Christian theology has from the earliest years pointed to faith as the necessary path by which humans were to enter into a saving relationship with God. Faith has been taken to be the fundamental Christian virtue, the indispensable prerequisite for hope, charity, and good works. In this book, a leading Roman Catholic theologian provides an overview of the massive classical and contemporary literature on faith, and presents his own systematic theology of this essential factor of Christian life. In the first part of the book, Avery Dulles considers the biblical foundations of the theology of faith, and examines in detail the history of theological reflection on the subject, from the fathers of the early church through such modern thinkers as Tillich, Barth, Rahner, and Lonergan. The second part offers Dulles's own systematic synthesis, exploring such topics as the nature and object of faith; the birth, growth, and loss of faith; and faith and salvation. A major contribution by one of America's foremost contemporary theologians, this book will be of great interest to an ecumenical cross-section of Christian scholars and students of theology.