University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Religion: Beyond a Concept edited by Hent de Vries, New York: Fordham University Press, 2008 (Book Review)

Bigger, Stephen (2010) Religion: Beyond a Concept edited by Hent de Vries, New York: Fordham University Press, 2008 (Book Review). Journal of Beliefs and Values, 31 (2). pp. 235-241. ISSN 1361-7672

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This large collection of 43 papers (soft-covered), some original and some reprinted, on religion’s past, present and future is the result of collaboration under the aegis of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, edited by Hent de Vreis who holds Professorial positions in Baltimore, Amsterdam and Paris. There are 45 contributors to a work in seven parts: What is Religion?; Religion and Philosophy; Methods of Instruction and Comparison; Emerging Contexts; Religion, Politics and Law; Materiality, Mediatization, Experience; and Spiritual Exercises, Selves, and Beyonds. It is planned as the first for five volumes... Looking at global conflict and tensions, the world needs a moral sense about human need and rights, and mechanism to control human greed. Emmanuel Levinas makes this point in Part II, linking the urgency of this with the holocaust. From this moral imperative builds a set of positive values, rooted in respect. Individuals need means of relating positively to others, and a sense of contributing to community. People need to be curious about life and its structures, mechanisms and processes. This curiosity needs to include questions of meaning, purpose and truth, not dogma forced by those with hegemony but honed through open and honest discussion and dialogue. The fundamental question is whether religions can enrich this process, or diminish it.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: religion, philosophy of religion, sociology of religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Copyright Info: This is the submitted copy. Publication date: Summer 2010
Depositing User: Stephen Bigger
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 15:19
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2015 14:26

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