Locating: i The Background of Facts
The question ‘How does religion relate to the world?’ needs to be broken down into a number of separate questions. Most obviously, there is the question of what religious propositions are about: what is their subject-matter? Religious language has several strands, so presumably many kinds of facts and contexts must be taken into account. But is there a special religious or metaphysical subject-matter, e.g. God, His attributes and actions, or is religion just a special response to ordinary life or to history? Since, however, religious belief is not just a question of accepting certain propositions, but involves behaviour and non-propositional uses of language like prayers and commands, we need to re-phrase these questions. Using Wittgenstein’s terminology we might ask: what is the area of life in which religious language-games and forms of life occur and make sense? What are the contexts and surroundings of the concepts which religious people use? What features of the universe, what aspects of human life and history must we consider? In the case of Christianity, how do we relate the forms of life and language-games of present-day Christians to the person and life of Christ?
KeywordsReligious Belief Historical Event Religious Experience Religious Doctrine Religious Believer
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