The Philosophy of Religion

The philosophy of religion is a relatively young discipline whose history shows a statute essentially problematic about the object and method. As regards the object one wonders whether it is the natural religion or positive ones, historical, to be accepted as original phenomenon, irreducible to each other and then as a fundamental anthropological structure or as a real fact to be welcomed but also due to some other essential data of a particular historical context. In relation to the object there is the problem of the method: rational deduction, or descriptive phenomenology transcendental. But the first step is just to settle the claim itself of this discipline, and even more in the same notion as it puts itself in the tension and his attempt to pass between reason and religion. This discipline must not be confused with a philosophical theology that regardless of the positive religions aims to explore an approach purely philosophical to the divine or with the religious philosophy that has as its object of reflection and research the intelligibility of the accession to the belief of a specific faith. Therefore, the philosophy of religion can be defined as “the philosophical endeavor that involves taking action effectiveness of positive religions of all of their events, rituals, beliefs, spiritual attitudes, but also mental categories and patterns, in order to clear the their own intelligibility, puts them in a more global perspective of religious reflection on the evolution of humanity. ” The recent emergence of the philosophy of religion is due to the cultural revolution wrought by the Enlightenment, both in theoretical disciplines (autonomy of science from religion) and in those practices (separation of church and state), and responsible for the progressive secularization of society. It has encouraged the development of a purely historical approach to culture and then to religion, as its derivative phenomenon. The problem that arises is not so much then build a religion of reason but rather to understand the reason of religion.

Having in front of the rubble of the 30 years war, Spinoza identifies the freedom of thought the only way to restore peace in a political divided and afflicted by religious dissensions, and this can only happen if the state it is the guarantor of organizing the exercise exterior of religion, removing it from the arbitrariness of the theologians which interpret the Scriptures in an ideological way to maintain power through superstition and hatred. To remedy this situation Spinoza proposes a new method of exegesis that is similar to that of the natural sciences which starts from the sola scriptura. In the Bible, according to Spinoza, we must not look for the literal sense, grasping instead what is more universal, the moral law. On that alone you must obey. Faith is nothing but submission and execution of this law. Faith is placed on the level of action while it remains the task of the investigation speculative reason. It is the responsibility of the state standardize the first to secure peace and stability to the second: if a community wants to be sure, it is necessary that sentiment and religious worship are restricted to the practice of justice and charity and that the right of sovereign authority, both as part of the sacred in the profane, relating only to the outward conduct and actions of their subjects; as for the rest you leave to each one the faculty to think as he thinks and say what he thinks.

According to Kant, the philosophy can and should talk about religion, but within the limits of reason alone, and more precisely the practical reason that the subject shows what should and should not do. The religion then is placed in an area that is purely moral in terms of choice between good and evil. The moral is independent of religion, and indeed it is the foundation. Compared to the reason it has a dual time, one centripetal designed to bring practical reason in the content of their religion, especially of Scripture, and one centrifugal tension as the reason to go beyond itself, and this effort is supported by hope.

Hope is a necessary postulate of the moral to answer two basic questions: What can I expect if I have to do the good and how can I overcome the evil inclination. Kant rejects the end of moral happiness is (as for Aristotle), but it puts the Good itself, the Good sovereign in its absoluteness which is expressed in the categorical imperative (you have to do good). However, one cannot take into account the aspiration to happiness and frustration of the same on this earth often experience that those who pursue the good. Therefore Kant recovers as postulates (parerga) initially excluded certain principles: the immortality of the soul, the future life and the existence of God at the same time highlight the problem of evil in all its complexity (mysterium inquitatis): is it possible for a man to be capable of rational choices, avoiding to choose free evil? How can I hope to win this inclination?

The evil: what is evil? What is its origin, its nature, its radicalism, his passing? Evil does not exist in itself, nor coincides with the corruption of human nature. The evil of an action is not pre-existent compared to it but it is an action that puts in place so the root of evil is in the subject. It is therefore necessary to analyze the structure of moral action of the subject: wing base of each action there are a number of operational maximum followed by a series of fine subordinates. The evil lies at the level of these maxims when subvert the order of action prefixing the Sovereign Good (good for asset) end of a subordinate.

Our subjective order that does not match the objective (De Finance, wise about human). Kant says then the radical nature of evil in us an inclination to evil that we experience whenever we act. The freedom in its pure concept would have the choice between good and evil as equally as possible, and instead there is a bias towards evil, because freedom is enslaved. However, this inclination does not destroy the original provision of good that is within us. This may be rebutted by the evil that we do, because if it were not ontologically prior to it we would not have any guilt. Evil is always in man, but it is not original. To explain this paradox Kant uses the story of the Fall in Eden, but not giving it a historical significance, but symbolic. The sin of Adam does not mark a before and after but the present model to ourselves when we commit evil. This would avoid the infinite regress of freedom, enslaved, who have perpetuated the evil in history, but the reason must still stop: the first sin, the tempter that remains unexplained and excludes that man is originally evil. From this consideration, however, comes the hope of overcoming of evil and the restoration of the original provision to the asset with respect to which religion does not allow much insight: it provides the tools to implement it.

