Religion and Human Nature

Paperback | September 1, 1998

byKeith Ward

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Continuing Keith Ward's series on comparative religion, this book deals with religious views of human nature and destiny. The beliefs of six major traditions are presented: the view of Advaita Vedanta that there is one Supreme Self, unfolding into the illusion of individual existence; theVaishnava belief that there is an infinite number of souls, whose destiny is to be released from material embodiment; the Buddhist view that there is no eternal Self; the Abrahamic belief that persons are essentially embodied souls; and the materialistic position that persons are complex materialorganisms. Indian ideas of rebirth, karma, and liberation from samsara are critically analysed and compared with semitic belief in the intermediate state of Sheol, Purgatory or Paradise, the Final Judgement and the resurrection of the body. The impact of scientific theories of cosmic and biological evolutionon religious beliefs is assessed, and a form of 'soft emergent materialism' is defended, with regard to the soul. In this context, a Christian doctrine of original sin and atonement is presented, stressing the idea of soterial, as opposed to forensic, justice. Finally, a Christian view of personalimmortality and the 'end of all things' is developed in conversation with Jewish and Muslim beliefs about judgement and resurrection.

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Continuing Keith Ward's series on comparative religion, this book deals with religious views of human nature and destiny. The beliefs of six major traditions are presented: the view of Advaita Vedanta that there is one Supreme Self, unfolding into the illusion of individual existence; theVaishnava belief that there is an infinite numb...

Keith Ward is at University of Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:340 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.79 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019826965X

ISBN - 13:9780198269656

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Non-Dualism (Advaita Vedanta)3. The Search for the Self (Vaishnava Hinduism)4. The Doctrine of Rebirth5. Buddhism and the Self6. Evolutionary Naturalism7. The Embodied Soul8. Original Sin9. The Doctrine of Atonement10. Salvation by Grace11. The World to Come12. Human Destiny in Judaism and Islam13. Human Destiny in Christianity14. The Ultimate End of All Things15. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

Continuing his magisterial project of writing Christian theology with an eye on comparative religion, in this third book of the series the Regius Professor of Divinity turns to what we suppose we know most about:ourselves. This book is impressive for its range of coverage and depth of analyticintrigue. - Alan Race - Church Times 9/7/99