Books by Brights

Religion, Language, Narrative and the Search for Meaning

Author: Anthony Campbell
ISBN-10: 1409284484
ISBN-13: 978-1409284482
To Purchase: / Amazon US / Amazon UK


This is a book about religion from a secular standpoint which nevertheless takes its subject seriously. Contrary to some secularists I don't think religion is likely to disappear any time soon, and here I look at some of the reasons why it is likely to stay.

The early chapters consider a number of explanations for religion that are current today; all provide elements of the answer though none is fully satisfactory as it stands. In the remainder of the book I try to develop a way of thinking about religion, using two main clues: language and narrative.

There are remarkable similarities in the ways in which we learn both language and religion. As for narrative, I think that religion is based more on telling stories than on assent to formal belief systems. Narrative is how most religious people encounter their religions. Humans are story-telling animals and for that reason alone it is likely that religion will continue to exist. Another reason is the capacity of the human mind to give rise to altered states of consciousness; unlike, some, I think that these are important in shaping our religious ideas.

Please see also Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination, also listed on this site..

About the Author

Anthony Campbell is a physician, now retired, who spent many years in the practice of complementary medicine before coming to the conclusion that this, like religion, is based on belief systems. He discusses this as well, with reference to the reality of illness and suffering that is recognized by Theravada Buddhism.

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