What is the point of philosophy of religion? Is it to help us find the right path in life, with the philosopher as guide and mentor? Or is it, as D. Z. Phillips proposes, to contemplate ‘the world in all its variety’, deepening our understanding of multiple perspectives (both religious and non-religious) without trying to appropriate or reject any of them? Recognizing certain shortcomings of the former conception, this article seeks to elucidate the latter and to engage with the critical reception of Phillips's work by other Wittgenstein-influenced philosophers. Towards the end, with reference to Rush Rhees and Wittgenstein, I discuss how giving expression to ‘wonder at what is terrible’ illustrates the ethical demand of a contemplative approach, and in conclusion I offer some thoughts on how this approach could usefully be enriched and extended.