Pub. Date:
State University of New York Press
Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist's Perspective

Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist's Perspective

by Robert Cummings Neville


Current price is , Original price is $75.0. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.

This item is available online through Marketplace sellers.


A philosophical consideration of key religious issues from a pragmatist’s perspective.

Religion is basic to the human condition according to this philosophy of religion from a pragmatist’s perspective. While pragmatist thinkers have often been cool to religious claims, Robert Cummings Neville holds that a theology of truth can emerge from this tradition. Standing against the typical nominalist view that regards religious claims as concepts or structures of language, Neville argues that there can be significant and well-tested hypotheses about what is true in religious matters. He brings this theology to bear on questions of God, divine creation, divine nature and will, and eternity. Using the work of pragmatists Peirce and Whitehead in particular to ground his philosophy of religion, Neville surveys a wide swath of twentieth-century theology and current trends, from Barth and Tillich to liberal and postliberal theology, systematic theology, concepts of God, and approaches to scripture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438428253
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 10/08/2009
Pages: 279
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University and the author and editor of many books, including Ritual and Deference: Extending Chinese Philosophy in a Comparative Context, also published by SUNY Press.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction 1

Part I Realism and Truth

1 Theologies of Identity and Truth: Legacies of Barth and Tillich 9

Barth and Tillich on Theology: Narrative and System

Legacies of Narrative and System

Truth, Identity, and Authority

2 Truth in Theology 23

Four Roots of the Evasion of Truth, and their Antidotes

Liberal Theology as a Near Miss

Theology as Symbolic Engagement

Metaphysics for Theology

3 Realism and Contextualization 35

Postliberalism and Theological Inquiry

Religious Symbols: Engagement

Religious Symbols: Interpretation

All Truth is Contextual

The Comparative Context for Religious Truth

4 How to Read Scriptures for Religious Truth 57

Scriptures for Engagement

Imaginative Differences

Strategies of Symbolic Interpretation

Criteria for Reading Scriptures for Truth

5 Systematic Theology in a Global Public 73

System and Its Public: Three Values

Truth and Realism

Minimizing Arbitrariness

Vulnerability in a Global Public

Part II Realism in Pragmatism

6 A Peircean Theory of Religious Interpretation 89

Engagement and Reference

Reference and Apophatic Theology

Meaning and Truth


7 The Contributions of Charles S. Peirce to Philosophy of Religion 109

The Evolutionary Weight of Religion

Contributions to Theology

Comparative Theology

The Importance of Erudition

8 Intuition: A Platonizing of Pragmatism 123

Intuition and Immediate Unity

A Theory of Harmony

Judgment and Interpretation

Intuition and Plato's Divided Line

9 Whitehead and Pragmatism 153

The Entangled Legacies of Pragmatism and Process Philosophy

Tensions regarding Time and Continuity

Eternity and Time

Creation, Eternity, Time, and Continuity

10 Philosophy of Nature in American Theology 165

Jonathan Edwards

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Pragmatists

Alfred North Whitehead

Part III Realism in Religion and Metaphysics

11 Concepts of God in Comparative Theology 177

Conceptions of God in Comparison

Theoretical Issues in Comparison

Observations about Ultimacy

An Hypothesis about the Respect in which Concepts of Ultimacy Interpret Reality

12 Some Contemporary Theories of Divine Creation 191

Classifications of Conceptions of God

Process Theology

Ground-of-Being Theologies

Piety and Conceptions of God

13 Descartes and Leibniz on the Priority of Nature versus Will in God 203

Texts and Arguments

Transcendence and Immanence

Tillich and Hartshorne as Descartes and Leibniz

Experience and Reason

14 The Metaphysical Sense in Which Life is Eternal 213

Introduction: Immortality and Eternal Life

Time and Eternity: A Metaphysical Analysis

Eternity in the Divine Life of God

Eternity and Time in Human Life

Notes 227

Index 251

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews