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Religion and the Critical Mind: A Journey for Seekers, Doubters, and the Curious
     

Religion and the Critical Mind: A Journey for Seekers, Doubters, and the Curious

by Anton K. Jacobs
 

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Religion and the Critical Mind provides an overview of the Western heritage of the criticism of religion. Anton Jacobs surveys criticisms from within and without religion from the time of the Hebrew prophets and classical Greek thinkers until the Enlightenment and shows how developments during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the scientific revolution laid

Overview

Religion and the Critical Mind provides an overview of the Western heritage of the criticism of religion. Anton Jacobs surveys criticisms from within and without religion from the time of the Hebrew prophets and classical Greek thinkers until the Enlightenment and shows how developments during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the scientific revolution laid foundations for later, modern critiques. While sympathetic to religion, Jacobs listens carefully to its best critics and dedicates a chapter to each of the modern critics of religion: Voltaire, Marx, Nietzsche, Durkheim, Freud, and Russell. He supplies context for their criticism and gauges their impact on religion. While effectively arguing that there are only three real stances a modern person can take on religion and offering an apologia for all religions, Jacobs makes a persuasive case in favor of religious participation.

Editorial Reviews

Anthony J. Blasi
In this unpretentious and engaging book, Anton Jacobs gives a sympathetic reading to the internal and external critics of religion, especially Christianity. He does so to exorcize the problems inherent in religion, not to refute the critics (though he even-handedly notes their shortcomings) or justify a simple rejection of religion. This is a reasonable and well-informed probing of the grounds for critical doubt and critical faith. Serious believers and serious unbeleivers will enjoy this work; superficial believers and superficial unbelievers will find it disturbing.
Vern Barnet
I don’t care if you are an atheist or a Christian fundamentalist, if you are interested in how religion in the West has been criticized, you must read a new book by one of Kansas City’s own. . . . Jacobs knows how to tell a story.
Bill Tammeus
Criticism of religion did not start with the aggressive atheists who get so much media attention today. Indeed, as Anton K. Jacobs describes it in this important and profoundly engaging book, criticism of religion seems to have been born the same week as religion itself. But despite all this criticism, there’s a vital and persuasive word to be said on behalf of religion. Jacobs says that word with such insight and clarity that no doubt it will provoke yet more criticism of religion. Well, bring it on. As Jacobs insists, religion can stand it.
Religion
The title of this book is well chosen. In these pages, Anton K. Jacobs, a Sociology scholar but also an ordained Protestant minister who has remained in the pastoral ministry, invites the contemporary seekers, doubters, and the curious to consider along with him the possibilities for religious belief and commitment. In this process, above all else, Jacobs is most careful to respect the fact that contemporary seekers, doubters, and such people have minds, critical and educated minds, and it is within this context that he presents his ideas. In some ways, one is reminded of Schleiermacher’s attempts to address the ‘cultured despisers’ of religion in the 19th century.
Catholic Books Review
The combination of setting the scene in ancient beginnings, followed by good historical and philosophical analyses with religiously guided reflections in most chapters, as well as the final defense of faith and religion in the last chapter makes Religion and the Critical Mind a very good book for an initial course on the relation of social theory and Christian belief.
RELIGION
The title of this book is well chosen. In these pages, Anton K. Jacobs, a Sociology scholar but also an ordained Protestant minister who has remained in the pastoral ministry, invites the contemporary seekers, doubters, and the curious to consider along with him the possibilities for religious belief and commitment. In this process, above all else, Jacobs is most careful to respect the fact that contemporary seekers, doubters, and such people have minds, critical and educated minds, and it is within this context that he presents his ideas. In some ways, one is reminded of Schleiermacher’s attempts to address the ‘cultured despisers’ of religion in the 19th century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739147740
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
09/23/2010
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Anton Jacobs is affiliated with Park University and the Kansas City Art Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.

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