Is There a Sabbath for Thought? Between Religion and Philosophy

Is There a Sabbath for Thought? Between Religion and Philosophy

Is There a Sabbath for Thought? Between Religion and Philosophy

Is There a Sabbath for Thought? Between Religion and Philosophy

Synopsis

Seeking to renew an ancient companionship between the philosophical and the religious, this book's meditative chapters dwell on certain elemental experiences or happenings that keep the soul alive to the enigma of the divine. William Desmond engages the philosophical work of Pascal, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Shestov, and Soloviev, among others, and pursues with a philosophical mindfulness what is most intimate in us, yet most universal: sleep, poverty,imagination, courage and witness, reverence, hatred and love, peace and war. Being religious has to do with that intimate universal, beyond arbitrary subjectivism and reductionist objectivism. In this book, he attempts to look at religion with a fresh and open mind, asking how philosophy might itself stand up to some of the questions posed to it by religion, not just how religion might stand up to the questions posed to it by philosophy. Desmond tries to pursue a new and different policy, one faithful to the light of this dialogue.

Excerpt

The Intimate Universal

How speak of the space between religion and philosophy, how speak in that space? What are some of the questions, disconcertments, disquiets occasioned by that space between? What release or confinement—of thought itself, of reverence—is possible there? What enabling or endowing there? What provocation of one by the other? What agon between religion and philosophy, and what affinity or bond? What sleep and peace there, what poverty, or courage or enmity there? Is there a Sabbath for thought there?

These are some of the perplexities addressed in this book. They ask for thorough consideration, and they might be pursued in different ways. One way might be a more systematic exploration of the philosophy of religion, or of God. Such an exploration has its rights but this is not the occasion to undertake that exploration in its proper amplitude. Another way would be more meditative, dwelling on certain elemental experiences or happenings, or exposures that keep the soul alive to the enigma of the divine. The chapters of this book are written more in the spirit of this second way. They are meditative reflections on themes at the limit of systematic comprehension, reflections not devoid of systematic resources though these resources are not here put too much in the . . .

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