Vol. 39 No. 1 (2019): The Prismatic Shape of Trust

Linking Faith and Trust: Of Contracts and Covenants

Ionut Untea
Southeast University – Nanjing

Published 2019-06-10


  • trust,
  • faith,
  • vulnerability,
  • covenant,
  • Hobbes,
  • Abraham,
  • state of nature,
  • political ontology,
  • ...More

How to Cite

Untea, I. (2019). Linking Faith and Trust: Of Contracts and Covenants. Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 39(1), 157–178. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v39i1.62


Trust is so intimately linked with faith that sometimes trust needs faith to unfold in a relationship. I argue that the role of this faith element in trust is to elevate the status of the one in which we trust so as to emphasize the equal dignity of all the participants in the relationship of trust. Against views that focus on a «rational» trust based on an exaggerated emphasis on the capacity of self-trust as a point of departure for the trust in others, the essay develops toward the depiction of a kind of trust that is rooted in faith and still maintains a «reasonable» character. By way of discussing the implications of Thomas Hobbes’s reflections on covenants and contracts, and Annette Baier’s critique of what she sees as the Hobbesian «fixation» on contracts, I argue toward the identification of what I call a «covenantal trust» in contemporary political ontology.