Still unpacking Sunday – Tacit Knowledge

Michael Polanyi

Budapest, Hungary

March 11, 1891 – February 22, 1976

Originator of the theory of knowledge.

Polanyi also developed the concept of tacit knowledge.

Tacit knowledge (as opposed to formal or explicit knowledge) is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. It is based on the assertion that “we can know more than we can tell.” According to Polyani, not only is there knowledge that cannot be adequately articulated by verbal means, but that all knowledge is rooted in tacit knowledge in the strong sense of that term.

With tacit knowledge, people are not often aware of the knowledge they possess or how it can be valuable to others. Effective transfer of tacit knowledge generally requires extensive personal contact, regular interaction and trust.

Thanks for sharing, but what is the point?

What does this matter in relationships to creeds and orthodox statements of faith?

The point is that much of our orthodoxy or beliefs are tacit knowledge.

It is at our core. It is what we believe.
It is how we live our faith, but are not always able to articulate.
So how do we convey what we believe to others?

Effective transfer of tacit knowledge generally requires extensive personal contact, regular interaction and trust.

That would just be a fancy way of saying: how you live your faith matters!

And now you know …

Author:

I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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