Religious Language

William P. Alston

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780195331356
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Religious Language

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Many philosophers and theologians have protested against the concentration of philosophers on religious statements to the neglect of other religious uses of language. Their complaint can be briefly summed up as follows. The heart of religion is found in talk to God in prayer, worship, and liturgy. Talk about God is a secondary phenomenon that gets its religious significance by its dependence on the former. The valid concerns of philosophers with statements about God can be pursued while recognizing their connections with the rest of religion. Instead of speaking of predicates of religious statements, one could speak of religious concepts. Because predicates express concepts, problems about the meaning of the former are translatable into problems about the content of the latter.

Keywords: religious language; religious statement; worship; religious concepts; prayer; theologians

Article.  12109 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Language

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