The Philosophy of Religion

The Philosophy of Religion

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The Philosophy of Religion

The Philosophy of Religion

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Excerpt

ον + ̉κ ε + ̋στι λύειν ὰγνου + ̂ντα τὸν δεσμόν--ARISTOTLE.

BY philosophy of religion we may understand either a mode of thinking which is prompted by religion and takes religion as its foundation, or a mode of thinking which makes religion its object. In this work the word is used in the latter sense. That mode of thinking, which springs out of religion and interprets phenomena in a religious sense, forms part of the subject-matter of the philosophy of religion, and must not itself be called by that name.

The word "religion" stands in the main for a psychical state in which feeling and need, fear and hope, enthusiasm and surrender play a greater part than do meditation and inquiry, and in which intuition and imagination have the mastery over investigation and reflection. It is of course true that within the religious life itself an instinctive need of analysing its own state and content, the value of its motives, and the validity of its thinking is for ever cropping up. But the religious thinking which thus originates does not definitely occupy itself with the religious problem proper. The problems with which it deals arise within the boundaries of religion; religion itself never becomes a problem. Religion is taken as the starting-point as a matter of course, or, at any rate, in comparison with the religious, other standpoints are so subordinated as to possess no determinative significance. This is the nature of . . .

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