This phenomenological study begins by presenting trust as a characteristic form of interpersonal and communal relationship. In the second chapter, the scope is narrowed to someone’s reliance on one or more trustworthy individuals. Chapters 3 to 5 explore specific aspects of trust, insofar as we confide in social structures or movements, the impersonal regularities and events of nature, or our own particular talents, motivations, and possibilities.
In a world that is ravaged by the omnipresence of suffering and the most outrageous manifestations of evil, no philosopher can avoid the question of what kind of trust may be profound and strong enough to overcome the ultimate anxiety or despair that threatens all human existence. In the Western tradition of belief, thinking, faith, and searching for the first and ultimate, that question is approached here through reflection upon the radical difference between trust (or faith) in the universe (the totality) and faith (or trust) in God.