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The Forum > Article Comments > The interaction between phenomenology and religion > Comments

The interaction between phenomenology and religion : Comments

By James Page, published 30/12/2014

How we regard the world, and sexuality, has been long a vexed issue for religions, but a phenomenological approach to religion potentially allows us to celebrate a more aesthetic approach to life.

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Have we had the requisite number of religiously-themed Christmas articles yet? Can we get back to something important and interesting now?
Posted by Jon J, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 5:32:22 AM
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Interesting essay, and certainly one of the better ones that has appeared on this site - if not the best one.
These references which in one way or another are on the very important topic of Phenomenology were written by the most phenomenal Teacher Who has ever appeared on this planet.
1. http://www.beezone.com/AdiDa/touch.htm radical somatic ontology
2. http://www.aboutadidam.org/readings/transcending_the_camera/index.html Artists Statement
3. http://www.adidamla.org/newsletters/newsletter-aprilmay2006.pdf The Realization of The Beautiful - on the origins of the dismal anti-ecstatic materialism that patterns our entire "culture", and therefore limits our perception of arising phenomena, creating the illusion that Reality is entirely "out there"
4. http://www.aboutadidam.org/newsletters/newsletter-february2004.pdf Right Human Life & the "Culture" of Death - our entire "culture" is patterned by death
5. http://spiralledlight.wordpress.com multiple references on ontology and phenomenology
Posted by Daffy Duck, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 11:40:23 AM
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>>having all understandings now open to question and debate does not necessarily need to be bewildering, including for people who would describe themselves as people of faith.<<

A blind person can have a good understanding of the concept of colour in physics, and if he/she himself/herself is a professional physicist this understanding will be certainly better than that of a sighted personís who is not a physicist. Nevertheless, bewildering or not, the blind professional's understanding of colour will lack the dimension of insider knowledge, i.e. experience of colour, e.g. in the beauty of a sunrise, which the sighted person, even uneducated, takes for granted.
Posted by George, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 8:35:43 PM
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Garble garble yarp yarp. A jumble of unfalsifiable propositions.

"it is sometimes said that phenomenology is becoming more theological, and theological discourse more phenomenological."

Pretty much says it all.

There is no more fundamental moral and intellectual error than to fail to distinguish between what is true and what is untrue, between social relations based on consent and freedom, and social relations based on aggression and compulsion. Did Jesus say "Get a group of armed men, go around to people's houses and threaten to attack and cage people if they don't give you as much money as you demand, and then with the money, give to the poor?"

No, he didn't, did he? Threatening to attack and cage people so you can take from A and give to B is not "social justice", and it's moral nonsense to call aggression "social ethics". James Page has made the mistake of thinking that aggression is magically turned into not-aggression if the state does it, erected a false god, and failed in both phenomenology and theology.
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Wednesday, 31 December 2014 8:02:59 AM
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Thanks for the comments above, and also to those who've contacted me privately by email to make comment or provide feedback. This is much appreciated. Thanks also to those who have acknowledged the essay on social media. In an online essay such as this, it's not appropriate to be listing references, as would be the case in a conventional scholarly article. However, for those interested in investigating or pursuing this topic further, one could search-engine "theological turn" and "phenomenology", or "from phenomenology to theology". Another useful path of inquiry may be to search and read some of the extensive literature on existentialism and religion, either in a quality library or online. Thanks again for the feedback.
Posted by Dr James Page, Wednesday, 7 January 2015 1:05:51 PM
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Hi James,
I often wonder, reading articles that recommend a more or less sophisticated philosophical approach to religion, who the author thinks will take the approach.

It seems to me that people already open to a reflective approach to religion are usually able to at least entertain the suggested idea, while others, for whom the very dogmatism which religions can present is exactly the attraction of religion, have no interest whatever in modifying their stance.

Can you say a bit about your intended audience, please?
Posted by SimonM, Friday, 9 January 2015 11:46:00 AM
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