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"You have said that the irrelevance of Christianity can be overcome only by passing through the darkness of existential despair. You have said that the faith which rises from this depth will embrace its own doubt. It will live as a perennial, unresolvable tension in us. My theory of knowledge takes this as its paradigm. It is shaped by the image of what I understand to be the Pauline scheme of redemption. Having to face the fact that no knowledge can be set free of conceivable doubt, and that an idea created by scientific originality is a solitary conviction, ready to face universal doubt, I conclude that it is of the essence of knowledge that it can be held to be true only by an unceasing mental effort.

Such is the nature of that active indwelling by which we make sense of the world. To know is a personal striving. It is a striving that responds to an obligation, imposed on us by intimations of a hidden reality that demands of us to grasp it. Knowledge is alive so long as it knows itself to be incomplete, by pointing indefinitely beyond its manifest content."
- Michael Polanyi, reply to Paul Tillich, Polanyi Collection Regenstein Library, University of Chicago. Box 25, Folder 4.

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