Exploring the conditions of possibility of the restoration of the original provision to the good, Kant affirms the indispensable nature of the effort and the acceptability of a moral divine adjuvant assistance. The problem of justification (Faith or Works) remains unresolved rather it is a constitutive element of the faith itself.

We cannot accept only faith, otherwise it would fail every ethical principle that only works because evil has corrupted the world. Effort and gift remain together in faith, but not in the historical person of Jesus Christ, but in that archetypal humanity that is pleasing to God, that the children of God that coexistence does not go against the reason why as the reason admits existence of freedom in us, despite its unintelligibility; it is not contrary to admit the coexistence and the compulsion of freedom and grace. Reason leads to its limits by opening the space to the field of positive religion and revealed the understanding of which is possible only through the schematism of analogy.

Schleiermacher: the philosophy of religion is a discipline on reflexive criticism that investigates an essential dimension of the human being that is its religiosity. It is recognized that religion not only by moral autonomy, and thus the practical reason, but of reason in its broadest sense, because it is more akin to intuition and feeling. It follows the idea that you cannot just study a religion, but a person must start from phenomenological understanding of positive religions. What is religion? It is the revelation of the One-Infinity to the human being, as a relationship of salvation. This revelation challenges the human faculties of intuition and feelings that are the basis of religious experience (and cannot be rationally understood without falling into the derogatory definitions of Marx's opium of the people, and Freud: collective neurosis). The starting point of religious experience is the self-consciousness that is what allows me to say and then I have an awareness of the world as something other than me and even more infinite otherness that exceeds the world itself. The intuition of the infinite becomes intuition of its contingency are in everything but they are not everything and this causes the feeling of absolute dependence. Religious experience is driven by these two faculties: the intuition which moves beyond themselves and feeling leads to themselves, but that experience is not closed on itself because it arouses desire and love. The source (the revelation) and the end (love) of this experience reveal an infinite personal God.

Each religion is presented as a particular perspective from which comes caught the one infinite: the followers of a religion lie in the wake of its founder, to gain experience of the one-infinity from that perspective, expressed in symbolic language. It follows that for the same infinity of the One as the inexhaustible symbolic language, the existence of multiple religions is not contradictory but rather inevitable. However, it is possible to evaluate the adequacy and depth of these prospects with respect of infinity.

The phenomenology of religion examines history of religions in order to identify the basic elements. Different in this respect can be approaches (evolutionist, diffusionist), but the starting point is always the same: when did it start? The answer to this question will affect any possible development because it is recognized that the religious man is constituted, and therefore has always been or considered as a superstructure. (The cult of the dead, for example in this sense is a crucial element to detect the humanity of archaeological finds). This, however, might suggest that different religions can be traced to a few original elements just as the cult of the dead. The second question then is: how did it develop? The phenomenological approach allows a three-pronged approach: eidetic reduction of whether the essence; transcendental consciousness as a bias on the transcendental subject; genetic understanding of the subject from his work. This allows you to put as central of the religious experience the manifestation of the divine religious subject in its historical context.

The religion is based on what? According to Otto, the foundation is precisely the experience of the sacred that is in this category, irreducible to other, under which subsume the various religious phenomena. The sacred can thus be described but not defined because its very nature escapes reason and refers to something that is over or the numinous which is precisely the other is not graspable, the divine. The religious phenomenon is well characterised by the manifestation of the divine to the subject through the sacred. The sacred allows you to gain experience of the numinous, of his being infinitely large and infinitely small of his being.

This feeling that accompanies the religious experience is original but not immediate because mediated by the sacred. This mediation allows you to go beyond the pure subjectivity and psychological grasp the elements that describe the Numinous: Mysterium Tremendum Fascinans. The mystery is what I can not penetrate: the totally Other. How can I talk to God and about God? Such a view seems to exclude the preambula fidei which is the summit of metaphysics. The experience of faith does not need proof of God's existence; it must be asked, however, if the faith disrupts the reason or expands it. The reason can proceed several stages: denial, the paradox (the ultimatum to et et) for when he founded the conflicting statements, Antinomia (coincidence of opposites). The numinous is tremendous: anything that arouses fear: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The numinous presents itself to me as awe-inspiring, something that rejects me and takes me away from you (too big for me are your thoughts) because of its size and strength, however, is also fascinating : attracts me, drives me to get close (take off your shoes because the land trample you is holy) motivated by the desire of salvation: the numinous presents itself to me as what can save me. Religious experience is, therefore, a dynamic reality, a path, the Way. Sanctus: Eight highlights the objective value of the numinous, its actually far more radical than any phenomenal reality and therefore really a reality not reducible to human thought from which the distinction between the sacred and the profane, and yet the sense of sin, as a relational concept even before guilt (the guilt does ask for healing, namely the removal of something external to us: relationship wound causes him salvation: relationship healed). Otto does not deny, however, that the religion of the highlights include rational but do not exhaust the depth. This is possible by means of the schematic or symbolic representation and analogy, which in its continuous strive for reality signified outlines a history of salvation. The possible criterion for comparison of the different religions may be the ability to blend the rational and irrational, and especially in divination, namely the ability to recognise the signs of the divine in the profane.

