The Spiritual Dimension: Religion, Philosophy and Human Value by John Cottingham


The Spiritual Dimension‘s aim is to offer a new way of looking at the philosophy of religion. It brings together emotional and intellectual aspects of human experience and embraces practical as well as theoretical concerns. The book wants to show that a religious world view should be related to spiritual praxis and the search for self-understanding and moral growth. The author John Cottingham is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading.

The topics covered in the book are; religion and spirituality, religion and science, religion and value, religion and self-discovery, religion and language, religion and the Enlightenment, religion and ethics, and religion and pluralism.

It is a short book (about 200 pages including the bibliography and the index) compared to other books that I have read on the subject, which ran to more than 400 pages. It provides a different way of looking at religion from the point of view that it is not really about theory but more about practice. To the author praxis must come first and be emphasized. For those of you who don’t know what praxis is it is use; practice; especially, exercise or discipline for a specific purpose or object. Don’t feel bad that you didn’t know that I had to look it up myself. The book looks at religion from an emotional point of view, which is something I feel is lacking in other books. Nothing in the book is new, but it is presented in a new way.

The book has an extensive bibliography and lots of footnotes which makes the book totally worth the read. The information in the footnotes is just as informative as the information in the chapters. It is good experience to have read it.

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