Robert Cummings Neville, Defining Religion: Essays in Philosophy of Religion

SUNY Press, Albany and New York, 2018, xvi + 363 pp, $95 (hb), $29.95 (pb)
  • J. Aaron SimmonsEmail author
Book Review

Philosophers of religion ask a lot of important questions, but one that far too often remains unasked is perhaps the one that is perhaps the most urgent: “what is religion?” Indeed, if philosophers of religion are not clear on what counts as “religion” then it is difficult to see how we are able to understand the domain and scope of our own inquiry. Unlike many other “philosophy of” discourses—e.g., philosophy of science, philosophy of gender, philosophy of race, philosophy of mind, etc.—philosophy of religion often begins with assumptions about the category of “religion” that, if pressed, prove to be problematic. Although there are some important counter examples (see e.g., Quin and Taliaferro 1999), often textbooks in philosophy of religion begin by jumping into specific debates: the nature and existence of God, problem of evil, or the relation between faith and reason, etc.1Yet, it should seem odd that we philosophers of religion don’t start by asking whether “God” is an essential...



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Furman UniversityGreenvilleUnited States

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