Defining Religion

Essays in Philosophy of Religion

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Robert Cummings Neville
  • Albany, NY: 
    State University of New York Press
    , January
     363 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Stephen Dawson forthcoming.


Provides a new orientation to philosophy of religion and a new theory of how religion ought to be defined.

In this collection of essays, written over the past decade, Robert Cummings Neville addresses contemporary debates about the concept of religion and the importance of the comparative method in theology, while advancing and defending his own original definition of religion. Neville’s hypothesis is that religion is a cognitive, existential, and practical engagement of ultimate realities—five ultimate conditions of existence that need to be engaged by human beings. The essays, which range from formal articles to invited lectures, develop this hypothesis and explore its ramifications in religious experience, philosophical theology, religious studies, and the works of important thinkers in philosophy of religion. Defining Religion is an excellent introduction to Neville’s work, especially to the systematic philosophical theology presented in his magisterial three-volume set Philosophical Theology.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Robert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology and Dean Emeritus of the School of Theology at Boston University. He is the author of many books, including The Good Is One, Its Manifestations Many: Confucian Essays on Metaphysics, Morals, Rituals, Institutions, and Genders, also published by SUNY Press.

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