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Author: Paul Cassell
Why is religion so important to individuals and societies? What gives religion its profound meaningfulness and longevity? Enhancing perspectives taken from sociology and ritual theory, Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning describes how ‘emergence theory’ – developed to make sense of life and mind – explains why religious communities are special when compared to ordinary human social groups. Paul Cassell argues that in religious ritual, beliefs concerning unseen divine agencies are made uniquely potent, inviting and guiding powerful, alternative experiences, and giving religious groups a form of organization distinct from ordinary human social groups. Going beyond the foundational descriptions of Émile Durkheim and Roy Rappaport, Cassell utilizes the best of 21st century emergence theory to characterize religion’s emergent dynamics.
Author: Hannah Hashkes
In Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge Hannah Hashkes employs contemporary philosophy in describing rabbinic reasoning as a rational response to experience. Hashkes combines insights from the philosophy of Quine and Davidson with the semiotics of Peirce to construe knowledge as systematic reasoning occurring within a community of inquiry. Her reading of the works of Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Luc Marion allows her to create a philosophical bridge between a discourse of God and a discourse of reason. This synthesis of pragmatism, hermeneutics and theology provides Hashkes with a sophisticated tool to understand Rabbinic Judaism. It also makes this study both unique and pathbreaking in contemporary Jewish philosophy and Rabbinic thought.
Contributions to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from the Kyoto School
Author: Kazuo MUTŌ
Translator: Jan van Bragt
Editor: Martin Repp
This publication by Muto Kazuo is a significant Christian contribution to the predominantly Buddhist “Kyoto School of Philosophy.” Muto proposes a philosophy of religion in order to overcome the claim for Christian exclusivity, as proposed by Karl Barth and others. On such a foundation, he investigates the possibilities for mutual understanding between Buddhism and Christianity. Thereby he engages in a critical exchange with the Kyoto School philosophers Nishida, Tanabe, and Nishitani. Throughout his discourse, Muto applies their method of logical argument (the “dialectic” of soku) to the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism. He thus opens up new perceptions of Christian faith in the Asian context and, together with his Buddhist teachers, challenges the modern Western dialectical method of reasoning.
Wittgenstein's religious thought is not well understood. And Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion is charged with fideism, religious non-realism, and even crypto-atheism. These charges, however, are borne of misunderstandings that are a result of the critics' being oblivious of apophatic theology. This book is intended to help clear some of those misunderstandings and neutralize the above-mentioned charges. It argues that Wittgenstein's religious thought shares kinship with the thought of apophaticists in Christendom such as the Pseudo-Dionysius and St. Thomas Aquinas. What appear to be fideism, non-realism, or crypto-atheism to the critics appear differently to those who see Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion from the apophaticists' point of view--Wittgenstein's religious point of view.