The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories, Revised Edition / Edition 1

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Overview

Written for undergraduates, the educated layperson, and scholars in fields other than philosophy, The Myth of Religious Neutrality offers a radical reinterpretation of the general relations between religion, science, and philosophy. This new edition has been completely revised and updated by the author.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Contrary to popular opinion that holds that most of the affairs of day-to-day life are seen as neutral with respect to religious belief, [Clouser] finds 'that religious belief is the most powerful and influential belief in the world' and that it 'has the single most decisive influence on everyone's understanding of the major issues of life ranging across the entire spectrum of human experience.” —Theology Digest

"[A[] welcome volume for Christians who are in the sciences and especially those who recognize the important role religion can play in science. . . . The Myth of Religious Neutrality has much to commend itself. Certainly philosophers will enjoy reading the revised edition. . . . But I particularly recommend a serious consideration of the book to scientists." —Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

"Clouser urges his fellow-believers to abandon their vain efforts to harmonize pagan philosophical and scientific theories with belief in God and embrace the 'radically biblical' claim that 'there is no knowledge or truth that is neutral with respect to belief in God' (94). This claim, he argues, must include theories about every conceivable aspect of reality, from philosophical overviews of reality and theories of knowledge to aesthetics and zoology. . . . This edition, in which Clouser offers extensive responses and rebuttals to his critics as he travels far and wide across philosophy of religion and biblical studies as well as philosophy of science, ontology, and epistemology, is sure to extend and deepen our understanding of what it means to develop theories that honor our belief that Yahweh alone is that on whom all reality depends." —Christian Scholar's Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268023669
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 932
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


ROY A. CLOUSER is professor emeritus of philosophy and religion at The College of New Jersey, Trenton.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 What is religion? 9
3 Types of religious belief 43
4 What is a theory? 61
5 Theories and religion : the alternatives 89
6 The idea of religious control 111
7 Theories in mathematics 131
8 Theories in physics 147
9 Theories in psychology 161
10 The need for a new beginning 185
11 A non-reductionist theory of reality 237
12 A non-reductionist theory of society 269
13 A non-reductionist theory of the state 303
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    Philosophically Absurd

    The infuriating thesis of Dr. Clouser's book - quite literally - leaves us running around in circles. Clouser claims that a theory is religious if it involves belief in divinity. Divinity, accoring to the author, is that which exists as an independent reality. Since all theories presuppose the existence of an independent reality, Clouser argues, they all involve belief in divinity. Hence, all theories are religious, and no theory is religiously neutral. This is the deadly flaw in Clouser's argument: is entirely based upon the logical fallacy of petitio pricipii. In the beginning of the book, Clouser critiques various definitions of religious belief by citing counter examples. One of the definitions he critiques is: 'religious belief is belief in a Supreme Being.' He counters this by saying that 'Buddhism and Taoism are religions with no Supreme Being.' The problem? Most Buddhists and Taoists don't even consider Buddhism and Taoism to be religions. They are simply philosophies and ways of life. Clouser (falsely) identifies these as religions BEFORE he even defines what religion is! This is circular reasoning of the very worst kind. If one wants to defend Christianity, one can do much better than this Calvinist nonsense. Shame on Clouser for basing his entire book on a glaring logical fallacy.

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