"Secular" and "Religious" contexts for *pistis* in Greek

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Whilst reading several recent articles on the background and
semantics of faith in Greek, I was struck by the distinction made
made by many scholars (G. Barth, Dennis Lindsay, etc) between the
'secular' and the 'religous' use of *pistis*.

At its crudest this distinction seems to rest on whether God is
mentioned in the same sentence, at a more sophisticated level it
appears to involve separating out all ethical usage of the word as
'secular'.  As an example of the second, Lindsay in *Josephus and
Faith* (1992) describes Philo's use of *pistis* in the sense of
'faithful execution of a duty or task' as a non-religous term (p.
57).  He then cites *de. vit. Mos* 1,63, in which Moses is
described as having 'a pure and guileless *pistis*' in the execution
of his duty.  This Lindsay says is a 'purely moral and ethical
category' to be distinguished from 'religious' uses of the word
elsewhere.  This division is carried on in to the NT usage, e.g.
Tit 2.9-10, 1 Tim 5.11-12 as 'secular' uses of *pistis*

What is the linguistic basis for a distinction like this?  Is there
one, or am I right in suspecting the heavy intrusion of modern (or
at least Reformation!) confessional concerns here, so that all
'unacceptable' uses of the term are shunted off into the 'secular'

All advice, bibliographical refs, corrections, instruction,
gratefully received,


Timothy Gaden                   Tutor, Trinity Theological School
tjg@hermes.apana.org.au         Doctoral Student, Monash University
                                Melbourne, Victoria, Australia