The Good and the Good Book: Revelation as a Guide to Life

Hardcover | August 2, 2015

bySamuel Fleischacker

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"It is written ...," says the believer in a sacred text, and proceeds to justify all manner of terrifying things. Or so runs a popular caricature of religious faith today. Religions that center around a revelation - around a "good book," like the Torah or Gospels or Quran, which is seen asGod's word - are widely regarded as irrational and dangerous: as based on outdated science and conducive to illiberal, inhumane moral attitudes. The Good and the Good Book defends revealed religion and shows how it can be reconciled with science and liberal morality. Samuel Fleischacker invites us to see revealed texts as aiming to teach neither scientific nor moral doctrines but a vision of what life is about overall. Purely naturalistic ways of thinking, he argues, cannot make much sense of our overall or ultimate good; revealed texts, by contrast, doprecisely that. But these texts also need to be interpreted so as to accord with our independent understanding of morality. A delicate balance is required for this process of interpretation - between respecting the uncanny obscurity of our sacred texts and rendering them morally familiar. The bookconcludes with an account of how believers in one religion can respect believers in other religions, and secular people.

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"It is written ...," says the believer in a sacred text, and proceeds to justify all manner of terrifying things. Or so runs a popular caricature of religious faith today. Religions that center around a revelation - around a "good book," like the Torah or Gospels or Quran, which is seen asGod's word - are widely regarded as irrational ...

Samuel Fleischacker is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His previous work has focused on Enlightenment moral and political thought, especially that of Kant and Adam Smith, and on conceptions of culture, liberalism, and distributive justice. He is the author of Divine Teaching and the Way of the World (O...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:August 2, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198733070

ISBN - 13:9780198733072

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Truth2. Ethics3. Our Overall Good4. Revelation5. Ethical Faith6. Receiving Revelation7. Diversity and RespectConclusionNotesBibliography