About this book
Dedicated to exploring the enormous variety of ultimate realities at the center of the world’s great religions and philosophical traditions, this volume is a richly varied collection of essays on how we conceive this central notion, whether expressed as God, or as an ultimate reality of another kind. Years in the making, the collection examines the guiding principles of 15 major philosophical traditions and 6 living religions. A publication of monumental scale and detail, it features an innovative thematic structure that aggregates traditions according to their core models, allowing the reader to grasp the common features of ultimate realities as understood in diverse traditions such as Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and in some non-religious discussions.
Borne out of proceedings at both the American Philosophical Association and the American Academy of Religion, the volume also examines foundational questions related to the human propensity for creating and using such models, including the issue of whether we are capable of acquiring knowledge of ultimate reality. It features a sustained analysis of the concept that modeling such an ultimate reality is a fruitless endeavor doomed to failure since the ultimate might well be beyond human conception, as well as reflections on the staggering diversity of these models and their application to concepts such as spirituality, gender equality, war, and global warming. Accessible and authoritative, the collection combines section primers for those new to the field, deeper treatment in dedicated essays, and a wealth of references for further reading and study.