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Is sceptical religion adequate as a religion?

  • ANDREW DOLE (a1)


I argue that J. L. Schellenberg's sceptical religion faces two problems of religious adequacy. The first has to do with its relationship to the goal of bringing persons into proper alignment with an ultimate good; the second, with the desideratum of sceptical religion's becoming sufficiently well-established as to be a vehicle for the accomplishment of great things on the stage of history. I argue that actual sceptical religion would need to accommodate itself to the requirements of historical existence, and that such accommodation might well lead to a blurring of the distinctions Schellenberg draws between ‘sectarian’ and sceptical religion.



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Byrne, P. (1989) Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion: The Legacy of Deism (London: Routledge).
Hout, M. et al. (2001) ‘The demographic imperative in religious change in the United States’, The American Journal of Sociology, 107, 468500.
Kaufmann, E. (2011) Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century (London: Profile Books).
Schellenberg, J. L. (2005) Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press).
Schellenberg, J. L. (2007) The Wisdom to Doubt: A Justification of Religious Skepticism (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press).
Schellenberg, J. L. (2009) The Will to Imagine: A Justification of Skeptical Religion (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press).
Schellenberg, J. L. (2013) ‘My stance in philosophy of religion’, Religious Studies, doi:10.1017/S0034412513000036
Weber, Max (2003) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Talcott Parsons (tr.) (New York: Dover).


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