- Series: Thinking in Action
- Paperback: 147 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 25, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 041523333X
- ISBN-13: 978-0415233330
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On Religion (Thinking in Action) 1st Edition
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It's conventional wisdom not to bring up religion in casual conversation. The subject tends to polarize people into believers and skeptics. While one camp adduces little more than personal experience in support of their claims, the other is unwilling to admit much beyond the revelations of science. Neither is a satisfactory alternative for Caputo, who infuses his meditations in On Religion with ambiguity, uncertainty, and hopefulness. Caputo's book is not the fodder of tired collegiate debates. That is, it is neither a pro forma defense of religious belief nor a proof that God is not possible. It is a slender volume that is full of insights and an occasional touch of the profound.
Listen: "Religion is for lovers, for men and women of passion, for real people who believe in something, who hope like mad in something, who believe in something, who love something with a love that surpasses understanding." It's no wonder Caputo has carved out a niche for himself as one of the most sincere and thoughtful writers in today's continental philosophy. Among elitist thinkers who seem to pride themselves on jargon and labyrinthine writing, Caputo is a refreshing complement, refusing to believe that intellectual substance is at odds with clarity. His predilection for ethics and religion is manifest in his half dozen or so books on the subjects. On Religion, part of the Thinking in Action series, does justice to his depth. --Eric de Place
From Library Journal
Caputo (Radical Hermeneutics; philosophy, Villanova Univ.) claims that religion is not for the faint of heart. The radical instability of a life filled with faith and hope is transformational in the extreme, he cautions: "If safe is what you want, forget religion and find yourself a conservative investment counselor." Caputo writes with the immediacy and conviction of one who can fully understand his topic only by immersing himself in it. Intellectual without being overly academic, he considers ideas such as what it means to have a loving God, what is "religion without religion," and how the postmodern returns to religion by positing a "reality" beyond the real. When he writes that claims to religious truth are only interpretation at best and that humility should lead the way, one cheers his vigor and relishes his insights into the paradoxical, ambiguous nature of religion and religious belief. Recommended. Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., Pittsburgh
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Such a reader may be puzzled at first with the author's peculiar sense of humor. For John Caputo, people of the impossible, as he defines religious people, are also impossible people: "A good part of the problem with religion is religious people (without them, religion's record would be unblemished)". His religion borders on the atheistic, and he finds as much inspiration in a Star Wars episode as in Luke or Matthew. But his love of God is sincere when he echoes the prayers and tears of St. Augustine or records the story of the annunciation to the Blessed Virgin--who actually spoke French, we learn incidentally.
Actually, readers will find many sentences that would fit in a Sunday predication or an Evangelist's bestseller. "We are not supposed to earn a comfortable living off the Crucifixion, we are supposed to be crucified to the world." "God cannot simply spend six days creating the world and then throw the tools on the truck and drive off for a long week-end. We require God to be on the job around the clock." "When the love of God calls, we had better answer". "Religion is for lovers, for men and women of passion, for real people with a passion for something other than making profit." Even the parts that deal with deep philosophical issues are presented in a humorous and accessible manner ("There is no way to know The Way, no way that I know, anyway").
Readers may or may not agree with the precepts of a "religion without religion" that the author spells out at the end. Nor is his attack on established churches bound to earn him much support among the parish folks. But it is not so common to find a book that is at the same time inspirational and challenging, full of enthusiasm and slightly agnostic, easy to read without being an insult to the reader's intelligence.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are two interesting statements in Dr. Caputo's book On Religion which I particularly like.
1. In regards to abortion, Dr.Read more