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Ultimate Realities: A Volume in the Comparative Religious Ideas Project
     

Ultimate Realities: A Volume in the Comparative Religious Ideas Project

by Robert Cummings Neville, Tu Wei-ming
 

ISBN-10: 0791447766

ISBN-13: 9780791447765

Pub. Date: 11/01/2000

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Explores ultimate realities in a range of world religions and discusses the issue and philosophical implications of comparison itself.

The idea of ultimacy as a comparative category that cuts across major religious traditions and cultures is discussed in Ultimate Realities, a multi-authored collaborative work. In this light, Chinese religion, Buddhism,

Overview

Explores ultimate realities in a range of world religions and discusses the issue and philosophical implications of comparison itself.

The idea of ultimacy as a comparative category that cuts across major religious traditions and cultures is discussed in Ultimate Realities, a multi-authored collaborative work. In this light, Chinese religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are examined by distinguished specialist historians. Two senses of ultimacy emerged in the Comparative Religious Ideas Project from which this volume came. One is the ultimacy of ontological matters such as God, the Dao, or Brahman. The other is the anthropological ultimacy of religious quests such as the Buddhist journey to enlightenment which does not stress any ontological ultimate, and indeed in some forms considers ontological ultimates to be problematic. Underneath this comparative study is a theory and method of comparison which are discussed at length and embodied in the project.

Contributors include John H. Berthrong, Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Malcolm David Eckel, Paula Fredriksen, S. Nomanul Haq, Joseph Kanofsky, Livia Kohn, James E. Miller, Robert Cummings Neville, Hugh Nicholson, Anthony J. Saldarini, Tina Shepardson , John Thatamanil,, and Wesley J. Wildman.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791447765
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
11/01/2000
Series:
SUNY Series, The Comparative Religious Ideas Project Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
391
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Forewordxi
Prefacexv
Acknowledgmentsxxvii
Introduction1
1Ultimate Reality: Chinese Religion9
1.1General Considerations9
1.2The Order of the Cosmos17
1.3The Actualization of Cosmic Order in Human Experience21
1.4Myths, Metaphors, and Symbols26
1.5Conclusion31
2Ultimate Realities: Judaism: God as a Many-sided Ultimate Reality in Traditional Judaism37
2.1Definitions of Ultimate38
2.2Paths to Ultimacy40
2.3Biblical and Talmudic Views of God42
2.4Torah as the Mediating Ultimate Reality in Rabbinic Literature45
2.5Early Rabbinic Mysticism46
2.6Maimonides and the Philosophical Quest for God49
2.7Medieval Mysticism51
2.8Enlightenment Philosophy and the Jewish Tradition53
2.9Modern Orthodoxy55
2.10Language and Method in Speaking of Ultimacy56
3Ultimate Reality in Ancient Christianity: Christ and Redemption61
3.1Introduction61
3.2Paul, the Gentiles, and the God of Israel62
3.3Christ as Blood Sacrifice in Later New Testament Writings68
3.4Ultimate Realities70
4Ultimate Reality: Islam75
4.1Categories of Ultimacy75
4.2Revelationary Data78
4.3Divine Names and Epithets80
4.4Traditionalism and the Theological Rationalism of Kalam82
4.5The Theological Problem of Attributes84
4.6Tashbih and Tanzih as Questions of Ultimate Reality87
4.7al-Haqiqa in Sufism88
4.8The Synthesis of Ghazali90
5Vedanta Desika's Isvarapariccheda ("Definition of the Lord") and the Hindu Argument about Ultimate Reality95
5.1Introduction: Vedanta Desika and His Isvarapariccheda ("Definition of the Lord")96
5.2Desika's Fourteen Points Regarding the Lord (Isvara) as Ultimate Reality99
5.3Three Examples of the Argument105
5.4Extending the Conversation110
6Cooking the Last Fruit of Nihilism: Buddhist Approaches to Ultimate Reality125
6.1The Myth of Reference126
6.2Hypothesis and Confirmation128
6.3What Kind of Reality Is Ultimate?129
6.4The Problem of the Absolute130
7Comparative Conclusions about Ultimate Realities151
7.1Defining the Vague Category151
7.2Specifying the Category156
7.3Comparing within the Category164
7.4Relating to the Ultimate178
8On Comparing Religious Ideas187
8.1Comparison of Religious Ideas as a Cognitive Enterprise187
8.2The General Principle of Comparative Categories191
8.3The Logical Structure of Comparative Categories196
8.4Vagueness and Specificity: The Making of Comparison198
8.5Vulnerability and Phenomenological Testing202
8.6The Historical Provenance and Discursive Form of Comparative Categories206
9How Our Approach to Comparison Relates to Others211
9.1Comparison as Impossible212
9.2Comparison as Something Other than an Explicit Cognitive Process215
9.3Comparison Based on Categories Justified by Existing Theories of Religion218
9.4Comparison Based on Categories Justified from Similarities in Data222
9.5Comparison Based on a Dialectic of Data and Categories224
9.6The Significance of Comparison Conducted as Dialectic Between Categories and Data225
9.7Learning from the Past230
10The Idea of Categories in Historical Comparative Perspective237
10.1Introduction237
10.2Categories as Intellectual Constructs239
10.3Fast Forward to the Modern World251
Appendix AOn the Process of the Project During the Second Year261
Appendix BSuggestions for Further Reading275
Contributors339
Index of Names341
Index of Subjects345

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