The Relevance of Religion

The Relevance of Religion Author John Danforth
ISBN-10 9780812997910
Year 2015-10-13
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Random House

Former United States senator and ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth offers a fascinating, thoughtful, and deeply personal look at the state of American politics today—and how religion can be a bridge over our bitter partisan divide. In an era of extreme partisanship, when running for office has become a zero-sum game in which candidates play exclusively to their ideological bases, Americans on both sides of the political aisle hunger for the return of a commitment to the common good. Too often, it seems, religion has been used as a wedge to divide us in these battles. But is it also the key to restoring our civic virtue? For more than a decade, John Danforth, who is also an ordained Episcopal priest, has written extensively on the negative use of religion as a divisive force in American politics. Now he turns to the positive, constructive impact faithful religious believers have and can have on our public life. The Relevance of Religion is the product of that period of reflection. In the calm and wise voice of the pastor he once aspired to be, Senator Danforth argues that our shared religious values can lead us out of the embittered, entrenched state of politics today. A lifelong Republican, he calls his own party to task for its part in creating a political system in which the loudest opinions and the most polarizing personalities hold sway. And he suggests that such a system is not only unsustainable but unfaithful to our essential nature. We are built to care about other people, and this inherent altruism—which science says we crave because of our neurobiological wiring, and the Bible says is part of our created nature—is a crucial aspect of good government. Our willingness to serve more than our self-interest is religion’s gift to politics, John Danforth asserts. In an era when 75 percent of Americans say they cannot trust their elected leaders, The Relevance of Religion is a heartfelt plea for more compassionate government—and a rousing call to arms for those wishing to follow the better angels of our nature. Praise for The Relevance of Religion “Using well-supported arguments deriving from his ministerial as well as legal background, Danforth asserts that traditional religious values of sacrifice, selflessness and a commitment to the greater good can and should have prominent roles in America’s politics. . . . Danforth’s arguments are staunchly supported and clearly explained. . . . For anyone who is faithful as well as political, he provides much food for thought.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch “John Danforth does his country another service after many. His book is both a serious critique of politicized religion and a strong defense of religion’s indispensable role in our common life. He talks of faith as an antidote to egotism, as a force for reconciliation, and as a source of public virtue. His case is illustrated through autobiography, in an honest, winsome, and sometimes self-critical tone. Danforth speaks for civility, collegiality, and useful compromise—and is compelling because he has demonstrated all those commitments himself over the decades.”—Michael Gerson, columnist, The Washington Post “In this wise and urgent book, John Danforth stands in the company of our great public theologians—Paul Tillich, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the brothers Niebuhr—as he envisions both religious and political practices that enable our better selves. Political participation, pursued well, cultivates generosity and patience, and is good for the soul. What better remedy for mending our broken politics?”—Charles Marsh, Commonwealth Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia From the Hardcover edition.

The Importance of Religion

The Importance of Religion Author Gavin Flood
ISBN-10 9781405189729
Year 2012
Pages 249
Language en
Publisher John Wiley & Sons

In spite of the noble efforts of scientific reason to reveal everything to us, in many ways the world remains a mysterious place. For so many people, religion continues to represent a decisive guide to navigating through the strange world we all inhabit - yet never in history has religion been more misunderstood. "The Importance of Religion" illuminates the central importance of religion in modern times, revealing how it crucially provides people with meaning to their lives and guides them in their everyday moral choices. Renowned religion scholar Gavin Flood argues that modern religions do not just represent passive notions about the nature of reality, but are active and inspirational - they show us ways of living, dying, choosing a good life, and inhabiting the strange and mysterious world of the twenty-first century. In a wide-ranging, engaging, and brilliant book, Flood discusses the nature and meaning of religion and spirituality, as well as religion's relationship with politics, science, evolutionary biology, human rights, culture, humanism, and more. "The Importance of Religion" offers rich insights into the myriad ways religion provides meaning to the lives of people and communities in the modern world.

