Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion: Modern by Daniel Gold

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By Daniel Gold

This ebook addresses a primary trouble in spiritual experiences. Exploring the strain among humanistic and social clinical techniques to considering and writing approximately faith, Daniel Gold develops a line of argument that starts with the aesthetics of educational writing within the box. He exhibits that winning writers on faith hire attribute aesthetic recommendations in speaking their visions of human truths. Gold examines those ideas with reference to epistemology and to the learn of faith as a collective recreation.

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Goodenough emphasizes that his deeply devout family environment made him understand the vitality of religious experience, an understanding that would inform all his later scholarship. The Methodism he knew firsthand included an orthodox Calvinist side (he details the strict Sabbath prohibitions at home)42 and more rapturous aspects—exemplified in his Uncle Charlie, whom he characterizes as a mystic. ” Experiences like this, moreover, would leave a lasting imprint on the mature scholar. “However far I have come in later years from seeking such rapture, I have never forgotten its reality, and ever since, as I have read descriptions of ecstatic religious experiences .

In all of these personally engaged writers, together with the hope for broadening understanding, there is an awareness of limits. Kristensen, formulating a primal distinction between “ancient” and “modern” religions, perceived a gap between a contemporary Western post-Enlightenment outlook and all other traditions—a gap that could only be partially fathomed. For Otto, his translations and comparative work notwithstand- 22 Ambivalent Feelings ing, the experience of the holy was perceived as one of the “wholly other”; it was something daunting to encounter in one’s own tradition, not to mention in another culture.

9 History of religions looks primarily to the young Schleiermacher, the radical romantic who at the age of twenty-nine wrote On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers. Published in 1799 as a rejoinder to secular contemporaries—die-hard classical rationalists and burgeoning romantic poets alike—this work dramatically introduces two propositions that find a place in the theological agenda of most historians of religion who consciously have one. First, enunciating a view of religion in tune with romantic sensibilities, Schleiermacher claims that religion is, preeminently, feelings: these are “what is autonomous” (47) in religion.

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