Today there is growing concern with the problems posed by dogmatic religious belief. Throughout history religion has too often been a source of contention between groups of people and has frequently stifled intellectual (especially scientific) and social progress. Rather than abandon religious belief altogether, as some suggest, Kevin Lowery contends that the real problem is the intellectual immaturity with which religious beliefs are held. This book thus explores the nature and dynamics of religious belief, and it offers constructive criticism in order to promote the intellectual maturity of religious belief. Rather than artificially resolving points of tension by simply dismissing particular viewpoints out of hand, as with the radical sceptics and the dogmatists, Lowery argues that intellectual maturity requires us to acknowledge the limitations of our beliefs.
Kevin T. Lowery is an associate professor at Olivet Nazarene University, where he teaches theology and philosophy.
Section 1: How and Why we Believe; 1. The Nature of Belief; 2. Moving Beyond Simplistic Concepts; Section 2: Belief in Historical Perspective; 3. Religious Belief before the Enlightenment; 4. The Early Enlightenment; 5. The Burgeoning of the Enlightenment; 6. More Recent Developments; Section 3: Constructing Belief; 7. The Basis of Belief; 8. Systematized Belief; 9. Sources of Religious Belief; 10. Subjective and Objective Sources; 11. The Four Sources; 12. Religious Authority; Section 4: Mature Belief; 13. Religious Belief and Certainty; 14. Faith and Belief; 15. Cultivating Religious Intellectual Maturity.