By John Hick (auth.)
An up-to-date new version of the groundbreaking research which takes complete account of the discovering of the social and historic sciences when supplying a non secular interpretation of the religions as diversified culturally conditioned responses to a transcendent Divine truth. Written with nice readability and strength, and with a wealth of unpolluted insights, this significant paintings (based at the author's Gifford Lectures of 1896-7) treats the imperative subject matters within the philosophy of faith and establishes either a foundation for spiritual confirmation this present day and a framework for the constructing world-wide inter-faith discussion. contains a new advent to the second one edition.
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Extra resources for An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent
The theistic and anti-theistic arguments are all inconclusive, for the special evidences to which they appeal are also capable of being understood in terms of the contrary worldview. Further, the opposing sets of evidences cannot be given objectively quantifiable values (Chapters 5-7). This religious ambiguity is a special case of the general fact that our environment is capable of being construed - in sense perception as well as ethically and religiously - in a range of ways. In a continuous activity of interpretation, usually operating in unconscious and habitual ways, we form hypotheses about its character or practical meaning for us which we then test in our behaviour.
And it is this inexpungible human contribution to religious awareness that accounts for the fascinating variations of religious thought, experience and practice around the globe and down the centuries, in all their rational and irrational, profound and shallow, impressive and absurd, morally admirable and morally reprehensible features. This last polarity is worth stressing. For the ethically mixed character of human nature is reflected in the religions of humanity. We see individuals and societies being morally and spiritually elevated by the claim of the Real touching them through their religious traditions, but we also see those same traditions being used as instruments of human selfishness, greed, cruelty and prejudice, both individual and corporate.
15 For it is used within the major theistic and non-theistic traditions and yet is neutral as between their very different ways of conceiving, experiencing and responding to that which they affirm in these diverse ways. I shall also however, for the sake of stylistic variety, sometimes use as synonyms 'the ultimately Real' and 'ultimate Reality' or even simply 'the Ultimate' or 'Reality'. There are many other terminological problems on a lower level. In discussing Hinduism and Buddhism, Judaism and Islam, it will be necessary to use terms taken from their sacred scriptures and their theological or philosophical literature.
An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent by John Hick (auth.)