Review of Metaphysics 23 (2):341-342 (1969)

Berger goes against the prevailing intellectual currents of our age by asking after the truth of the supernatural. Taking his cue, as he has before, from the sociology of knowledge, which would suggest that the all-pervading anti-supernaturalism of our age is more a function of the social support the idea gets than of its innate worth, Berger offers up a program by which his investigation might take place. After a brief historical account of the gradual liberalizing of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religious institutions, and after some suggestions on how to avoid following this trend on to what he calls "a surprise-free future," he predicts the indefinite continuation of some vestige of supernatural religion. He gets into the real business of the book by suggesting a "theological" approach that starts with man. By looking carefully at certain commonplace but important aspects of human experience, one can see some "signals of" transcendence. The "little effort" involves what Berger calls inductive faith. It is this radically empirical thrust that protects Berger from the charge that he is pushing for the restoration of conservative theology. Berger suggests that this book is an elaborative and corrective postscript to his The Sacred Canopy, which he felt "read like a treatise on atheism, at least in parts." As usual: Berger's engaging style.--S. O. H.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1969232226
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