A Radical Pluralist Philosophy of Religion : Cross-Cultural, Multireligious, Interdisciplinary
Author(s): Mikel Burley
This book is a unique introduction to studying the philosophy of religion, drawing on a wide range of cultures and literary sources in an approach that is both methodologically innovative and expansive in its cross-cultural and multi-religious scope.
Employing his expertise in interdisciplinary and Wittgenstein-influenced methods, Mikel Burley draws on works of ethnography and narrative fiction, including Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman, to critically engage with existing approaches to the philosophy of religion and advocate a radical, pluralist approach. Breaking away from the standard fixation on a narrow construal of theism, topics discussed include conceptions of compassion in Buddhist ethics, cannibalism in mortuary rituals, divine possession and animal sacrifice in Hindu Goddess worship and animism in indigenous traditions.
Original and engaging, Burley's synthesis of philosophical, anthropological and literary elements expands and diversifies the philosophy of religion, providing an essential introduction for anyone interested in studying the radical plurality of forms that religion takes in human life.
“With sensitivity to cultural difference and to our own biases, Mikel Burley offers a Wittgensteinian approach that takes seriously religious practices from all around the world. Among those who turn to a global philosophy of religion, this is the best book I know for the university classroom.” —Kevin Schilbrack; Professor and Chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department, Appalachian State University, USA
“Mikel Burley has done something truly remarkable. By articulating a conception of the radically plural nature of religious phenomena and by extended reflection on ethnographic material drawn from outside the mainstream theistic tradition (cannibalism, animism, the grotesque), he has added a new and exciting dimension to the philosophy of religion. Burley is also to be commended for adding new life to the Wittgensteinian approach to religion. A thought-provoking, trailblazing, and deeply important book.” —Brian R. Clack, Professor of Philosophy & A. Vassiliadis Director of the Humanities Center, University of San Diego, USA
“Mikel Burley's book both unifies and extends his valuable work on diversification in philosophy of religion.” —Religious Studies