Religious organisations including cults

The expanded interest in religious pluralism has led to extensivereflection on the compatibility and possible synthesis ofreligions. John Hick is the preeminent synthesizer of religioustraditions. In an important book, Hick (1974) advanced a complexpicture of the afterlife involving components from diversetraditions. Over many publications and many years, Hick has moved froma broadly based theistic view of God to what Hick calls “theReal,” a noumenal sacred reality. Hick claims that differentreligions provide us with a glimpse or partial access to the Real. Inan influential article, “The New Map of the Universe ofFaiths,” Hick raised the possibility that many of the greatworld religions are revelatory of the Real.

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There are six edited volumes of texts and various volumes of essays dealing with African Religion.

Cults and Sects - Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

While this field is vital for philosophy, philosophy of religion mayalso make a pivotal contribution to religious studies andtheology. Religious studies often involve important methodologicalassumptions about history and about the nature and limits of religiousexperience. These invite philosophical assessment and debate. Theologymay also benefit from philosophy of religion in at least twoareas. Historically, theology has often drawn upon, or been influencedby, philosophy. Platonism and Aristotelianism have had a majorinfluence on the articulation of classical Christian doctrine, and inthe modern era theologians have often drawn on work by philosophers(from Hegel to Heidegger and Derrida). Another benefit lies inphilosophy's tasks of clarifying, evaluating, and comparing religiousbeliefs. The evaluation has at times been highly critical anddismissive, but there are abundant periods in the history of ideaswhen philosophy has positively contributed to the flourishing ofreligious life. This constructive interplay is not limited to thewest. The role of philosophy in distinctive Buddhist views ofknowledge and the self has been of great importance. Just asphilosophical ideas have fueled theological work, the great themes oftheology involving God's transcendence, the divine attributes,providence, and so on, have made substantial impacts on importantphilosophical projects. (Hilary Putnam, for example, has linked thephilosophy of truth with the concept of a God's-eye point ofview.)

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A third reason is historical. Most philosophersthroughout the history of ideas, east and west, have addressedreligious topics. One cannot undertake a credible history ofphilosophy without taking philosophy of religion seriously.

Human awareness of the existence of the many religions in the world, today, is unprecedented.
It was expected that the modernization process would lead to a decline in religious fervor.

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Philosophy of religion addresses embedded social and personalpractices. Philosophy of religion is therefore relevant to practicalconcerns; its subject matter is not all abstract theory. Giventhe vast percentage of the world population that is either aligned withreligion or affected by religion, philosophy of religion has a securerole in addressing people's actual values and commitments. A chief pointof reference in much philosophy of religion is the shape and content ofliving traditions. In this way, philosophy of religion may be informedby the other disciplines that study religious life.

Nothing is held to be truer than the feeling of righteousness, being faithful, morally pure, and the idea of an exalted higher purpose- religion.

More essays like this: religious cults, the moonies, reverend myung

In the face of the problem of evil, some philosophers and theologiansdeny that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. John Stuart Mill tookthis line, and panentheist theologians today also question thetraditional treatments of Divine power. According to panentheism, Godis immanent in the world, suffering with the oppressed and working tobring good out of evil, although in spite of God's efforts, evil willinvariably mar the created order. Another response is to think of Godas being very different from a moral agent. Brian Davies and othershave contended that what it means for God to be good is different fromwhat it means for an agent to be morally good (Davies 2006). A moredesperate strategy is to deny the existence of evil, but it isdifficult to reconcile traditional monotheism with moralskepticism. Also, insofar as we believe there to be a God worthy ofworship and a fitting object of human love, the appeal to moralskepticism will carry little weight. The idea that evil is a privationor twisting of the good may have some currency inthinking through the problem of evil, but it is difficult to see howit alone could go very far to vindicate belief in God'sgoodness. Searing pain and endless suffering seem altogether real evenif they are analyzed as being philosophically parasitic on somethingvaluable. The three great monotheistic traditions, with their ampleinsistence on the reality of evil, offer little reason to try todefuse the problem of evil by this route. Indeed, classical Judaism,Christianity and Islam are so committed to the existence of evil thata reason to reject evil would be a reason to reject these religioustraditions. What would be the point of the Judaic teaching about theExodus (God liberating the people of Israel from slavery), or the Christianteaching about the incarnation (Christ revealing God as love andreleasing a Divine power that will, in the end, conquer death), or theIslamic teaching of Mohammed (the holy prophet of Allah who isall-just and all-merciful) if slavery, hate, death, and injustice didnot exist?

From a personal perspective I think of old times dresses, horse drawn buggies, beards, farm lands and an extremely religious set of people.

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How one settles the argument will depend on one's overall convictionsin many areas of philosophy. The holistic, interwoven nature of boththeistic and atheistic arguments can be readily illustrated. If youdiminish the implications of religious experience and have a highstandard regarding the burden of proof for any sort of religiousoutlook, then it is highly likely that the classical arguments forGod's existence will not be persuasive. Moreover, if one thinks thattheism can be shown to be intellectually confused from the start, thentheistic arguments from religious experience will carry littleweight. Testimony to have experienced God will have no more weightthan testimony to have experienced a round square, and non-religiousexplanations of religious experience—like those of Freud (aresult of wish-fulfillment), Marx (a reflection of the economic base)or Durkheim (a product of social forces)—will increase theirappeal. If, on the other hand, you think the theistic picture iscoherent and that the testimony of religious experience provides someevidence for theism, then your assessment of the classical theisticarguments might be more favorable, for they would serve to corroborateand further support what you already have some reason to believe. Fromsuch a vantage point, appeal to wish-fulfillment, economics, andsocial forces might have a role, but the role is to explain why someparties do not have experiences of God and to counter the charge thatfailure to have such experiences provides evidence that there is noreligious reality. For an excellent collection of recent work onexplaining the emergence and continuation of religious experience,see Schloss and Murray (eds.) 2009.