Schellenberg

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Lausten
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Schellenberg

Post by Lausten » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:15 am

Has anyone read any of his works?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Wi ... 0801447808

Any thoughts?
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Jeff D
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Re: Schellenberg

Post by Jeff D » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:10 am

I hadn't heard of this Schellenberg and have not read any of his work. From the blurb on the web site to which Lausten linked, I conclude that Schellenberg may be engaging in a broad and deep re-defining of terms:
For Schellenberg, our immaturity as a species not only makes justified religious belief impossible but also provides the appropriate context for a type of faith response grounded in imagination rather than belief, directed not to theism but to ultimism, the heart of religion. This new and nonbelieving form of faith, he demonstrates, is quite capable of nourishing an authentic religious life while allowing for inquiry into ways of refining the generic idea that shapes its commitments. A singular feature of Schellenberg's book is his claim, developed in detail, that unsuccessful believers' arguments can successfully be recast as arguments for imaginative faith. Out of the rational failure of traditional forms of religious belief, The Will to Imagine fashions an unconventional form of religion better fitted, Schellenberg argues, to the human species as it exists today and as we may hope it will evolve.
What would a "non-believing form of faith" do? What would it look or sound like in practice? And if Schellenberg is advocating, or trying to design, an "unconventional form of religion," can it be so unconventional that it should not be labeled as "religion" anymore?

Maybe 35 years ago (I think it was in an article in Playboy, titled "The Most Dangerous Book in the World"), Alan Watts wrote, "Belief is clinging to a rock; faith is learning to swim -- and this universe swims in boundless space."

Brother David Steindl-Rast may have had a similar and unconventional concept of faith when he said in an excellent lecture ("The Structure of Mystical Experience") that true faith consists of (a) openness to experience and to truth as it turns out to be and (b) a "courageous trust in life."

Trouble is, both of these conceptions or definitions of "faith" are 180 degrees removed from what "people of faith" usually mean when they use the word "faith." I sense that Dr. Schellenberg may be engaging in the same sort of exercise in Humpty-Dumptyism.
Jeff D

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Lausten
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Re: Schellenberg

Post by Lausten » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:54 pm

So far I have only read his essay from "50 Voices of disbelief", but I think it is more than humpty-dumptyism. He notes that the world might last another billion and look how far we have come in the last 50,000. He sees religion as sort of a stepping stone on the line of human development

If you don't want to buy that book, you can purchase just that article.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi- ... /122668987
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Re: Schellenberg

Post by nmblum88 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:48 pm

I only know of Schellenberg from his article in "50 Voices...."
Which I reread this morning after Lausten's reminder.
As usual I don't seem to read the same books or articles that Lausten does even when they have the same titles and the same authors..
Somehow...and it must be in my stars.. ...the sentences seem to read otherwise to me than they do to him.

However, it is inarguable that religion is not merely a "sort" of stepping stone on the line of human development, but a real... "put your feet right there" section of the road...
God, and gods, religion... all of them... are part and parcel of our history.
Undeniable, real, potent, a major force, for some good, and overwhelming ill.
And their influences and importance in our collective lives, and the decisions and directions that have been made in our names are as important as any of the other determining factors in the story of mankind.
It is not hard to understand how and why both terror of nature, of the unknown, or the obvious dangers that surrounded him, and the overwhelming need to appease its source occurred to early man.
But that said, it shouldn't be so hard to see why centuries of recorded knowledge, thought, experiment and progress, wouldn't by necessity lessen the hold of faith on the human mind......
We now do know enough- although certainly not all - about the workings of the universe to allow for the loosening of the talons of unquestioning belief in the ephemeral, so that reason rather than faith can have its day...
Let some sunshine in, so to speak.
And BTW, the suggestion that the world MIGHT last another billion years... is,of course, an assumption, not a fact.
But on the other hand, that is not the focus or thrust of the Shellenberg
article, anyway.
(Unless I was reading something else... in error... )
NMB
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