On communities of (no) faith

Iain Benson says that everyone is a believer – in something.



Iain Benson says that everyone is a believer – in something.


Along with terms like secular, which … believer, unbeliever, or terms like communities of faith – by which we imply communities of no faith – these are what we know as bifurcative terms, they split things into a dualistic (i.e. two way) – so there’s believers and unbelievers. I think this is a big mistake. While there may be people who don’t believe in certain propositions – they don’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God, they don’t believe in religion as having validity and so on – everybody’s a believer. The question isn’t whether you’re a believer, it’s what you believe in. And this is a problem because it lines up with other bifurcations like religion and the secular, like communities of faith – all communities are communities of faith. If everyone’s a believer and all our communities are communities of faith, by which I mean we gather around things we believe in, then by operating with this implied idea that only religions contain beliefs and faith, we leave out of analysis all of this rich and important faith and belief commitments that animate and drive contemporary cultures, whether they know it or not.