The search for a deep faith, according to Berger, may disrupt Americans' ``standard operating procedures of pragmatic, problem-solving, essentially optimistic living. In this erudite inquiry, the eminent sociologist of religion, himself a Protestant believer, steers a middle course between the certitude of orthodoxy on the one hand and total relativism on the other. Berger affirms the value of the solitary I over and above all communal or collective attachments. Applying sociological theory, he views religion as a cognitive enterprise meant to define the nature of reality and argues that the rejection of cultural pluralism by some Evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics amounts to western ethnocentricism. He further urges Christians to engage in dialogue with adherents to Hinduism and Buddhism, the latter of which he regards as a fountainhead of the great monotheistic faiths. Those who seek signals of transcendence in everyday experience will find encouragement in Berger's searching essay. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992 Release date: 09/01/1992 Genre: Religion
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