Beyond Beliefs : An Analysis of Religion and the Secular in James K. A. Smith

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dc.contributor Helsingin yliopisto, Teologinen tiedekunta fi
dc.contributor University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology en
dc.contributor Helsingfors universitet, Teologiska fakulteten sv
dc.contributor.author Gillin, Joel
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201711285748
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/228939
dc.description.abstract This study is a descriptive account and analysis of the ideas and arguments of Canadian philosopher James K. A. Smith (1970 - ) in regard to religion and the secular. Using Smith’s published texts, the study examines some of the problems he sees with these concepts from different subfields of philosophy and evaluates Smith’s proposed solutions. The study begins with a discursive overview of the issues scholars face in the study of religion and the secular. Next, the study examines Smith’s engagement with theological traditions and postmodern thought to critique the epistemology and ontology of the secular, followed by Smith’s articulation of a “liturgical” anthropology as a model for understanding religion and secular practices. The final chapter explores the implications of Smith’s analysis and his advocacy of a post-secular approach to 1) the study of religion, 2) the public square, and 3) religious conflict. The study finds that Smith cogently employs postmodern thought to deconstruct the foundationalist epistemology of the secular. Furthermore, he argues that the secular relies upon an unsubstantiated ontology of closed, autonomous nature that gives secular theorizing and science an unwarranted privileged epistemic status. Modern philosophical anthropology is also found to be overly cognitive, and Smith proposes an original model emphasizing embodiment in which humans are desiring beings shaped by formative practices (“liturgies”). With these results, Smith’s post-secular approach to the study of religion shows that common distinctions between secular and religious beliefs and practices are misleading. A liturgical framework may provide better conceptual tools to locate and explain human behavior, including religious/secular violence, with some complications requiring further research. His analysis suggests a normative post-secularism which allows space for religious identities in the public sphere could potentially meet the challenges of pluralism and religious conflict. en
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Helsingin yliopisto fi
dc.publisher University of Helsinki en
dc.publisher Helsingfors universitet sv
dc.subject religion en
dc.subject secular en
dc.subject post-secularism en
dc.subject religious conflict en
dc.subject Smith, James K. A.
dc.title Beyond Beliefs : An Analysis of Religion and the Secular in James K. A. Smith en
dc.type.ontasot pro gradu -tutkielmat fi
dc.type.ontasot master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot pro gradu-avhandlingar sv
dc.subject.discipline Religion, Conflict and Dialogue en
dc.subject.discipline Religion, Conflict and Dialogue fi
dc.subject.discipline Religion, Conflict and Dialogue sv
dct.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201711285748

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