By John Hick (auth.)
An up-to-date re-creation of the groundbreaking research which takes complete account of the discovering of the social and old sciences while providing a non secular interpretation of the religions as varied culturally conditioned responses to a transcendent Divine truth. Written with nice readability and strength, and with a wealth of unpolluted insights, this significant paintings (based at the author's Gifford Lectures of 1896-7) treats the central themes within the philosophy of faith and establishes either a foundation for spiritual confirmation this day and a framework for the constructing world-wide inter-faith discussion. features a new advent to the second one edition.
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Extra info for An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent
The feature upon which I shall primarily focus in this book is belief in the transcendent. 10 One might call the systematic discussion of this topic 'theology' except that the term restricts the concept of the transcendent by implication to the notion of theos. Wilfred Cantwell Smith has tentatively suggested the more comprehensive term 'transcendentology' (W. C. Smith 1981,183). But however we name it the topic of the transcendent is to be a central concern of this book. One of the merits of the family-resemblance analogy, however, is that it does not push the controversy between believers and disbelievers in the transcendent out onto the borders as a battle between religion and its external enemy, irreligion, but gives it a place within the ongoing religious discussion.
These have claimed that God is a projection onto the universe of ideal human qualities, or of buried infancy memories of one's father, or of the social reality of the community with its absolute claims and supporting presence; and that the belief in a life to come has arisen to satisfy our insistent desire to continue in being. 1). However the issue between the naturalistic and religious interpretations of religion must not be allowed to become one of total opposition. The alternatives are not that the intentional object of religious worship or contemplation is either entirely illusory or else exactly as described in this or that sacred text.
On the other hand religion has sanctioned human sacrifices and the torture and burning of 'witches' and 'heretics'; it has blessed almost every war that has ever been fought; and it has been used as an instrument for gaining power over and exploiting large groups of people, bestowing its validation upon massively inequitable social systems. Thus to defend the conviction of the reality of the transcendent is not to affirm the moral worth of religious phenomena simply as such. On the contrary, the recognition of the human element in all religion emphasises the need for rational and ethical criticism and discrimination.
An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent by John Hick (auth.)