Religion in Childhood and Adolescence

One of the ways into a study of this subject is to notice how widely writers differ in their thoughts about the religion in Childhood and Adolescence. There are two main views on this: the developmental view (J.Piaget; R.Goldman) and The original and continuing vision (E.Robinson). The Developmental View of Religion in Childhood and Adolescence To summarise … Read more

John Herman Randall Jnr.

Another writer who wrote on the symbolic character of religious language was Tillich’s friend and colleague, John Herman Randall Jnr. The difference between them is very substantial, despite their agreements. For Randall, religious symbols were non-cognitive. They were socially necessary but not ‘true’ in the sense that the overwhelming number of religious people would assume. … Read more

The Nature of Religious Language

This theme will cover two views of the nature of religious language: i) that religious language is SYMBOLIC; and ii) that it is ANALOGICAL. Religious Language as Symbolic One of the most famous and subtle theologians of recent times to write at length on the symbolic nature of religious language is the German born Paul Tillich (1886-1965). Tillich was … Read more

D. Z. Phillips and the Wittgensteinian View

D. Z. Phillips is probably the most prolific writer in Philosophy of Religion representing the Wittgensteinian view. He has applied the approach to a whole range of Christian themes including prayer, eternal life and God. He has attempted to show that religious beliefs are ‘pictures’ in the sense that they provide the framework for what … Read more

Wittgenstein and The Language Game View in Response to the Empirical Challenge

In response to the empirical challenge, Wittgenstein had grown dissatisfied with his earlier book (Tractatus Logico-Philosophus) and in the second half of his life, he developed a different approach to language. In this later period, he stressed how varied language was, rather than attempting to develop an ideal language. What are Wittgenstein’s Language Games? The … Read more

Braithwaite – An Empiricists view on the Nature of Religion

The Non-cognitive view Taking up the challenges put down by Flew and earlier by A.J.Ayer, R.B. Braithwaite, a Cambridge professor, delivered a lecture in 1955 which became something of a classic. It was called ‘An Empiricist’s View of the Nature of Religious Belief‘. An Empiricists View of the Nature of Religious Belief In the lecture, … Read more

Archetypes – What are Archetypes? Types of Archetypes

Archetypes (according to Jung)¬†are mythological motifs in our consciousness which are ‘typical forms that appear spontaneously all over the world, independently of tradition, in myths, fairytales, fantasies, dreams, visions, and the delusional systems of the insane’. Jung revived the ancient Gnostic term ‘archetype’ for this phenomenon – it represented the ‘patterning tendency’ in the human … Read more