Religious Mystery And Rational Reflection

Overview

How should philosophy approach religious experience, which by definition surpasses its competence? Can philosophy do more than describe the religious experience without discussing its object? Can religion make genuine truth claims - especially when the prevalence of suffering and evil in the world seems to belie those claims? These are some of the basic questions raised in this engaging collection of essays by philosopher Louis Dupre. According to Dupre, a philosophical analysis of faith must take account of the ...
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Overview

How should philosophy approach religious experience, which by definition surpasses its competence? Can philosophy do more than describe the religious experience without discussing its object? Can religion make genuine truth claims - especially when the prevalence of suffering and evil in the world seems to belie those claims? These are some of the basic questions raised in this engaging collection of essays by philosopher Louis Dupre. According to Dupre, a philosophical analysis of faith must take account of the unique system of symbols in which it expresses its beliefs, rituals, and modes of worship. The justification of religious symbols has become a particular problem in an age that tends to separate the objective from the subjective, interpreting the former literally and denying objective reality to the latter. Dupre's essays on von Balthasar's theory of religious form and on the nature of ritual attempt to restore the original meaning of religious symbols, while integrating them with the modern emphasis on human creativity.

"As this slim but remarkable book of essays makes abundantly clear, its author bids fair to have an influence that will last into the next century, at the last: there is something about his philosophy that seems not just nourishing for a day or hour but perennially satisfying. " - Commonweal

"Dupré writes with the clarity of an analytical philosopher about the issues of experience dear to phenomenologists and with a depth of historical understanding and sensitivity to the life of faith that is rare now in philosophy. In short, this book is that all too unusual phenomenon, religious philosophy. It is done very well, indeed." - Theology Today

" This is a wise and thought-provoking collection." - Modern Theology

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Editorial Reviews

Commonweal
As this slim but remarkable book of essays makes abundantly clear, its author bids fair to have an influence that will last into the next century, at the last: there is something about his philosophy that seems not just nourishing for a day or hour but perennially satisfying.
Review of Metaphysics
"Of the more than 150 original articles Dupré has written, these are an excellent representation and overview, weaving the threads of his thought together. In general the venture of combining articles into books is fraught with difficulties; yet these articles are presented as a cohesive work, unfolding gracefully in three sections, starting with methodological questions, leading to religious symbolization, and ending with the shape of religious experience in the modern world.... This is a wonderful book through which to explore the role and very possibility of a transcendent dimension in our secular world; there is no finer guide than Dupré. He asserts that "the most prominent symbol of the divine has always been the man or woman most intensively aware of its presence" (p. 100). Through his latest book, Louis Dupré stands as such a symbol in our modern world."
Theology Today
Dupré writes with the clarity of an analytical philosopher about the issues of experience dear to phenomenologists and with a depth of historical understanding and sensitivity to the life of faith that is rare now in philosophy. In short, this book is that all too unusual phenomenon, religious philosophy. It is done very well, indeed.
Heythrop Journal
Dupré's collection of essays is a stimulating, and at times provoking, contribution to the debate concerning the roles of religious experience and symbolism in the religious act, and the methods employed in this discourse.
Modern Theology
This is a wise and thought-provoking collection.... It will be a highly used volume in graduate seminars and would make a good book for collegial departmental conversations.
Worship
Limpid, elegant collection of essays.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802843258
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 0.37 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Questions of Method 1
Phenomenology of Religion: Limits and Possibilities 3
Truth in Religion and Truth of Religion 19
Philosophy and the Mystery of Evil 41
Pt. II Religious Symbolization 65
Religious Symbolism and Aesthetic Form 67
Ritual: The Divine Play of Time 77
Negative Theology and Religious Symbols 92
Pt. III Religious Experience 105
Experience and Interpretation 107
The Experience of Mystical Union in Western Religion 118
Spiritual Life in a Secular Age 131
Index of Authors 145
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