Ett mönster i livets väv : Tro och religion i ljuset av Wittgensteins filosofi : [faith and religion in the light of the philosophy of Wittgenstein]

Sammanfattning: This study evaluates Wittgenstein's impact on the philosophy of religion. The aim of the study is to clarify what it means to say that the method suggested by Wittgenstein in his seminal work Philosophical Investigations makes possible a study of religion which is not reductionistic, but rather is adequate concerning religious phenomena. The dissertation starts with an examination of Wittgenstein's method. In particular it tries to clarify the nature of philosophical study as it comes to expression in Wittgenstein's writings. In chapter three Wittgenstein's remarks on religion are surveyed. in them Wittgenstein shows that many difficulties thought to face religion are a result of the neglect of philosophers to attend to the logic of religious expressions. In chapters four and five the strategies of argument displayed in Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion are critically discussed. The strategy concerned with conceptual features of religious expressions tries to draw attention to similarities between the way certain expressions function as frameworks for our epistemic practices. In addition to this strategy a more thorough examination of the differences between different practices is needed, argues their author. By the second strategy Phillips and Wittgenstein draw our attention to the natural history of mankind, to what they call primitive reactions. It is shown that an appeal to this notion reminds us of the fact that what we do and say in many cases are not the result of reasoning. Rather we just act. Religion, too, is conceptually speaking a way of living, and not a theory. We refrain from reducing or distorting religion when we pay attention to the logic of religious expressions and come to see the distinctive character of religious phenomena. This pursuit is not solely an intellectual one, but something that is possible only if one works on oneself.

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