Harrison, Victoria. Philosophy of Religion, Fictionalism, and Religious Diversity
2010, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68(1-3): 43-58.
Added by: Emily PaulAbstract: Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this challenge? The paper considers fictionalism about religious discourse as a possible methodological standpoint from which to practice a tradition-neutral form of philosophy of religion. However, after examining some of the problems incurred by fictionalism, the paper concludes that fictionalism and religious diversity are uneasy bedfellows; which implies that fictionalism is unlikely to be the best theory to shape the practice of philosophy of religion in a multicultural context.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Keiji, Nishitani, Graham Parkes, Setsuko Aihara. The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism
1990, SUNY Press
, Contributed by: Quentin PharrPublisher’s Note: In May of this year I had the opportunity to give several talks on the topic of nihilism. Initially I intended to focus on the three themes of Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Buddhism. When I was twenty, the figures of Nietzsche and Dostoevsky burned a lasting impression deep into my soul-as I suppose they may still do to many young people even today-and the tremors I experienced at that time have continued to make my heart tremble ever since. The final theme, of Buddhist "emptiness," came to capture my interest more gradually. The connections among these three topics are not merely arbitrary or external. The nihilism that Dostoevsky plumbed so deeply has important connections with that of Nietzsche, as a number of critics have pointed out; and Nietzsche considers what he calls European nihilism to be the European form of Buddhism. Even though there may be in Nietzsche a radical misunderstanding of the spirit of Buddhism, the fact that he considered it in relation to nihilism shows how well attuned he was to the real issue. It was considerations such as these that inclined me toward these three themes in my discussion of nihilism.
Comment: This text is an excellent overview of both some of the themes within Nishitani's work as well as European conceptions of nihilism and its overcoming. In general, some appreciation of Nietzsche and aspects of Buddhism will help students navigate this book. But, it is largely expository, so it will often inform readers of what they need in the course of reading. This text will primarily be for students who are looking for an overall perspective on nihilism - especially, a Japanese one.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
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Comment: This paper is a great one to include as a further reading in a fictionalism unit, because it goes beyond this topic to examine its compatibility with the desire for a more multicultural philosophy of religion. It also reflects upon the discipline of philosophy of religion as a whole, which would be very interesting for the keener students. Alternatively, this could be used as a primary reading at the end of a course (that has covered fictionalism) to allow students to reflect upon the discipline of philosophy of religion as a whole.