A Primal Perspective on the Philosophy of Religion

A Primal Perspective on the Philosophy of Religion

von: Arvind Sharma

CHF 153.50

Verlag: Springer
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 09.09.2006
ISBN/EAN: 9781402050145
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 246

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<P>Philosophy of religion as a discipline first arose in Europe; its subject matter has been profoundly influenced by the practices of European Christianity. While Eastern and Western religions subsequently found a place in these studies, one global religious tradition, namely, the primal tradition, remains unrepresented in its discussions. This book examines the significantly different perspectives offered by primal religions on virtually every theme discussed in the philosophy of religion.</P>
What am I trying to accomplish through the exercise which I have undertaken, namely, to examine the philosophy of religion in the light of primal religions? If to choose someone else’s expression to characterize one’s own intellectual endeavour is an indication of one’s own lack of imagination, then I must plead guilty to that charge; but not to that of lack of gratitude, for I have to thank Robin Horton for describing, better than I can, what I have attempted in the book. It is an exercise in what he calls “translational understanding. ” I quote him now: By ‘translational understanding’, I mean the kind of understanding of a particular thought-system that results from the successful translation of the language and conceptual system that embody it into terms of a language and conceptual system that currently enjoy ‘world’ status. In talking of translation, of course, I am not just talking of the provision of dictionary equivalents for individual words or sentences. I am talking about finding a ‘world-language’ equivalent for a whole realm of discourse, and of showing, in ‘world-language’ terms, what the point of that realm of discourse is in the life of the people who use it. Translation, in this broader sense, can be very arduous. There may be no realm of discourse in the ‘world’ language that exactly fits the bill. We may have to bend and refashion existing realms, and even redefine their guiding intentions.
Acknowledgement.- Preface.- Introduction.- 1. The concept of god: monotheism.- 2. Other concepts of god.- 3. Arguments for the existence of god.- 4. Arguments against the existence of god.- 5. The problem of evil.- 6. The concept of revelation and the primal religious tradition.- 7. Theories of faith.- 8. Evidentialism, foundationalism and rational belief.- 9. Language and religious thought.- 10. The problems of religious language.- 11. The problem of verification.- 12. Conflicting truth claims of different religions.- 13. Human destiny: immortality and resurrection.- 14. Human destiny: karma and reincarnation.- Conclusion.- Endnotes.- Index.
<P>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.<BR><BR>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.<BR><BR>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 religous tradition stakes its claim for a place at the table.<BR><BR><BR>"Despite the absence of written texts, primal religions have an implicit philosophy. They can offer a fresh perspective on controversial philosophical issues. This study shows how materials of primal religious experience can be incorporated in the categories of modern philosophy of religion. Fourteen chapters offer examples varying from concepts of God and revelation to conflicating truth claims and the problem of human destiny. The book contends that the primal perspective can widen and deepen the horizons of philosophy of religion and enhance the philosophical appreciation of religion as a universal phenomenon." <EM>Jacobus Waardenburg, University of Lausanne, Switzerland</EM><BR><BR>"Arvind Sharma makes a perfect case for a cross-cultural philosophy of religion in which all world religions, especially primal religions, could effectively participate in the dialogue and conversation about the relevant issues in the quest for the transcendent and the sacred. The work ultimately may be a prolegomena to the study of philosophy of religion of many primal religious traditions, because it provokes debate and responses from scholars of these traditions. This book will certainly begin a broader conversation in the cross-cultural philosophy of religion." <EM>Jacob Olupona, The University of California, Davis, U.S.A.</EM></P>
<P>Provides critical reflections on the epistemology and assumptions of primal religious traditions</P>
<P>Takes an interdisciplinary approach to philosophy of religion</P>
<P>Is the first and only book of its kind</P>

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