The End of Philosophy of Religion

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This is an expert examination of the 'meta-philosophy of religion', exposing the limitations of the analytic method and the need to embrace a new continental approach. The End of Philosophy of Religion explores the hitherto un-chartered waters of the 'meta-philosophy of religion', that is, the methods and assumptions underlying the divergent ways of writing and studying the philosophy of religion that have emerged over the last century. It is also a first-class study of the weaknesses of the analytic approach in philosophy, particularly when it is applied to religious and aesthetic experience.Nick Trakakis' main line of argument is twofold. Firstly, the Anglo-American analytic tradition of philosophy, by virtue of its attachment to scientific norms of rationality and truth, inevitably struggles to come to terms with the mysterious and transcendent reality that is disclosed in religious practice. Secondly, and more positively, alternatives to analytic philosophy of religion are available, not only within the various schools of so-called Continental philosophy, but also in explicitly narrative and literary approaches. He argues that literature (using examples from Dostoyevsky and Kazantzakis) can often promise greater philosophical insight than what is usually offered in the purely academic and highly professionalized settings of contemporary philosophy.Trakakis expertly shows that continental philosophers do not surrender 'clarity' to analytic philosophy; emphasising instead that one has to distinguish clarity from rigor, (being faithful to the phenomena). When things are ambiguous it distorts them to treat them as if they were clear, but it is rigorous to respect their ambiguity and to attempt to express them in words, like a master poet or novelist. The End of Philosophy of Religion proposes that the pervasive analytic approach to the philosophic study of religion is fraught with limitations, and that a new continental approach must be embraced if advances are to be made.