Religions are the largest communities of the global society and claim, at least in the cases of Islam and Christianity, to be universal interpretations of life and orders of existence. With the globalization of the world economy and the unity of the global society in the Internet, they gain unprecedented access to the entire human race through modern means of communication. At the same time, this globalization brings religions into conflict with one another in their claims to universal (...) validity. How can the conflict of religions be defused? The speculative, philosophical method of dealing with a religion is a way to present one's own religious convictions in the medium of philosophy and rational discourse. The philosophical approach to religion can serve as the basis of the conversation of the world religions, without dissolving their truth claims. It can reduce dogmatic claims and contribute to overcoming fundamentalism. Philosophy builds bridges between religions. The series A Discourse of the World Religions presents with this volume the fifth and last of the EXPO-Discourses of the World Religions, which took place near the end of the World Exposition EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. The five EXPO-Discourses were held before and during the World Exposition EXPO 2000 in Hannover with the objective of a philosophical-theological dialogue of religions about central themes of their teachings. The series aims at a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in their theological and philosophical propositions. It sees in philosophy a bridge between the religions and a means to overcome religious hostility and fundamentalism and to further the dialogue of the religions. (shrink)
The chapters in this book offer an in-depth and profound overview of Hegel’s daring, many-faceted philosophical interpretations of the multifarious and dialectically interrelated, historical religions, including the Islam and the ...
Philosophical vision and voice -- Comparative imagination: ways of philosophizing -- Tones of voice -- Finding spaces -- Problem of deep meetings -- Self that meets: inner architecture -- Imagining and seeing the other -- Aesthetic attitude -- Ethical spaces -- Wise meetings -- Texts or tents.
Alfred Loisy (1857-1940), the excommunicated French modernist priest and historian of religions, and Franz Cumont (1868-1947), the Belgian historian of religions and expert in pagan mystery cults, conducted a lively correspondence in which they intensively exchanged ideas. One of their favorite subjects for discussion was the dependence of St Paul on the pagan mysteries. Loisy dealt with this early 20 th century moot point for Protestant, Catholic and non-religious scholars in his publications, while Cumont always remained silent. This (...) study of their unpublished letters sheds new light on the strategies lying behind their publications. It reveals what they chose not to say, and what they meant by what they did say. (shrink)
This essay develops standards for grading religions including various forms of spiritualism. First, I examine the standards proposed by William James, John Hick, Paul Knitter, Dan Cohn-Sherbok, and Harold Netland. Most of them are useful in grading religions with or without conditions. However, those standards are not enough for refined and piercing evaluation. Thus, I introduce standards used in spiritualism. Although those standards are for grading spirits and their teachings, they are useful in refined and piercing evaluation of (...) religious phenomena. The spiritual standards complement James's, Hick's, Knitter's, and Netland's standards. Although most of the spiritual standards are rationally unjustifiable, they have practical value. (shrink)
This is a collection of John Hick's essays on the understanding of the world's religions as different human responses to the same ultimate transcendent reality. Hicks is in dialogue with contemporary philosophers (some of whom contribute new responses); with Evangelicals; with the Vatican and other both Catholic and Protestant theologians. The book is alive with current argument for all interested in contemporary philosophy of religion and theology.
Political philosophy has difficulties to cope with the complexity and variety of state-religions relations. Strict separationism is still the preferred option amongst liberals, deliberative and republican democrats, socialist and feminists. In this article, I develop a complex typology based on comparative history and sociology of religions. I summarize my reasons why institutional pluralist models like plural establishment or non-constitutional pluralism are attractive not only for religious minorities but for religiously deeply diverse societies in general. Most attention is paid (...) defending associative democracy, the most flexible and open variety of institutional pluralism, against realist objections that group representation is incompatible with liberal democracy, that it leads to stigmatization and bureaucratization, that it strengthens undemocratic leaders, that it leads to an ossification of the status quo, and, most importantly, that it is inherently divisive undermining social cohesion and political unity. In my refutation of these objections I try to show that it helps to integrate minority religions into liberal democratic policies compatible with reasonable pluralism and to prevent religious and political fundamentalism. (shrink)
This paper provides a comment on Brian Zamulinksi's article in Religious Studies, 39 (2003), 43–60. Contrary to Zamulinski's claim that religions are not truth-oriented but function as fictions, it is contended that they could not serve the purpose he assigns them unless their adherents regarded them as true. Religions must therefore be truth-oriented. The substantive question is whether any of them are true, and Zamulinski's paper provides no new method for addressing this question. (Published Online August 11 2004).
Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) correctly claim that religion reduces emotions related to existential concerns. Our response adds to their argument by focusing on religious differences in the importance of emotion, and on other emotions that may be involved in religion. We believe that the important differences among religions make it difficult to have one theory to account for all religions.
Despite the prevalence of post-colonial theory in the humanities and social sciences, why is it that the two main secular formations in the study of religion(s), as philosophy of religion and history of religions, continue to deploy very similar mechanisms that reconstitute past imperialisms such as the hegemony of theory as specifically Western and/or the division of labor between universal and particular knowledge formations? To answer this question this paper stages an oblique engagement between the seemingly divergent discourses: (i) (...) philosophy of religion, (ii) history of religion—more specifically the area specialism called South Asian religions, and (iii) post-colonial theory especially where these discourses intersect with the discipline of Indology and the representation of Indic phenomena. A different version of this engagement occurs in Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (LPR). A post-colonial reading of the LPR reveals closer and often unacknowledged connections between the birth of these two disciplines. More importantly the LPR anticipates the auto-immunizing mechanism that underpins the continued lack of engagement between the various disciplines of contemporary religions. Ironically, this mechanism, it will be argued, is located in the very heart of the comparative enterprise itself. (shrink)
There are uses of the term merit in Indian religions which also appear in secular contexts, but in addition there are other uses that are not encountered outside religion. Transfer of merit is a specific doctrine in whose connection the term merit is used with an intention which is not the same as that found in nonreligious contexts. Two main types of transfer of merit can be distinguished. First, the transfer of merit has been associated with certain ritual practices (...) in Hinduism and in Buddhism. Another main type of transfer of merit is connected with Mahāyāna belief in bodhisattvas' loving-kindness towards other beings. In the orthodox Hindu schools, in Hnayāna Buddhism and in Jainism, transfer of merit has been rejected on account of the doctrine of karma according to which the person can acquire karmic outcomes for only those actions he or she has performed by himself. (shrink)
The early history and teachings of two Japanese "new religions" that originated in the late Tokugawa and early Meiji periods are described. The focus is on views of the mind/heart in the writings of Inoue Masakane (considered the founder of Misogi-kyō) and Itō Rokurōbei (founder of Maruyama-kyō); particular attention is given to the question of Neo-Confucian influence.
This article presents and discusses the meaning of a possible foundation of ethics, both from a philosophical perspective and with regard to religious representations. It proposes to enlarge the conception of rationality in order to take into account the critical contribution of cultures, traditions and religions to an ethics of reconstruction. This also entails rethinking the role of theological ethics and seeking to make more explicit the cultural plausibility and the practical credibility of Christianity in public ethics today.
Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion. Drawing on a variety of post-structuralist and post-colonial thinkers, including Foucault, Gadamer, Said, and Spivak, Richard King examines the way in which notions such as mysticism, religion, Hinduism and Buddhism are taken for granted, and shows us how religion needs to be redescribed along the lines of cultural studies.
Philosophy of Religion provides an account of the central issues and viewpoints in the philosophy of religion but also shows how such issues can be rationally assessed and in what ways competing views can be rationally assessed. It includes major philosophical figures in religious traditions as well as discussions by important contemporary philosophers. Keith E. Yandell deals lucidly and constructively with representative views from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
pt. 1. lecture 1. Philosophy and religion as traditions ; lecture 2. Plato's inquiries ; lecture 3. Plato's spirituality ; lecture 4. Plato and Aristotle ; lecture 5. Plotinus ; lecture 6. The Jewish scriptures ; lecture 7. Platonist philosophy and scriptural religion ; lecture 8. The New Testament ; lecture 9. Rabbinic Judaism ; lecture 10. Church Fathers ; lecture 11. The development of Christian Platonism ; lecture 12. Jewish rationalism and mysticism (six cassettes) -- pt. 2. lecture 13. (...) Classical theism-proofs and attributes of God ; lecture 14. Medieval Christian theology-nature and grace ; lecture 15. Late-medieval nominalism and Christian mysticism ; lecture 16. Protestantism-problems of grace ; lecture 17. Descartes, Locke, and the crisis of modernity ; lecture 18. Leibniz and theodicy ; lecture 19. Hume's Critique of religion ; lecture 20. Kant-reason limited to experience ; lecture 21. Kant-morality as the basis of religion ; lecture 22. Schleiermacher-feeling as the basis of religion (five cassettes) -- pt. 3. lecture 23. Hegel-a philosophical history of religion ; lecture 24. Marx and the hermeneutics of suspicion ; lecture 25. Kierkegaard-existentialism and the leap of faith ; lecture 26. Nietzsche-critic of Christian morality ; lecture 27. Neo-orthodoxy-the subject and object of faith ; lecture 28. Encountering the biblical other-Buber and Levinas ; lecture 29. Process philosophy-God in time ; lecture 30. Logical empiricism and the meaning of religion ; lecture 31. Reformed epistemology and the rationality of belief ; lecture 32. Conclusion-philosophy and religion today (five cassettes). (shrink)
