Religion: Beyond a Concept edited by Hent de Vries, New York: Fordham University Press, 2008 (Book Review)

Bigger, Stephen (2010) Religion: Beyond a Concept edited by Hent de Vries, New York: Fordham University Press, 2008 (Book Review).

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This large collection of 43 papers (soft-covered), some original and some reprinted, on religion’s past, present and future is the result of collaboration under the aegis of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, edited by Hent de Vreis who holds Professorial positions in Baltimore, Amsterdam and Paris. There are 45 contributors to a work in seven parts: What is Religion?; Religion and Philosophy; Methods of Instruction and Comparison; Emerging Contexts; Religion, Politics and Law; Materiality, Mediatization, Experience; and Spiritual Exercises, Selves, and Beyonds. It is planned as the first for five volumes... Looking at global conflict and tensions, the world needs a moral sense about human need and rights, and mechanism to control human greed. Emmanuel Levinas makes this point in Part II, linking the urgency of this with the holocaust. From this moral imperative builds a set of positive values, rooted in respect. Individuals need means of relating positively to others, and a sense of contributing to community. People need to be curious about life and its structures, mechanisms and processes. This curiosity needs to include questions of meaning, purpose and truth, not dogma forced by those with hegemony but honed through open and honest discussion and dialogue. The fundamental question is whether religions can enrich this process, or diminish it.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: BL Religion, HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare, HM Sociology
Members: University of Worcester
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2011 09:19
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 13:09

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