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Download Global Philosophy of Religion: A Short Introduction (Oneworld Short Guides) epub

by Joseph Runzo

The author is abundantly successful in showing the importance of argument in matters of religion. I don't know of another book that does this with as much success over such a range of materials. —Professor Paul Griffiths, University of Chicago
Download Global Philosophy of Religion: A Short Introduction (Oneworld Short Guides) epub
ISBN: 185168235X
ISBN13: 978-1851682355
Category: Religion
Subcategory: Religious Studies
Author: Joseph Runzo
Language: English
Publisher: Oneworld Publications; Edition Unstated edition (March 26, 2001)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1725 kb
FB2 size: 1827 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 989
Other Formats: azw mobi lit doc

Runzo's introduction is not complex and his philosophy of religion arouses interest in Buddhist and Hindu philosophies for those finding themselves absorbed in Western religious traditions, which are lumped together with little differentiation between them. The weight of the global religious perspectives are discussed from the Buddhist and Hindu viewpoints. (with respect to their nuances) This is a welcome approach to take.

Runzo defines religion simply as 'a search for meaning beyond materialism' [13] different from philosophy in that it holds 'that the examined life points to a Transcendent.' [19] I suppose that is an acceptable definition. The hurdle of religious pluralism is not skirted, despite the unifying factor of the belief in a Transcendent and perceived interaction with it in the World Religions. But the cardinal importance of philosophy for any religious worldview is thrust in this way:

'Insofar as theology or philosophical religion strives to present a rational case, rather than to be merely polemical or poetic, it will need to conform to the clarificatory demands of coherence, cognitive significance, intelligibility, and parsimony, and to the justificatory demands of plausibility, consistency, logic of proof, and provision of firm evidential support -- and this is to engage in doing philosophy.' [26]

Here you will find theistic and non-theistic religious metaphysics; the classical arguments for monotheism, counterbalanced with the logical and probabilistic formulations of the argument from evil (along with theism's theodician and libertarian answers to these); religious epistemology and personal experiences; properly basic beliefs; metaethics; the oft-purported friction between science and religion; value and meaning; the problem of predicating the Transcendent; the afterlife; Pascal's Wager as a departure point for the rationality of accepting some form of religion (Runzo does not endorse this); and love and how it relates to the Transcendent.

How might one summarize the merits of this book? If one comes to this subject hostile to religion they will perhaps walk away after reading Runzo a little more open-minded. If they come from some particular religious tradition they might well be moved to appreciate the reality of religious pluralism in our world, less restricted in their religious outlook. I esteem this a worthy, accessible (short) introduction to the philosophy of religion.