Secular Philosophy and the Religious Temperament

Secular Philosophy and the Religious Temperament Author Thomas Nagel
ISBN-10 0199742057
Year 2009-12-18
Pages 184
Language en
Publisher Oxford University Press

This volume collects recent essays and reviews by Thomas Nagel in three subject areas. The first section, including the title essay, is concerned with religious belief and some of the philosophical questions connected with it, such as the relation between religion and evolutionary theory, the question of why there is something rather than nothing, and the significance for human life of our place in the cosmos. It includes a defense of the relevance of religion to science education. The second section concerns the interpretation of liberal political theory, especially in an international context. A substantial essay argues that the principles of distributive justice that apply within individual nation-states do not apply to the world as a whole. The third section discusses the distinctive contributions of four philosophers to our understanding of what it is to be human--the form of human consciousness and the source of human values.

Indian Philosophy of Religion

Indian Philosophy of Religion Author Aryasamayajula Ramamurty
ISBN-10 STANFORD:36105119478753
Year 2002-01-01
Pages 144
Language en

The Book Presents The Understanding Of Different Indian Philosophers On Some Of The Basic Problems Of Religion. Considering Diverse Schools And Systems Of Indian Philosophy, It Examines The Significance Of The Arguments Presented By The Philosophers For Grasping The Relevance Of Religious Theories And Concepts. In The Process, It Reformulates Some Of Them To Make Them Less Technical.

Chinese Religion

Chinese Religion Author Xinzhong Yao
ISBN-10 9781847064769
Year 2010-05-25
Pages 226
Language en
Publisher A&C Black

A new introduction To The field of Chinese religion and culture ideally suited to undergraduate students.

Religions and Development

Religions and Development Author Emma Tomalin
ISBN-10 9781136827488
Year 2013-07-03
Pages 296
Language en
Publisher Routledge

Religion has been excluded from development studies for decades. Religious traditions have contributed greatly towards development work, yet major international players have tended to ignore its role. Recent years have shown a noticeable shift in development policy, practice and research to recognize religion as a relevant factor. This text provides a comprehensive insight into different approaches towards the understanding the relationships between religions and development studies, policy and practice. It guides readers through current debates, presenting, explaining and critically evaluating a broad range of literature and locating it within a theoretical context. The text explores the role of religion within development, from positive contributions, such as the important role that many ‘faith-based organizations’ play in education or health care, to more complicated and contested notions of impact, such as religiously inspired violence or gender inequality. The book begins with three background chapters, outlining the relevance of religions for development studies, policy and practice, and introducing the reader to the study of ‘development’ and of ‘religions’. Following these, the focus then shifts to examine a number of thematic areas, including religion, gender and development, and the implications of the ‘rise of religion’ for mainstream development studies, policy and practice in the 21st century. Each chapter contains a range of features to assist undergraduate learning, including learning objectives for each chapter, discussion of key concepts, summaries, discussion questions, further reading and websites. The book also contains over sixty boxed case studies to provide further definition, explanation, and examples of the interactions between religions and development globally. This innovative text presents religions as something that can both obstruct and aid development, encouraging readers to engage critically with the multiple ways that religion impacts on both the conceptualization of development as well the resulting project interventions. This will be of interest to undergraduate, postgraduate students and scholars interested in religious studies, development studies, and the broader study of societies and cultures.

Theorising Religion

Theorising Religion Author James A. Beckford
ISBN-10 075464068X
Year 2006
Pages 257
Language en
Publisher Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

While religious forces are powerful in numerous societies, they have little or no significance for wide swaths of public or private life in other places. This book considers the classical roots of ideas about religion that dominated sociological ways of thinking about it for most of the twentieth century. Each chapter offers sound reasons for continuing to find theoretical inspiration and challenge in the sociological classics while also seeking ways of enhancing and extending their relevance to religion today.

Religion after Religion

Religion after Religion Author Steven M. Wasserstrom
ISBN-10 140082317X
Year 1999-11-15
Pages 384
Language en
Publisher Princeton University Press