Using the theoretical approach he introduced in his acclaimed Religious Reason (Oxford, 1978), and drawing on contemporary rationalist ethical theory as well as a variety of religious traditions and issues, Ronald M. Green here provides a simple, effective model for understanding the complexity of religious life. He shows clearly and convincingly that the basic processes of religious reasoning are the same everywhere and that they give rise, in perfectly understandable ways, to the rich diversity of religious expression worldwide. This is (...) a major resource for courses in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
This is the first major response to the new challenge of neuroscience to religion. There have been limited responses from a purely Christian point of view, but this takes account of eastern as well as western forms of religious experience. It challenges the prevailing naturalistic assumption of our culture, including the idea that the mind is either identical with or a temporary by-product of brain activity. It also discusses religion as institutions and religion as inner experience of the Transcendent, and (...) suggests a form of spirituality for today. (shrink)
Professor Rosenblatt presents a study of Benjamin Constant's intellectual development into a founding father of modern liberalism, through a careful analysis of his evolving views on religion. Constant's life spanned the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleon's rise and rule, and the Bourbon Restoration. Rosenblatt analyses Constant's key role in many of this era's heated debates over the role of religion in politics, and in doing so, exposes and addresses many misconceptions that have long reigned about Constant and his period. In (...) particular, Rosenblatt sheds light on Constant's major, yet much-neglected work, De La Religion. Given that the role of religion is, once again, center-stage in our political, philosophical and historical arenas, Liberal Values constitutes a major and timely revision of our understanding of the origins of modern liberalism. (shrink)
Training and inspiration in primitive religion.--Religion as method. Yoga.--Religion as psychology. Jinism and Hinayana.--Religion as devotion. Bhakti.--Religion with a salvation fact. Mahayana. Bhakti in Buddhism.--Religion as fight against evil. Zarathustra.--Socrates. The religion of good conscience.--Religion as revelation in history.--The religion of incarnation.--Continued revelation.
This new, long awaited study, is the first and defining volume in which Roy Bhaskar, originator of the increasingly influential, interdisciplinary and international philosophy of critical realism, systematically presents and expounds the principles of his new philosophy of meta-Reality, a philosophy which is already the subject of worldwide attention and debate. Building on a radically new analysis of the self, human agency and society, Roy Bhaskar shows how the world of alienation and crisis we currently inhabit is sustained by the (...) ground-state qualities of intelligence, creativity, love, a capacity for right-action and a potential for human self-realisation or fulfilment. He then demonstrates how transcendence and non-duality are necessary and ubiquitous features of all social interaction and human agency; and how these and connected features of human being and activity sustain the totality of the structures of the world of duality and oppression in which we live. Moreover, meta-Reality argues that any objective an agent chooses in life will ultimately set him or her on a process or dialectic to self-realisation, entailing a commitment to universal self-realisation; and it shows how these goals or ideals are explicit or implicit in all emancipatory projects, of whatever political, social or religious declension. Furthermore they all imply the same principles of clarity and commitment to social transformation (on all the planes of social being), which Roy Bhaskar articulates here. In a very real sense he demonstrates how these principles, for the first time clearly elaborated here in meta-Reality, are indeed the culmination of all traditions of thought and practice oriented to human well-being, emancipation or flourishing. (shrink)
At the beginning of the 16 th century, Transylvania had been an officially Catholic land belonging to the Kingdom of Hungary and led by an elite consisting of three nations, the Hungarian nobles (increasingly referred to as the Hungarian nation), the Saxons and the Szeklers. However, the general population, deprived of any political power, consisted of Orthodox Romanians. In other words, in Transylvania the Latin West met the Byzantine Orient. The old Hungary fell apart between 1526 and 1541, its central (...) regions taken by the Ottoman Empire, the west and the north by the Habsburgs, while the eastern part, Transylvania, became an autonomous principality under Ottoman suzerainty. At the same time, various Protestant trends made their presence felt among the leading nations, eventually crystallizing in the form of Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Unitarianism. In