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The Re-enchantment of the World: Art versus Religion Paperback – Bargain Price, April 19, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

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...strives mightily and most impressively with the thesis that art can restore meaning to life after the 'demise' of religion...This book is chock full of edifying loops and excursions. Jerome Gellman Mind Vol 118 October 2009

About the Author


Gordon Graham is Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts, Princeton Theological Seminary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (April 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199581371
  • ASIN: B007PMO2XW
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.6 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,184,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon Graham is Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary in the USA, and has also served as Adjunct Professor of Sacred Music at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He formerly taught philosophy in Scotland, first at the University of St Andrews (1975-95) and then at the University of Aberdeen (1996-2006). He has published both college textbooks and research monographs on a wide range of philosophical topics relating to art, education, ethics, politics, religion, and technology. The most recent is Wittgenstein and Natural Religion (Oxford University Press, 2014).
At Princeton he is Director of the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy, and editor of the Journal of Scottish Philosophy, which he founded in 2003. He is also founder of the International Association for Scottish Philosophy. Scottish Philosophy in the 19th and 20th Centuries, which he has edited, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

He is founding editor of The Kuyper Center Review, which publishes new work on themes in politics, education, religion and culture related to the neo-Calvinist tradition of thought, and especially the work of the 19th century Dutch theologian, politician and educator, Abraham Kuyper.

An Anglican priest ordained in the Scottish Episcopal Church, he currently holds a licence in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.

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Format: Paperback
As an atheist I am generally suspicious about books with "religion" in the title, and as an enthusiast about art, I should have been even more worried about a book written by a professor in a theology seminary with "art versus religion" in its title. However this book (by a professor of philosophy) really is written for anyone, atheists and agnostics included, who might be worried about the way things are going in our world today, and what the arts can do about it. The first chapter on "Spheres of Meaning" is particularly engaging. It sets up the theme for the book. The second on secularization and secularism makes a reasonable distinction between these two terms. The next five chapters cover various art forms: visual art, literary art, musical art, architecture, and festival (i like the inclusion of the last). Surprisingly, for a work that features a religious perspective Friedrich Nietzsche is a major hero, hence the discussion of the "dance of life" in the concluding pages. I found myself thinking about the issue of whether or not we could find a truth outside of science by which we could live our lives, and whether and to what extent the arts can answer this question. I did in the end, however, remain skeptical of talk about humans as "embodied spirits" and the need for us to deal with "the infinite." I still think of "infinite" as a mathematical concept that has nothing to do with the meaning of my life. I may seek for self-transcendence, and may even be attracted to Nietzsche's idea that this can be achieved through saying "yes" to life (along with the transvaluation of values) but this does not require looking to some transcendent source of meaning. The alternative is not just "amusing ourselves to death" as the author suggests.Read more ›
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