Religious Epistemology

Nicholas Wolterstorff

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Religious Epistemology

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Adherence to a religion, and participation therein, typically incorporate such actions as worship, prayer, meditation, self-discipline, commemorating certain persons and events, treating certain writings as canonical, allowing one's beliefs and actions to be formed by one's own and others' interpretation of those writings, acting in certain characteristic ways in society, and associating with one's fellow adherents for all the above activities. Typically they also incorporate a variety of propositional attitudes: hoping that certain events will take place, trusting that certain events will take place, regretting that certain events did take place, believing that certain things are true about God, about the cosmos, about the natural world, about human beings—their misery and glory, their history, their institutions. Wittgenstein's phrase “form of life” is appropriate: adherence to and participation in a religion is a form of life.

Keywords: religious epistemology; meditation; self-discipline; cosmos; natural world; form of life

Article.  12479 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Religion ; Epistemology

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