A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of by Guy G. Stroumsa

By Guy G. Stroumsa

We see the observe “religion” all over, but will we comprehend what it skill, and is there a constant all over the world knowing? Who stumbled on faith and in what context? In a brand new technology, man Stroumsa deals an leading edge and robust argument that the comparative research of faith unearths its foundation in early sleek Europe. the area within which this new type emerged was once marked through 3 significant old and highbrow phenomena: the increase of ecu empires, that gave start to ethnological interest; the Reformation, which completely altered Christianity; and the discovery of philology, a self-discipline that remodeled Western highbrow proposal. in contrast advanced ancient backdrop, Stroumsa courses us during the lives and writings of the boys who got here to outline the note “religion.” As Stroumsa boldly argues, the fashionable learn of faith, a brand new technology, used to be made attainable via a dialectical approach among Catholic and Protestant students. historical Israelite faith, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Manichaeanism, Zoroastrianism, the sacred ideals of the recent global, and people of Greece, Rome, India, and China, composed the complicated flooring upon which “religion,” a latest class, used to be chanced on.

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Even when the issues are understood as separate, it is often assumed that belief in God needs to be based on some kind of metaphysical reasoning. But, as I will try to make clear, it is far from obvious that religious belief either needs or could have such a basis. I am not questioning the appropriateness of reflecting on religious belief, only the assumption that substituting the metaphysical question of God’s existence for the religious question is the best way to do that reflection. Throughout this book, I will suggest that closer attention to the features of religious belief in God will give us a better sense of what sort of reflection is most relevant to the issue of whether to have such a belief.

Belief in God Some people’s story about life makes use of the idea of God. In fact some people have difficulty telling their own story without referring to God. Their theological vocabulary is crucial to explaining their identity and the deeper meaning of their everyday activities. For these people belief in God is a life-orienting belief that is connected with a structured way of understanding who they are, what they are doing, and what is worth doing. To lose their belief in God would not be a minor modification in their thinking.

When the life-orienting story is a theistic one, the person who has his or her life-world shaped by the story believes in God. Acquiring this kind of belief is not a matter of adopting the hypothesis of God to explain the natural world and then considering some god-story. Response to a story that provides practical orientation is the primary source of belief in God, and any theorizing about the idea of God or reflecting on whether accepting the existence of God would be justified by reasoning from observations of the natural world is secondary.

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