Religious Reason

Religious Reason : The Rational and Moral Basis of Religious Belief

2.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

List price: US$11.91

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Product details

  • Hardback | 314 pages
  • 140 x 200 x 25mm | 481g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • 0195023889
  • 9780195023886

Review Text

A lucid, learned, Neo-Kantian view of the dynamism of belief. Green teaches religion at Dartmouth, and his book is an exemplary bit of pedagogy, guiding the reader through a careful exposition of the "requirements of pure religious reason," and then demonstrating how Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism meet those requirements. But his central thesis - that religious doctrines are not, as Rudolf Otto would have it, stuttering attempts to verbalize an ineffable encounter with The Holy, but rather the "conclusions of extended and largely covert processes of moral reasoning" - may strike many readers as too intellectualistic, putting the cart of rationality before the horse of experience. Green maintains that reason must enter the realm of religion in order to resolve the conflict between general and particular rationality in moral questions, i.e., what do I do in cases when following the moral law - which ought by rights to produce happiness - threatens that happiness and even, perhaps, my life? Since it would be just as "reasonable" to disobey as to obey, religion in some form must settle the question, or rather reason in its religious function must decide, because we can't transcend or abandon reason without abandoning our humanity. Green is surely right to stress the reasonableness of theology, e.g., when he interprets Christianity's break with Judaism as (among other things) an effort to find a more rational solution to certain contradictions in the parent religion, such as the one between God's justice and mercy. But to go beyond this and claim that belief is primarily a response to reason seems an unwarranted denial of what believers themselves have always told us. Nevertheless, an impressive performance. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

2 ratings
2.5 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 50% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X