‘Superstition’ as a contemplative term: a Wittgensteinian perspective

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (2):105-122 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Can a contemplative philosopher describe a particular religious practice as superstitious, or is he thereby overstepping his boundaries? I will discuss the way in which the Wittgensteinian philosopher of religion D. Z. Phillips uses ‘Superstition’ as a contemplative term. His use of the distinction between genuine religion and superstition is not a weakness as is often supposed, but a necessity. Without contemplating ‘Superstition’ and ‘genuine religion’ Phillips would not have been able to elucidate the meaning that religious beliefs have in the lives of both the faithful and their critics. I will defend the aptness of Phillips’s use of this term and illustrate his approach using examples such as the concept of genuine friendship or gratitude, and then I apply this approach to the question whether, from a philosophical point of view, particular Christian practices such as the prosperity gospel are genuinely religious or should be called superstitious



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,826

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Contemplating Evil.Mikel Burley - 2012 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review.
D. Z. Phillips' contemplative conception of philosophy.Timo Koistinen - 2011 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 53 (3):333-356.
D. Z. Phillips' contemplations on religion and literature.Mikel Burley - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (1):21-37.
Religion and the hermeneutics of contemplation.D. Z. Phillips - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Concept of Prayer.Antony Flew & D. Z. Phillips - 1967 - Philosophical Quarterly 17 (66):91.
Religion and Hume's legacy.D. Z. Phillips & Timothy Tessin (eds.) - 1999 - New York: St. Martin's Press, Scholarly and Reference Division.


Added to PP

38 (#320,575)

6 months
3 (#242,702)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?