Reinventing Religion: Beyond Belief and Scepticism

Peter Moore. Reaktion, $35 (256p) ISBN 978-1-7891-4325-6
Religious studies scholar Moore (The Wrong Way Home) posits in this persuasive work that polarized views of religion fail to represent “the real nature, and full potential, of religion.” In the West, Moore argues, religion is often understood—by religious, nonreligious, and antireligious people alike—as a set of doctrines and practices, primarily having to do with “an external, supernatural source of moral authority,” often in conflict with secular and humanist worldviews. In a series of 12 essays, he makes the case for a more nuanced understanding of the role religious practice plays in human life and invites readers to consider the experiences, practices, theories, and institutions of world religions and what they do for, or might contribute to, collective well-being. “Religious systems and institutions,” he writes, “are what results from human beings acknowledging, thinking about, and acting on their sense of the sacred or their awareness of transcendence.” He suggests that religion offers both individual and social pathways, developed over millennia, to “participate fully, and selflessly, in the human condition.” Moore argues forcefully for the positive role of religions in society, irrespective of the specific tradition. “The pluralism of religions, which may once have presented a challenge or even a threat to individual religions, should today be recognized as a collective human legacy.” Scholarly readers interested in the evolution of religious practice will enjoy Moore’s diverse survey. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 11/02/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Religion
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