9780199676439

Divine Teaching and the Way of the World A Defense of Revealed Religion

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780199676439

  • ISBN10:

    0199676437

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-07-18
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Samuel Fleischacker defends what the Enlightenment called "revealed religion": religions that regard a certain text or oral teaching as sacred, as wholly authoritative over one's life. At the same time, he maintains that revealed religions stand in danger of corruption or fanaticism unless they are combined with secular scientific practices and a secular morality. The first two parts of Divine Teaching and the Way of the World argue that the cognitive and moral practices of a society should prescind from religious commitments -- they constitute a secular "way of the world," to adapt a phrase from the Jewish tradition, allowing human beings to work together regardless of their religious differences. But the way of the world breaks down when it comes to the question of what we live for, and it is this that revealed religions can illumine. Fleischacker first suggests that secular conceptions of why life is worth living are often poorly grounded, before going on to explore what revelation is, how it can answer the question of worth better than secular worldviews do, and how the revealed and way-of-the-world elements of a religious tradition can be brought together.

Author Biography


Samuel Fleischacker is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His previous work has focused on Enlightenment moral and political thought, especially that of Kant and Adam Smith, and on conceptions of culture, liberalism and distributive justice. He is the author of A Third Concept of Liberty (Princeton, 1999) and A Short History of Distributive Justice (Harvard, 2004) and editor of Heidegger's Jewish Followers (Duquesne, 2008). In 2009 his book, On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, was given the 2009 Joseph B. Gittler Award by the American Philosophical Association, for an outstanding book in the philosophy of social science. Since 2010, he has been Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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