Exercises in Religious Understanding [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 30 (2):339-340 (1976)
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Abstract

In this book of essays, Burrell selects five religious thinkers principally to provide an example of doing hermeneutics. His chapters on Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Kierkegaard, and Jung, therefore, not only tell us what they thought about certain religious topics, but propose their procedures as distinct models for religious understanding. To bring out their distinctive contributions to the hermeneutical problem, he has carefully chosen the titles for each essay. Augustine shows us an example of religious understanding as a personal quest while Anselm formulates the quest for such understanding. The systematic reflections of Aquinas constitute an articulation of transcendence. The experiencing of the transcendent is expressed in Kierkegaard’s language of spirit and also in Jung’s language for soul. These are telling titles and well worth mentioning even in a very brief review.

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