We Believe: Group Belief and the Liturgical use of Creeds
Keywords:Creeds, group belief, joint commitment
The recitation of creeds in corporate worship is widespread in the Christian tradition. Intuitively, the use of creeds captures the belief not only of the individuals reciting it, but of the Church as a whole. This paper seeks to provide a philosophical analysis of the meaning of the words, ‘We believe…’, in the context of the liturgical recitation of the Creed. Drawing from recent work in group ontology, I explore three recent accounts of group belief (summative accounts, joint commitment accounts, and functionalist accounts) and consider the potential of applying these to the group belief contained in the Creed.
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