the space of three decades (1540–1570) these rival denominations gained legal status and joined Catholicism as the official religions of the country. Catholicism became a marginal denomination, deprived of assets and of its hierarchy. Under Protestant pressure, the Orthodox Romanians were still kept away from power. The last three decades of the century saw some attempts at Counterreformation and at a Catholic Reformation, at a time when the principality was once again led by a Catholic dynasty. In this context, new Catholic cultural (educational) models, supported by the Jesuits, were implemented in the existing Protestant and Orthodox context, in an often desperate attempt to reverse or at least balance the situation. In this respect, the Jesuit College of Cluj (today Cluj-Napoca, Romania), established in 1581, remains a most memorable episode, whose consequences can still be seen today. By resorting to education and learning, the college was meant to influence and alter the surrounding Protestant and Orthodox world. In fact, it became an interesting facet of the multicultural, multiethnic and multiconfessional character of Transylvania, a miniature Europe inhabited by Latin, Germanic, Finno-Ugrian, Slavic peoples etc., by Byzantines, Catholics and Protestants, by rightful citizens and “tolerated” inhabitants, by masters and servants, by privileged categories and by groups merely “allowed to exist”. The troubled events of those years have left us with a model of cohabitation based on both cooperation and rivalry that truly deserves consideration. (shrink)
Is your God really God? -- Believing in God -- On the "names" of God -- The meaning of "God" and the common conception of God -- What is salvation? -- Salvation versus spiritual materialism -- The idolatrous religions -- The ban on idolatry -- Idolatry as perverse worship -- Graven images and the highest one -- Idolatry as servility -- The rhetoric of idolatrousness -- The same God -- The Pharisees' problem with Jesus -- Could we be idolaters? (...) -- Supernaturalism and scientism -- Scientism and superstition -- Supernaturalism -- Legitimate naturalism -- Scientism versus science -- The argument for naturalism from true religion -- The phenomenological approach -- The method and the question -- Yahweh's use of the method -- A criterion or an enclosed circle -- Yahweh's criterion applied to himself -- Forgiving the God -- A reply to yahweh's answer to job -- Is there an internal criterion of religious falsehood? -- The pope's criterion of religious falsehood -- A consequence of the pope's criterion -- Religious and scientific fallibilism -- Why God? -- Doesn't substantive reasonableness suffice? -- The fall -- Homo incurvatus in se -- The redeemer? -- After monotheism -- The highest one -- The tetragrammaton -- The paradox of the highest one -- Speaking of the highest one -- Existents as dependent aspects of existence itself -- An alternative to the thomistic interpretation of the highest one -- Process panentheism -- The goodness of the highest one -- The analogy of logos -- Process panentheism -- The self-disclosure of existence itself -- The problem is with the pantheon -- Panentheism not pantheism -- Distinguishing panentheism and pantheism -- Presence -- Presence as disclosure -- Is being almost entirely wasted? -- Ubiquitous presence -- Against natural representation -- Representation and "carrying information" -- Can causation account for aboutness? -- What could replace the representationalist tradition? -- A diagnosis of the representationalist's mistake -- A transformed picture of "consciousness" and reality -- Confirming the surprising hypothesis -- The mind of God -- The objectivity of the realm of sense -- How the structure of presence might impose evolutionary constraints -- Objective mind and the mind of the highest one -- The doubly donatory character of reality -- Does God exist? -- The highest one -- Christianity without spiritual materialism -- Religion and violence -- The Gospel according to Girard -- Where is original sinfulness? -- Original sinfulness as self-will and false righteousness -- Christ destroys the kingdom of self-will and false righteousness -- The afterlife as an idolatrous conceit -- Against "man's quest for meaning" -- The afterlife as resistance to Christ -- Naturalism's gift : resurrection without the afterlife. (shrink)
From the complete three-volume critical edition of Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion , this edition extracts the full text and footnotes of the 1827 lectures, making the work available in a convenient form for study. Of the lectures that can be fully reconstructed, those of 1827 are the clearest, the maturest in form, and the most accessible to nonspecialists. In them, readers will find Hegel engaged in lively debates and in important refinements of his treatment of the concept (...) of religion, the Oriental religions and Judaism, Christology, the Trinity, the God-world relationship, and many other topics. This edition contains a new editorial introduction as well as critical annotations on the text and tables, bibliography, and glossary from the complete edition. The result of an international collaborative effort on the part of Walter Jaeschke, Ricardo Ferrara, and Peter C. Hodgson, the new edition is appearing simultaneously in German, English, and Spanish. The English edition has been prepared by a team consisting of Robert F. Brown (University of Delaware), Peter C. Hodgson (Vanderbilt University), and J. Michael Stewart (Farnham, England), with the assistance of H. S. Harris (York University). (shrink)
