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Peace -

John

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Hi

The Captain raises many important issues, the first of which interests me.

All thinking religious people, not just T(t)heosophists, have to deal with the cognitive dissonance brought on by the confrontation of religious statements with the modern world which no longer seems to offer any justification or warrant for them. What to do about this? This really is the million dollar problem which generations of thinkers from the enlightenement onwards have struggled with.

One option, seemingly favoured by the Captain, is to salvage religious statements by retreating into figurative language. 

I am not sure this is the way to go. And it is definitely not the only option.

There is a countering explanatory enterprise in the academic study of religion which can be seen in books like 'Radical Interpretation in Religion' edited by Nancy Frankenberry.(one fantastic book btw). At least 2 articles there by prominent scholars of religion argue for the literal meaning of religious statements. That is, they can be understood in no other way than literally. I'd be happy to offer a pdf version of the book if emailed. The result of this is, for these scholars, that religious statements are literal, but patently false. I am, personally, happier with this outcome than a retreat into 'symbolic' language. The reason I am happier is because I think it easier, more fruitful, and less circular to mount a defense of literal religious language than to explain symbolic religious language.

Dewald

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