The Logic of Religion

The Logic of Religion

Jude P. Dougherty
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 184
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt284x2c
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  • Book Info
    The Logic of Religion
    Book Description:

    The Logic of Religion presents an examination of the nature of religion from a philosophical perspective. In successive chapters classical, medieval, and modern authors are canvassed for their views

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1821-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. I RELIGION AS AN OBJECT OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY
    (pp. 1-13)

    The focus of this study is Western religion. The word “religion” is itself a Latin word, and its meaning is to be found in the classical texts where it is first employed. The concept itself antedates the word. We find extended discussions of religion in antiquity and later in the Middle Ages. In the chapters which follow, many authors could have been canvassed for their views, but it serves the purpose of this inquiry to consider the thought of a representative few, beginning in antiquity with Socrates, Plato, Cicero, and Seneca and then moving to the Middle Ages as represented...

  4. II GREEK AND ROMAN INSIGHTS INTO THE NATURE OF RELIGION: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca
    (pp. 14-24)

    The Greek mind had a well-developed sense of “piety,” piety in the sense that it disposed one to acknowledge debt, e.g., to one’s parents, to one’s country, and to the wellsprings of one’s being.

    Socrates (470–399 b.c.) was charged with impiety and thus corrupting the youth because he did not recognize his debt to the gods accepted by the state. Yet it is well known that Socrates was the enemy of neither morality nor the state, affirming as he did that the wise man is both good and happy. This doctrine has a bearing on the present topic, namely,...

  5. III CHRISTIAN CONCEPTIONS OF BELIEF: Early Church Fathers, Augustine
    (pp. 25-35)

    With the advent of Christianity, Western thought underwent a dramatic shift. At the beginning of the Christian era there prevailed in Hellenistic philosophy the image of a universe imbued with reason and consequently shorn of mystery. The universe was regarded as intelligible, its design discernible by science and philosophy. With the teachings of Christ and the Apostles the cosmos of the Greeks took on new meaning.

    Although Christianity was not introduced as a body of knowledge in opposition to Greek and Roman philosophy—that is, as one doctrine against another doctrine—its alternative character soon became apparent. In contrast to...

  6. IV THE RELATION OF FAITH TO REASON IN AQUINAS AND THE REFORMERS: Aquinas, Luther, Calvin
    (pp. 36-52)

    St. Thomas Aquinas (1224–74) is regarded as the greatest of medieval theologians, and the study of his philosophy has been recommended by every pope since his death. It was specifically endorsed by Leo XIII in his encyclical Aeternae Patris (1879), which enjoined the Catholic world to study Thomas as an antidote to the secular and atheistic philosophies of his day. Thomas is studied by both theologians and philosophers. His commentaries on the works of Aristotle remain among the most authoritative ever written.

    Thomas brought to his study of the Catholic faith not only Plato, the Neoplatonists, the Stoics, and...

  7. V MODERN INTERPRETATIONS OF RELIGION, I: Hume, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard
    (pp. 53-88)

    With John Locke, David Hume (1711–76) is one of the most influential philosophers of the eighteenth century. Outside of philosophical circles, Hume is best known for his six-volume History of England, which appeared between 1754 and 1776. Following his death, at least fifty editions of his History of England appeared before 1894. He is regarded as one of the best writers of scientific prose in the history of English letters.¹

    Although Hume was brought up as a Calvinist, at a fairly early age he discarded those teachings. His doctrine of causality led him to deny that there is any...

  8. VI MODERN INTERPRETATIONS OF RELIGION, II: Mill, Marx, Dewey, Freud
    (pp. 89-112)

    It remains necessary to consider additional attitudes or theories of religion that gained widespread acceptance in the English-speaking world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We begin with John Stuart Mill (1806–73), whose influence in the United States was pronounced. Equally important were the works of Marx and Freud. Mill was especially influential on the work of John Dewey, whose impact on the American educational system is enduring. Accepting the empiricist argument that there is no evidence for the existence of God, Mill and Dewey both address the question: “Given the reality of religion, is it useful to society,...

  9. VII RELIGION AND THE STATE IN WESTERN DEMOCRACIES: Jacques Maritain
    (pp. 113-132)

    Throughout the course of Western history, kings, princes, and statesmen as well as philosophers have recognized the importance of the unity of thought among the peoples subject to rule. To preserve its very being, it has been thought the state must preserve that which bonds the people and makes a nation possible. Almost without exception, until the rise of nationalism in recent centuries it has been religion which has provided the common Weltangschuung. Atheism was condemned by Plato. In ancient Greece heresy was often regarded as a capital offense. The religious deviant was regarded as a threat to the state....

  10. VIII RELIGION AND THE STATE UNDER U.S. CONSTITUTION: John Courtney Murray
    (pp. 133-146)

    Maritain’s contribution to the discussion is an analysis which shows religion’s indispensable function in society and the concomitant obligation of the state to provide an impartial and unencumbered aid to ensure enlightened internal development within religious bodies. This development alone makes possible a superior cultural contribution. John Courtney Murray (1904–67) was to carry Maritain’s analysis one step further. Although focusing primarily on the situation in the United States, his observations transcend time and place. Like John Adams two centuries before, he wished to find those truths which all Americans presumably shared by virtue of citizenship. The basic problem, he...

  11. IX ORIENTAL RELIGIONS AND SIMILAR CULTURAL MANIFESTATIONS: Buddhism, Confucianism
    (pp. 147-158)

    The theories of religion heretofore considered subsequent to the classical period have focused on Christianity. While Christianity shaped Western culture and in fact may be said to define Western identity, a full treatment of religion from an historical or sociological perspective would have to consider the religions of the Middle East and the Far East as well as manifestations of religion in a primitive stage. The word “religion” as commonly employed is rather elastic, and it is difficult to define it in such a way that it will suit all scholars and be adequately applicable to all the phenomena which...

  12. X THE UNITY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
    (pp. 159-168)

    The focus of this study is Western religion. Its salient features, however, are analogously present in Eastern religion and other cultural expressions. Considerations of Eastern religion and primitive religion are instructive, indeed indispensable, in understanding the logic of religion. Yet the far greater mass of material available for the study of Western culture leads naturally to its exemplar status as we consider the distinctive features of religion. Our knowledge of the West is more intimate and internal as is evident from the authors who are considered in this discussion. The other great world cultures have achieved their own synthesis between...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 169-172)
  14. Index
    (pp. 173-178)