The first major study since the 1930s of the relationship between American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the first comprehensive work to include post-Civil War Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this book is encyclopedic in scope. Beginning with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the entire history of American Transcendentalism into the twentieth century, and the profound influence of Orientalism on the movement--including its analogues and influences in world religious dialogue. He examines what he calls "positive Orientalism," (...) which recognizes the value and perennial truths in Asian religions and cultures, not only in the writings of major figures like Thoreau and Emerson, but also in contemporary popular magazines. Versluis's exploration of the impact of Transcendentalism on the twentieth-century study of comparative religions has ramifications for the study of religious history, comparative religion, literature, politics, history, and art history. (shrink)
Introduction -- Religion and the philosophy of religion -- Religion and the world religions -- Philosophy and the philosophy of religion -- Philosophy of religion timeline -- Religious beliefs and practices -- Religious diversity and pluralism -- The diversity of religions -- Religious inclusivism and exclusivism -- Religious pluralism -- Religious relativism -- Evaluating religious systems -- Religious tolerance -- Conceptions of ultimate reality -- Ultimate reality : the absolute and the void -- Ultimate reality : a personal (...) God -- Arguments for God's existence: cosmological -- The argument from contingency -- The sufficient reason argument -- The Kalam argument -- A cosmological argument for atheism -- Arguments for God's existence : teleological -- Paley's design argument -- A fine-tuning argument -- An intelligent design argument -- Arguments for God's existence : ontological -- Anselm's ontological argument -- Plantinga's modal ontological argument -- Problems of evil -- Sketching the terrain -- Theoretical problems of evil -- The existential problem of evil -- Theodicies -- Science, faith, and reason -- Religion and science -- Religious belief and justification -- Religious experience -- The nature and diversity of religious experience -- Religious experience and justification -- Scientific explanations of religious experience -- The self, death, and the afterlife -- Conceptions of the self -- Reincarnation and karma -- Arguments for immortality -- Arguments against immortality. (shrink)
The philosophical treatment of religion -- Classical arguments for theism. Teleological arguments -- Cosmological arguments -- Ontological arguments -- Other approaches to religious belief. Experience and revelation as grounds for religious belief -- Fideism -- Naturalistic re-interpretations of religious belief -- Who or what is God? -- Fate, freedom, and foreknowledge -- Religion and morality. Is religion needed for morality? -- Divine command theory and divine motivation theory -- Natural law -- The problem of evil -- Death and immortality. Is (...) death bad? -- Life after death -- The diversity of religions -- Faith, reason, and the ethics of belief. Faith and reason -- Pragmatism and the ethics of belief -- Miracles -- Science religion and naturalism. (shrink)
Different religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by (...) shared, a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth CollegeDifferent religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth College. (shrink)
The current ecological crisis is a matter of urgent global concern, with solutions being sought on many fronts. In this book, Seyyed Hossein Nasr argues that the devastation of our world has been exacerbated, if not actually caused, by the reductionist view of nature that has been advanced by modern secular science. What is needed, he believes, is the recovery of the truth to which the great, enduring religions all attest; namely that nature is sacred. Nasr traces the historical (...) process through which Western civilization moved away from the idea of nature as sacred and embraced a world view which sees humans as alienated from nature and nature itself as a machine to be dominated and manipulated by humans. His goal is to negate the totalitarian claims of modern science and to re-open the way to the religious view of the order of nature, developed over centuries in the cosmologies and sacred sciences of the great traditions. Each tradition, Nasr shows, has a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning the order of nature. The resuscitation of this knowledge, he argues, would allow religions all over the globe to enrich each other and cooperate to heal the wounds inflicted upon the Earth. (shrink)
