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Contemplating Religious Forms of Life: Wittgenstein and D.Z. Phillips [Paperback]

Mikel Burley

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Book Description

July 26 2012 1441103252 978-1441103253
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) made profound contributions to many areas of philosophy and cultural understanding, and his thought and methods have inspired numerous inquirers into the forms of our religious life. D. Z. Phillips (1934-2006) pioneered the application of Wittgenstein-influenced approaches to the philosophy of religion, and emphasized the contemplative, non-dogmatic nature of the philosophical task. In Contemplating Religious Forms of Life, Mikel Burley elucidates and critically examines the work of these two philosophers in relation to various aspects of religion, including ritual, mystical experience, faith and reason, realism and non-realism, conceptions of eternal life, and the use of literature as a resource for the contemplation of religious and non-religious beliefs. The book will be of significant value to academics, students and general readers interested in philosophy, religious studies, theology, and the interrelations between these disciplines.

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‘Contemplating Religious Forms of Life is a pleasure to read. It is articulate, fair, and shows impressive familiarity with the relevant literature. Mikel Burley clearly brings out the value of D. Z. Phillips' influential Wittgensteinian approach to the philosophy of religion without ever denying or ignoring its weaknesses. This is a sympathetic and reliable guide to an enormous and controversial body of work.'—Duncan Richter, Professor of Philosophy, Virginia Military Institute, USA, and author of Wittgenstein at His Word
‘A well written book with a very clear understanding of Phillips' work. Burley criticizes Phillips' work while also explaining and appreciating the broad outlines of a Wittgensteinian approach to the study of religion. Students and scholars of religion will welcome this lucid and engaging assessment of the Swansea tradition of Wittgensteinianism. An excellent piece of writing.' -- Patrick Horn, Visiting Professor, Claremont McKenna College, USA, and author of Gadamer and Wittgenstein on the Unity of Language
Burley undertakes his task with energy and a pleasing style. He displays a thorough grasp of recent discussions concerning the impact both Wittgenstein and Phillips have had on philosophy of religion, and he engages well with those discussions. - Brian R. Clack, University of San Diego, Notre Dame Philosophical Review
Mikel Burley's book is highly insightful and should interest readers seeking to better understand the relevance of Wittgenstein and Phillips to philosophy of religion and some of the most important contemporary debates surrounding them.  Christopher Hoyt, Western Carolina University, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Burley has done us a great service in helping us to read [Wittgenstein and Phillips] more carefully. I highly recommend this book. - David Rozema (University of Nebraska-Kearney), American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly (Vol 88, No. 1)

About the Author

Mikel Burley is Lecturer in Religion and Philosophy at the University of Leeds, UK. His previous publications include two books on Indian philosophy, and articles on, among other things, philosophy of religion, ethics, literature, and reincarnation.

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