Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the Colonial Era

Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the Colonial Era With a history of colonisation since the sixteenth Century, the development of Buddhism in Sri Lanka (previously Ceylon) was immense.  In response to the colonising forces of the Portuguese (early 1600s), Dutch (from 1636) and British (Gradually suppressing the Dutch resulting in complete ownership of the Island … Read more

Chinese Buddhism: Was there a Buddhist Revival?

Historically, Buddhism has disappeared from most communist countries, but not China or Vietmnam. Chinese Buddhism did change, due to the encounter with other religions, and with the Western world. My main argument here is that revival is not a useful term to describe modern Chinese Buddhism because it creates misconceptions about such developments that occured between 1850 … Read more

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

Tillich: Dynamics of Faith

Tillich wrote many books. A short article by him on the subject of religious language and symbols follows these notes. To help you to understand this article, here is the summary of the six characteristics of symbols which he gave in a book called… The Dynamics of Faith i) Symbols point beyond themselves to something … Read more

Tillich on Religious Language

‘Faith‘, for Tillich was the state of being ultimately concerned. Everyone, he said, has an ultimate concern – that which they take for granted without thinking, something they would not surrender for anything. An ultimate concern could be the nation, a person’s scientific honesty, a political party, a pet, or God. All of these, with the … 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

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