By the end of World War II, religion appeared to be on the decline throughout the United States and Europe. Recent world events had cast doubt on the relevance of religious belief, and modernizing trends made religious rituals look out of place. It was in this atmosphere that the careers of Scholem, Eliade, and Corbin--the twentieth century's legendary scholars in the respective fields of Judaism, History of Religions, and Islam--converged and ultimately revolutionized how people thought about religion. Between 1949 and 1978, all three lectured to Carl Jung's famous Eranos circle in Ascona, Switzerland, where each in his own way came to identify the symbolism of mystical experience as a central element of his monotheistic tradition. In this, the first book ever to compare the paths taken by these thinkers, Steven Wasserstrom explores how they overturned traditional approaches to studying religion by de-emphasizing law, ritual, and social history and by extolling the role of myth and mysticism. The most controversial aspect of their theory of religion, Wasserstrom argues, is that it minimized the binding character of moral law associated with monotheism. The author focuses on the lectures delivered by Scholem, Eliade, and Corbin to the Eranos participants, but also shows how these scholars generated broader interest in their ideas through radio talks, poetry, novels, short stories, autobiographies, and interviews. He analyzes their conception of religion from a broadly integrated, comparative perspective, sets their distinctive thinking into historical and intellectual context, and interprets the striking success of their approaches.

The Cognitive Science of Religion

The Cognitive Science of Religion Author Asst Prof James A. Van Slyke
ISBN-10 9781409481652
Year 2013-06-28
Pages 188
Language en
Publisher Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

The cognitive science of religion is a relatively new academic field in the study of the origins and causes of religious belief and behaviour. The focal point of empirical research is the role of basic human cognitive functions in the formation and transmission of religious beliefs. However, many theologians and religious scholars are concerned that this perspective will reduce and replace explanations based in religious traditions, beliefs, and values. This book attempts to bridge the reductionist divide between science and religion through examination and critique of different aspects of the cognitive science of religion and offers a conciliatory approach that investigates the multiple causal factors involved in the emergence of religion.

The Social Significance of Religion in the Enlarged Europe

The Social Significance of Religion in the Enlarged Europe Author Mr Olaf Müller
ISBN-10 9781409483427
Year 2012-10-28
Pages 278
Language de
Publisher Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Engaging with some of the central issues in the sociology of religion, this volume investigates the role and significance of churches and religion in contemporary Western and Eastern Europe. Based on an extensive international research project, it offers case studies of various countries (including Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Hungary and Croatia), as well as cross-country comparisons. Researching more precisely the present social relevance of church and religion at different levels, The Social Significance of Religion in the Enlarged Europe raises and responds to both descriptive and explanatory questions: Can we observe tendencies of religious decline in the various Western and Eastern European countries? Are we witnessing trends of religious individualization? To what extent has there been a religious upswing in the last few years? And what are the factors causing the observed processes of religious change? Marked by its broad range of data and a coherent conceptual framework, in accordance with which each chapter assesses the extent to which three important theoretical approaches in the sociology of religion - secularization theory, the market model of religion, and the individualization thesis - are applicable to the data, this book will be of interest to scholars of sociology, politics and religion exploring religious trends and attitudes in contemporary Europe.

Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices

Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices Author Anna Fedele
ISBN-10 9780857452085
Year 2011-09-30
Pages 252
Language en
Publisher Berghahn Books

Social scientists and philosophers confronted with religious phenomena have always been challenged to find a proper way to describe the spiritual experiences of the social group they were studying. The influence of the Cartesian dualism of body and mind (or soul) led to a distinction between non-material, spiritual experiences (i.e., related to the soul) and physical, mechanical experiences (i.e., related to the body). However, recent developments in medical science on the one hand and challenges to universalist conceptions of belief and spirituality on the other have resulted in "body" and "soul" losing the reassuring solid contours they had in the past. Yet, in "Western culture," the body–soul duality is alive, not least in academic and media discourses. This volume pursues the ongoing debates and discusses the importance of the body and how it is perceived in contemporary religious faith: what happens when "body" and "soul" are un-separated entities? Is it possible, even for anthropologists and ethnographers, to escape from "natural dualism"? The contributors here present research in novel empirical contexts, the benefits and limits of the old dichotomy are discussed, and new theoretical strategies proposed.

Harmony of Religions

Harmony of Religions Author Kalarikkal Poulose Aleaz
ISBN-10 UOM:39015026867534
Year 1993-01-01
Pages 283
Language en
Publisher South Asia Books

This Book, The Outcome Of A Post-Doctoral Research In Philosophy, Is A Significant Contribution In The Field Of Theology Of Religions. It Identifies The Understanding Of Harmony Of Religions In Swami Vivekananda`S Thought.