What IS Religion?


Terence Cuneo

Ritualized Faith: Essays on the Philosophy of Liturgy

Terence Cuneo, Ritualized Faith: Essays on the Philosophy of Liturgy, Oxford University Press, 2016, 228pp., $90.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198757757.

Reviewed by Samuel Lebens, University of Haifa

Does philosophy of religion currently deserve its name? If you examine the content pages of the most popular textbooks, or relevant undergraduate syllabuses, you’ll see that the discipline often has less to do with religion than it has to do with theology. But theology doesn’t exhaust religion. Religion is a tapestry of sociological, anthropological, and psychological phenomena often accompanied by a theology. If only to be worthy of its name, philosophy of religion has to have interests that go beyond the purely theological. Terence Cuneo’s book is an important contribution to this task.


Jihad and TED

The "black flag of jihad" as used by...
The “black flag of jihad” as used by various Islamic terrorist organizations (since the late 1990s) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“For a long time, I lived for death,” says Manwar Ali, a former radical jihadist who participated in violent, armed campaigns in the Middle East and Asia in the 1980s. In this moving talk, he reflects on his experience with radicalization and makes a powerful, direct appeal to anyone drawn to Islamist groups that claim violence and brutality are noble and virtuous: let go of anger and hatred, he says, and instead cultivate your heart to see goodness, beauty and truth in others.