Why Philosophy Matters for the Study of Religion--and Vice Versa

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2/17/2016
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $37.28 Save up to $26.10
  • Rent Book $11.18
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Work in philosophy of religion is still strongly marked by an excessive focus on Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Judaism -- almost to the exclusion of other religious traditions. Moreover, in many cases it has been confined to a narrow set of intellectual problems, without embedding these in their larger social, historical, and practical contexts. Why Philosophy Matters for the Study of Religion--and Vice Versa addresses this situation through a series of interventions intended to work against the gap that exists between much scholarship in philosophy of religion and important recent developments that speak to religious studies as a whole.

This volume takes up what, in recent years, has often been seen as a fundamental reason for excluding religious ethics and philosophy of religion from religious studies: their explicit normativity. Against this presupposition, Thomas A. Lewis argues that normativity is pervasive--not unique to ethics and philosophy of religion--and therefore not a reason to exclude them from religious studies. Lewis bridges more philosophical and historical subfields by arguing for the importance of history to the philosophy of religion. He considers the future of religious ethics, explaining that the field as a whole should learn from the methodological developments associated with recent work in comparative religious ethics and "comparative religious ethics" should no longer be conceived as a distinct subfield. The concluding chapter engages broader, post-9/11 arguments about the importance of studying religion arguing, that prominent contemporary notions of "religious literacy" actually hinder our ability to grasp religion's significance and impact in the world today.

Author Biography

Thomas A. Lewis is Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. His publications include Freedom and Tradition in Hegel: Reconsidering Anthropology, Ethics, and Religion (2005) and Religion, Modernity, and Politics in Hegel (2011).

Rewards Program

Write a Review