Author: Augustine Perumalil
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172146140
In an age marked by indifference, if not open hostility, to religion, on the one side, and fundamentalism and intolerance of other religions on the other, the author takes a fresh look at religion to examine whether religion has adequate justification and also to determine whether religions have a common ground, a shared vision, an ubiquitous purpose, or a collective concern that unite them all, making conflicts superficial and avoidable.
Departing from the traditional emphasis on the externals of religion, namely, beliefs, institutions and practices, the author takes a close look at human nature, and human experiences to understand, define and justify religion. He finds that at this level religions share a common ground, and a common task.
He identifies, as the common ground of all religions, the experience of awe in the presence of something experienced as extraordinary, eliciting an attitude of surrender and worship. In religion’s attempt to create an environment conducive for seeking and achieving freedom from negativities of life such as fear, anxiety, and guilt on the one side, and a sense of final fulfillment, on the other, he finds a common goal and a collective task of religion. The differences among religions are presented as superficial, arising from historical and cultural accidents. The way ahead for humanity, therefore, is to emphasize experience, striving and liberation over interpretation, doctrine, institution and method.
General Principles of an Appropriate Approach to Religion
Classical Approaches to Religion
The Religious Attitude and Disposition
The Numinous Experience and its Object, the Sacred
The Essential Characteristics of Religion