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Against Dogmatism: Dwelling in Faith and Doubt

Against Dogmatism: Dwelling in Faith and Doubt

by Madhuri M. Yadlapati

Paperback(1st Edition)

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Many contemporary discussions of religion take an absolute, intractable approach to belief and non-belief, which privileges faith and dogmatism while treating doubt as a threat to religious values. As Madhuri M. Yadlapati demonstrates, however, there is another way: a faith (or non-faith) that embraces doubt and its potential for exploring both the depths and heights of spiritual reflection and speculation. Through three distinct discussions of faith, doubt, and hope, Yadlapati explores what it means to live creatively and responsibly in the everyday world as limited, imaginative, and questioning creatures. She begins with a perceptive survey of diverse faith experiences in Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Protestant Christianity, then narrows her focus to Protestant Christianity and Hinduism to explore how the great thinkers of those faiths have embraced doubt in the service of spiritual transcendence. Defending the rich tapestry of faith and doubt against polarization, Against Dogmatism reveals a spiritual middle way, an approach native to the long-standing traditions in which faith and doubt are interwoven in constructive and dynamic ways.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252079450
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 12/12/2013
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Madhuri M. Yadlapati is has a Ph.D in philosophy of religion from Yale University and is an instructor in religious studies at Louisiana State University.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Fundamentalism and Atheism 1

Part 1 Re-Examining Faith in Action

1 Postures of Trust 15

Humility as the Door to Faith 17

Friedrich Schleiermacher: Religious Consciousness of Absolute Dependence 24

Hindu Puja: Belonging to a Protected World 29

Conclusion 33

2 What Is Our Sacred Responsibility in the World? 35

Hindu Dharma 35

What Can Mere Humans Do in Narnia? 41

God's Caliph on Earth 46

Covenantal Responsibility, Partnership, and Struggle 51

Conclusion 63

Part 2 The Centrality of Doubt

3 Christian Faith and the Protestant Principle 67

Søren Kierkegaard 68

Karl Barth 76

Paul Tillich 85

Conclusion 96

4 Faith and Transcendence in Hindu Traditions 97

Mystical Experience and the Limits of Understanding in the Upanishads 100

Bhakti, Transcendence, and Freedom in the Bhagavad Gita 103

Maya: That Which Is Not 107

The Ambiguity of Hindu Theism: Shiva 112

Conclusion 118

Part 3 Reconciling Ways of Faith and Doubt

5 Resisting the Reification of Religion 123

Humanist Criticisms of Religious Dogmatism 124

The Mystical Path of Unknowing or Unlearning 131

Buddhist Teachings on Emptiness 140

Conclusion 145

6 Faith and Hope for the Twenty-First Century 147

Jürgen Moltmann on Eschatology 148

Raimon Panikkar's Pluralistic Theology 156

John Caputo's Postmodern Religion 162

Conclusion 170

Conclusion: Dwelling in Uncertainty 171

Notes 175

Index 197

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