Toughness of the religious phenomenon: it is not the religious to be conducted to the layman but it is the religious movement that is central to human experience and allows you to approach the profane, in a dialectical relationship in which one continually refers to another.

The starting point is the experience of the sacred, in which the subject grasps the transcendent character of the sacred, from the point of ontological and axiological (ie normative-values). How do I experience the sacred? Through the holy event of the sacred in the profane that is possible in all areas and is always mediated: the object of hierophany no longer belongs to the layman but it becomes a sacred object, open to welcome the infinite in its finitude. Hierophany is characterized by the dynamism of three phases: the crisis, evaluation and choice, an act of faith . Every hierophany has always a hipness, therefore it needs to be interpreted, so Eliade also reiterates the centrality of the symbol: the religion is in fact a symbolic reality narrated in myth and updated in the rite. MYTH: It is more than a symbol, it is a symbolic story that mean in three directions: Cosmo, Other, Me: His poetic form tends to produce (poiesan) narrates that at the same time refers to a meta-verbal part, not the semantics of the symbol. The RITE discounts the myth, then proposes the answer to today's question of meaning contained in it. The ritual continues the interpretation of the holy event, because it is unique and needs its own structure but also to be interpreted unambiguously, hence the public nature of the ritual that establishes and preserves the community.

The approach to religion can not be systematic because its own nature and its inherent dynamism to the human becoming impracticable. The religion will end when man will end. Given this assumption it means to do philosophy of religion: in front of the philosophy of religion has questioned its essence (analysis of Being and Truth from their pre-understanding) that is how the thinking man can investigate the relationship with the divine . The starting point is the experience of searching for meaning, the center of which is the route of nowhere (nihil ens), the failure of the possibility of nothingness, that is, that I could not or I will not be, linking in this way to Thomas' third way, that of contingency. And this is nothing that I can capture the light of the whole, of a You that can not be personal (this implies his freedom, the opportunity to question him, the possibility of revelation). A similar perspective retrieves the historical concreteness and the symbolic nature of revelation. And every time the symbol should point beyond itself not to degenerate into idolatry or vice versa in atheism. The symbol is the place of the relationship between divine and human, and this report is free from both sides - atheism is not so incomprehensible in its various manifestations. The analysis focuses then on the believer and the characteristics of his faith, his prayer, community that is recognized in the same religion. The religion, in fact feeds on the relationship between faith and personal inner external worship community to the point that the subject himself with his gestures and his words became a symbol, the place of worship. It is the choice between the religion of the heart and the inconsistent.

Hearers of the Word: the basic aim of the work is to determine the status of the philosophy of religion than theology and therefore philosophically understand how it is possible that the absolute proves to be finished. It is therefore a matter metaphysics, then on being, then the man who first field in which man experiences the same being. Ranher outlines in this way metaphysical anthropology that draws on the rich tradition of Thomas, and then to the transcendental of Thomism of Mareschal. The philosophy of religion coincides with this metaphysical anthropology because it is a discipline that seeks to understand the relationship of man with God, and should therefore clarify the terms of this relationship: the theology investigates God, the metaphysical anthropology man. But it also seeks the man investigating the conditions of possibility of the revelation of God to man therefore intercepts the instances are of theology. The starting point is therefore the human subject in his spirituality and historicity.

Who is the man?

The man is the one who asks the question about being. Being in fact coincides with knowledge, or rather with the ability to know which vertex is the transcendental self-consciousness. For the man is asking the question on institutions. So it is the only one able to come back on if the complete return and identity between knowledge and being, knowing possesses being, his being, his ontological position. By abstracting bodies he knows, at then has the essences of entities on a ontological level. But the knowledge or possession it could not exist without prior understanding of being. Therein lies the spirituality of man. The infinity of being, however, should not be understood only in his preaching mentality, as if this was the sum of the infinite bodies or body most perfect bodies, but in his transcendentality. He does not have the be: him, in the act of being, and his essence coincide. And this perfect being, which is the perfection of perfections (ens, unum, bonum, verum convertuntur) can not be personal because otherwise it would be less than a perfect man. The man poses in front of Being: a substantial unity of spirit and body, and the body is placed in a space-time dimension. The history then is the place where God reveals Himself to man and where the man must try to live up to His requirements, the privileged instrument of a historical revelation. Man in his spirituality and historicity stands before God as a hearer of the word.


QR Code
QR Code the_philosophy_of_religion (generated for current page)