefs talked about in philosophical literature. My second thesis is a linguistic thesis, which seeks to argue that the way the word belief is used in everyday speech does not typically refer to belief in the philosopher’s sense, but refers to something closer to what I am calling creedal acceptance.