Multicultural education (of which 'multifaith' RE in England and Wales is sometimes regarded as a subset) was attacked by antiracists in Britain in the 1980s. Although it is arguable that not all of the criticisms were valid, the debate raises questions about the efficacy of religious education in countering racism. The paper argues that a lack of analysis of the concepts 'religions' and 'cultures' in British RE has led to a representation of religious traditions which essentialises them, playing down (...) their internal diversity, and which assumes a 'closed' view of cultures. A more flexible approach is suggested, drawing on work in ethnography and other social science disciplines, which might better combine with antiracist stances than earlier approaches. The work of the WarwickReligions and Education Research Unit is introduced briefly as an example of an attempt to address some of the above issues in terms of an integrated approach to theory, the study of religions in the community and the development of religious education curriculum materials. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion has been a largely European intellectual enterprise in two ways. It arose in Europe as a discipline and its subject matter has been profoundly influenced by Christianity as practised in Europe. The process of its deprovincialization in this respect started when it began to take religions other than Christianity within its purview - such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Although now the religions of both East and West have found a place in it, (...) a religious tradition which is present in both the East and the West, namely, the primal religious tradition, still remains unrepresented in its discussions, perhaps under the mistaken assumption that this religious tradition has little to offer by way of philosophical reflection. This book challenges this widespread assumption and demonstrates how primal religions have something significant to offer on virtually every theme discussed in the philosophy of religion. Through this book the primal religious tradition stakes its claim for a place at the table. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the claim that Rawls’s overlapping consensus is too narrow to allow most mainstream religions’ participation in political discourse. I do so by asking whether religious exclusion is a consequence of belief or action, using conversion as a paradigm case. After concluding that this objection to Rawls is, in fact, defensible, and that the overlapping consensus excludes both religious belief and action, I examine an alternative approach to managing religious pluralism as presented by Adam Smith. (...) I show that Smith’s so-called “marketplace of religions” assumes and encourages religious conversion. I then offer objections to Smith’s approach from Rawls’s point of view, concluding that, while Rawls cannot adequately respond to the Smithian challenge, in the end the two positions are complimentary. (shrink)
The rivalry between religions is obvious on a number of fronts: in wars between Christians, Muslims, and Hindus; in sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants, or between Shia and Sunni; in the persecution of doctrinal heretics; in the splintering of new sects along doctrinal lines; in efforts to proselytize; and so on.
The Brazilian ayahuasca religions, Santo Daime, Barquinha, and União do Vegetal, have increasingly sought formal recognition by government agencies in Brazil and other countries to guarantee their legal use of ayahuasca, which contains DMT, a substance that is listed. This article focuses on new alliances and rifts that have emerged between and among different ayahuasca groups as they have sought and in some cases achieved formal recognition and legitimacy at the state and national levels in Brazil and abroad. It (...) presents a historical overview of the origin of the main ayahuasca religions, and their connections to the Amazon region and the state of Acre in particular, where the political environment has facilitated petitions seeking the elevation of ayahuasca as cultural and historical heritage in Acre and Brazil. This process has resulted in the active selection of certain symbolic, cultural, and historical elements and subtle changes in the ways various ayahuasca groups represent themselves in the public sphere. It also resulted in the reconfiguration of political alliances and a recasting of the historical facts regarding origins. The article reflects on notions of origin, place, authenticity, and tradition throughout the ongoing transformation of ayahuasca from “dangerous drug” to state and national heritage. (shrink)
This paper raises some issues about understanding religion, religions and spirituality in health care to enable a more critical mutual engagement and dialogue to take place between health care institutions and religious communities and believers. Understanding religions and religious people is a complex, interesting matter. Taking into account the whole reality of religion and spirituality is not just about meeting specific needs, nor of trying to ensure that religious people abandon their distinctive beliefs and insights when they engage (...) with health care institutions and policies. Members of religious groups and communities form an integral part of the structure and fabric of health care delivery, whether as users or in delivery capacities. Religion is both facilitator and resistor, friend and critic, for health care institutions, providers and workers. (shrink)
Strict constructivist philosophers conclude that no truth claims can be verified on the basis of mystical exploration due to the thoroughly conditioned character of such experiences. In response, Bede Griffiths’s life of dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism suggests that mystical knowing incorporates both conditioned and unconditioned elements. In the cross-culturally identifiable experience of self-transcendence in meditation, the relationship between the conditioned subject and the unconditioned sacred “object” is transformed, resulting in an intuitive knowledge for which different criteria of verifiability are (...) both needed and available. Griffiths’s multireligious experience thus supports the identification of common ground for various religions in mystical knowing. (shrink)