The Maturity of Belief: Critically Assessing Religious Faith

The Maturity of Belief: Critically Assessing Religious Faith

by Kevin Twain Lowery

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826498533
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 10/30/2007
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Kevin Twain Lowery is Associate Professor at Olivet Nazarene University, USA, where he teaches theology and philosophy.

Table of Contents


Introduction     1
How and Why We Believe     7
The nature of belief     9
Making sense of reality     9
The desire to believe     12
Reasons for believing     15
Moving beyond simplistic beliefs     18
Why people hold onto simplistic beliefs     18
Reasons for embracing new concepts     24
Exceptions     26
The difficulty of replacing religious beliefs     27
A familiar example     30
Belief in Historical Perspective     35
Religious belief before the Enlightenment     37
The ancient mindset     38
Plato and Aristotle     39
The medieval period     41
Scholasticism     42
The Renaissance     44
The Reformation     44
The Early Enlightenment     46
Rationalism     47
Empiricism     49
Metaphysical perspectives     52
The burgeoning of the Enlightenment     57
Kant     57
Hegel     60
Existentialism     62
Pragmatism     63
More recent developments     68
Fundamentalism     69
Logical positivism     73
Postmodernism     76
Conclusion     77
Constructing Belief     79
The basis of belief     81
Truth     81
Objectivity     83
Reliability     84
Justification     85
Verification     86
Knowledge     88
Evidence     91
Systematized belief     93
Constructing paradigms     93
Adapting paradigms     95
Replacing paradigms     96
Group dynamics     97
Religious paradigms     101
Sources of religious belief     103
Subjective and objective sources     103
The four sources     105
Religious authority     111
Scripture     111
Tradition     116
Orthodoxy     119
Mature Belief     121
Religious belief and certainty     123
The desire for certainty     123
Extremes to be avoided     127
Naivete     127
Scepticism     129
Dogmatism      131
Trust     133
Certainty and doubt     134
Faith and belief     136
Faith and reason     136
Reconciling the empirical with the metaphysical     138
Characteristics of mature religious faith     142
Cultivating religious intellectual maturity     146
Types of religious intellectual immaturity     146
Superstition     146
Authoritarianism     149
Emotionalism     150
Dogmatism     150
Safe havens for religious intellectual immaturity     151
Rationalism     151
Pragmatism     153
Radical scepticism     154
Steps towards religious intellectual maturity     155
Deepening understanding     155
Broadening perspective     159
Accountability and mentoring     160
Conclusion     161
Recommended Reading     163
Index     167

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