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.
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.
Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction Part One: Wittgenstein 1. Primitive Religiosity 2. Absolute Safety 3. The Possibility of Honest Religious Thinking Part Two: D. Z. Phillips 4. Beyond Realism and Non-Realism 5. Contemplating Eternal Life 6. Philosophy of Religion through Literature 7. Conclusions Bibliography Index