By John Hick (auth.)
An up to date new version of the groundbreaking research which takes complete account of the discovering of the social and old sciences while delivering a spiritual interpretation of the religions as diversified culturally conditioned responses to a transcendent Divine fact. Written with nice readability and strength, and with a wealth of unpolluted insights, this significant paintings (based at the author's Gifford Lectures of 1896-7) treats the important themes within the philosophy of faith and establishes either a foundation for spiritual confirmation at the present time and a framework for the constructing world-wide inter-faith discussion. encompasses a new creation to the second one edition.
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Extra resources for An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent
Nothing was left to them but God . . But the words of lovers when in a state of drunkenness must be hidden away and not broadcast. However, when their drunkenness abates and the sovereignty of their reason is restored - and reason is God's scale on earth - they know that this was not actual identity' (Zaehner 1961, 157-8). And I believe that the same is true of the Jewish mystics of the Kabbalah. I have argued this more fully elsewhere in relation to each of the great monotheisms (Hick 1999, ch.
Islam, one of the strictest of all monotheistic faiths, grew to early power among the herding people of the Arabian peninsula . . (1978, 190) Again, we cannot help noticing that in conflicts between 'Godfearing' nations each warring group has invariably believed that the deity was on its own side. 11 We shall have occasion to note 8 Introduction other such correlations later; but at this stage it is sufficient to make the point, which the history of religions abundantly illustrates, that human factors manifestly enter into the formation of religious concepts and into the ways in which the transcendent is believed to be encountered.
Had little understanding of secondary causes, the evils that befell society were assumed to be punishment from God; he must indeed be angry with his people, it was felt, if he visited so much suffering upon them. At the personal level also, the deaths and illnesses of individuals were interpreted as divine punishment for what they had done, even if in many cases no one could be sure what this had been. God was believed capable of bringing about the slaughter of countless enemy troops mostly conscripts at that - to ensure the victory of an army which had won his favour; and it must be remembered that orthodox doctrine had no doubt or qualms about his intention to damn the great majority of the world's population, including all babies who died unbaptized.
An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent by John Hick (auth.)