Religion in Late Modernity

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SUNY Press, Jul 17, 2002 - Religion - 284 pages
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Religion in Late Modernity runs against the grain of common suppositions of contemporary theology and philosophy of religion. Against the common supposition that basic religious terms have no real reference but are mere functions of human need, the book presents a pragmatic theory of religious symbolism in terms of which the cognitive engagement of the Ultimate is of a piece with the cognitive engagement of nature and persons. Throughout this discussion, Neville develops a late-modern conception of God that is defensible in a global theological public.

Against the common supposition that religion is on the retreat in late modernity except in fundamentalist forms, the author argues that religion in our time is a stimulus to religiously oriented scholarship, a civilizing force among world societies, a foundation for obligation in politics, a source for healthy social experimentation, and the most important mover of soul.

  

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Contents

The Contingencies of Nature
9
Determinateness and Times Flow
13
Creation and Eternity
19
Symbols of Ontological Asymmetry
24
Human Nature
29
To Be under Obligation
31
The Human Condition
36
Orientation and Poise
39
The Causal Effectiveness of Religions
138
Qlobal Modernization and Religious Traditions
144
Maitreyan Strategies
150
Religion and Politics Spheres of Tolerance
158
Obligation and Civil Religion
162
Ultinuzcy and Religions Essential Features
164
Political Tolerance of Religions
166
Religion and Public Theology
169

Religious Symbols
45
The Reference of Religious Symbols
52
The Interpretation of Religious Symbols
57
The Truth of Religious Symbols
61
The Symbols of Divine Action
66
The Concept of God
67
What Can We Know about God?
72
When Can We Say God Is a Personal Agent?
77
When Should We Not Say God Is a Personal Agent?
84
Eternity and the Transformation of Soul
88
Plotinus and Eternity
91
The Transformation of Soul to Engage Eternity
95
The Engagement of Eternity
97
Eternity Engaged through the Temporal
100
Real and Illusory
102
Eternity and Immortality
105
Religion and Scholarship
109
Recent History of the Study of Religions
110
Participation and Distance in a Typology of the Study of Religions
115
Models of Spirituality among Historically Conscious Scholars
126
Religion and Society
131
World Society World Culture World Community
132
Religion and the American Experiment
171
The American Religious Scene
172
An Hypothesis
176
What Makes Religions Religious
179
Religion and Vital Engagement
184
Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Oversold
188
The Soul Transformed
192
A Challenge to Modernism
196
The Public Character of Theology and Religious Studies
203
Religions Philosophies and Philosophy of Religion
217
A Definition of Philosophy of Religion
221
The Problematic of Translation and Comparison
225
Comparison Philosophy and Theology
229
A Paleopragmatic Philosophy of the History of Philosophy
233
The Phenomenology Comparison and Lineages of Philosophies
235
Structures Insights Orientation
239
Truth Usability Fatlibitism
242
Notes
249
References
261
Index
269
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Robert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University and Dean of the School of Theology. His most recent books include Boston Confucianism: Portable Tradition in the Late-Modern World and the three edited volumes of The Comparative Religious Ideas Project: The Human Condition, Ultimate Realities, and Religious Truth, all published by SUNY Press.

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