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Cohen, Jonah A. (2004) Religious appreciation and the mundane-sacred: A neglected area of philosophy. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This dissertation belongs within the field of the philosophy of religion. The thesis proposes three basic ideas. First, there is a kind of religious language and religious experience disregarded in philosophy: the kind of religious language that is philosophically examined is called "mundane-sacred judgment;" the mental state behind that language is called "religious appreciation." Second, these phenomena are relevant to the philosophy of religion and therefore should not be ignored. Third, the philosophical model by which these two linguistic and experiential facts of religion are explicated is aesthetics. Just as metaphysics often supplies the concepts and logical problems associated with, say, the philosophical study of mystical or prayer experience, so it will be shown that the philosophy of aesthetics provides the ideas and difficulties connected with the philosophical study of mundane-sacred judgment and religious appreciation. To show this, the dissertation draws analogies between, on the one hand, "mundane-sacred judgment" and "aesthetic judgment", and, on the other hand, "religious appreciation" and "aesthetic appreciation." It also shows that, like aesthetics, the goals of the philosophical study of mundane-sacred judgment and religious appreciation are (1) to elucidate the meaning of this language and (2) to characterize its associated experience. Because the primary aim of the thesis is to suggest the existence of a neglected religious language and experience, and how they are relevant to philosophy, no single interpretation of them is proffered. Accordingly, the thesis looks at a broad constellation of philosophical ideas - ranging from ancient philosophy, to phenomenology, to analytic philosophy - and how those differing ideas might apply to this subject. Throughout, then, the reader is encouraged and challenged to consider various philosophical interpretations of mundane-sacred judgment and religious appreciation. In this way, the field of philosophical debate underlying these religious issues is delineated.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11

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