Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Discipline Proper to the Study of the Truth Proper to Religion

You know there are times when you just wish you'd come across or been told about a book earlier on in your studies? Well, I've recently stumbled upon two, each of which relate to the question of what discipline is best for the study of religious truth.

The first is a monograph by Donald Wiebe (1981) entitled Religion and Truth: Towards an Alternative Paradigm for the Study of Religion and argues that, since religious truth is primarily propositional (he does consider non-propositional truth but finds it problematic) then religious studies is able to ask questions regarding the truth of religion. He spends less time exploring whether the correspondence theory of truth is the theory of truth proper to religious propositions, than he does arguing that religious truth is primarily propositional. So it's a good one to get your teeth into and really problematise.

Secondly, I found an edited collection called Phenomenology of the Truth Proper to Religion, edited by Ganiel Guerriere (with contributions from Louis Dupre, Edward Farley, Merold Westphal, Richard Kearney, Jack Caputo and Walter Lowe) that explores the question of the type of truth proper to religion from the spectrum of phenomenological subdisciplines: existential, hermeneutic, ethical, deconstructive, and transcendental.

Oh to have located these studies earlier! They are both very useful for the sections of my thesis in which I consider the interdisciplinary nature of my project, particularly the relationships between religious studies, theology, and philosophy (incl. phenomenology). It's also been useful in mounting an argument against the routine exclusion of the religious elements of life and, therefore, of truth by theorists of truth. So a very useful find.

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