act of faith

act of faith

noun
an act that demonstrates or tests the strength of a person's convictions, as an important personal sacrifice.
Compare auto-da-fé.
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World English Dictionary
act of faith
 
n
Christianity an act that demonstrates or tests a person's religious beliefs

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

act of faith

Behavior that shows or tests a person's religious or other convictions, as in Rock climbing with a new, inexperienced partner was a real act of faith. The term is a translation of the Portuguese auto da fé, which referred to the sentencing and execution of heretics (often by burning at the stake) during the Inquisition, when punishing heresy was thought to constitute an assertion of faith. In modern times it is used for more benign circumstances. [Early 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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