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Against DogmatismDwelling in Faith and Doubt$
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Madhuri M. Yadlapati

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037948

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037948.001.0001

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Resisting the Reification of Religion

Resisting the Reification of Religion

(p.123) Chapter Five Resisting the Reification of Religion
Against Dogmatism

Madhuri M. Yadlapati

University of Illinois Press

This chapter turns to the responsibility to resist dogmatism and examines doubt as an active project of the spiritual life. It first briefly surveys some prominent modern thinkers who criticize religious dogmatism on behalf of what is a spiritual calling of humanist freedom, including Sam Harris's atheistic criticism of religious dogmatism, Friedrich Nietzsche's insight into the “death of God,” Karl Marx's suspicion of religion, and John Robinson's proposal to abandon theistic Christianity. The chapter then examines the teachings of Christian mystics regarding the explicit path of unknowing or unlearning required on the spiritual journey. Finally, the chapter turns to Buddhist teachings on emptiness to see how self-transcendence requires the active limitation and undoing of self-knowledge.

Keywords:   religious dogmatism, doubt, Sam Harris, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, John Robinson, Christian mystics, unknowing, unlearning, emptiness

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