Being states are complex and large; they involve mood and attitude and memory and experience and methods of knowing- like reason. Being states will condition our knowing, but they are not the methods themselves. Faith as such a complexity, is not specific to religion. And for that matter, is not specific to literature, economics, professional sports or even science. Faith is specific to any being who has an I-self, subject-object, past-future level of consciousness: in other words, faith is specific to human being, who on the basis of evolved biology, neo-cortex's and the like, act from a real capacity to be subjective. Compare this to the Canada goose; how much thought does a Canada goose put into being a Canada goose? How about you? Has your life been characterized by such biological automation? If you didn't believe in science, would you be a scientist? Or do you consider your act of becoming a scientist something as automatic as a Canada goose existing as a Canada goose?
You're comfortable with the concept believe, as in "I believe in the scientific method"; you can think of faith as a noun form of the verb form, believe. "I believe" is synonymous with the structure, "I have faith." "I have faith in the scientific method"; or on a bad day, you might say, "I despair of the scientific method."
Faith is a complex idea and warrants another viewing angle.
It's the time of Boltzmann and Darwin. The Niagara Falls were a summer vacation mecca where tight-rope walkers would stretch wires across chasms, and at 4:oo p.m., would perform their amazing feats of balance for tourists who would congregate along the fall's edges and watch a thrilling show (historically true). Imagine then, an acrobat having wowed the crowds on his wire, came shore side, grabbed a wheel barrow from his pile of props, rolled it up to you and asked, "do you believe that I can roll this across the falls without falling?" You reply "why yes fine sir! I do declare that you are the finest tight rope acrobat in all the world!" He says, "well then- hop in."
The acrobat could have also asked his question to you this way: "do you have the faith that I can roll"...and you would be faced with the same situation of having to decide how much faith you're willing to enter into, for the sake of a wheel barrow ride.
Faith can't make anything true or false, real or unreal. Kierkegaard talked about his leap of faith as a leap from a cliff into the abyss. The abyss is Mystery. And having known all the things around him that he could see, Kierkegaard was convinced that Life existed not in the constructs around him, but in the Abyss- and leaped for it. He saw his wheel barrow in Mystery.
Now- knowing how and where to find a wheel barrow is a different kind of question.