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Title: Blaise Pascal and the Anxiety of Faith
Author(s): FALQUE, Emmanuel
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 42    Issue: 2   Date: 2019   
Pages: 151-174
DOI: 10.2143/LS.42.2.3286593

Abstract :
This article examines the anxiety inherent to Christian faith through the life and work of Blaise Pascal. Against the suspicion of Heidegger and others that Christianity covers up or ignores the anxiety of finitude, this article argues that Pascal shows how it maintains the experience of anxiety and even deals with additional dimensions of anxiety. Post-conversion, the believer seeks to remain in relation to God and worries about the possibility of separation from God. In this article, different kinds of anxiety are identified in Pascal’s own changing interpretation of his conversion found in the differences between his writing La conversion du pécheur (1653), and, in particular, the paper and parchment versions of his famous testament, the Mémorial (1654). While the experience of peace remains an important part of Christian experience, the challenge in post-conversion is how to remain in belief amidst a restlessness that is integral to faith – at least in its eschatological mode.

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