In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in religion and religious issues. Some have linked this to a neo-liberal form of individualism, while others noted that secularism has left people bereft of a humanly necessary link with the transcendent. The importance of identity issues has also been remarked upon. This book examines how liberal forms of religion are allowing people to engage with religion on their own terms, while also feeling part of something more universal.
Looking at liberal approaches to the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Protestant and Roman Catholic Christianity and Islam – this book teases out how postmodern culture has shaped the way in which people engage with these religions. It also compares and contrasts how liberal thinking and theology have been expressed in each of the faiths examined, as well as the reactionary responses to its emergence.
By considering how liberalism has influenced the narrative around the Abrahamic faiths, this book demonstrates how malleable faith and spirituality can be. As such, it will be of interest to scholars working in Religious Studies, Theology, Sociology and Cultural Anthropology.
Table of Contents
Part I: The general background 1 The Broader Context of Liberal Religion Part II: The Abrahamic Religions 2 Liberal Judaism 3 Liberal Protestantism 4 Liberalism in the Roman Catholic Church 5 Liberal Islam 6 Conclusion
Emanuel de Kadt is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University, Netherlands. He continues to do some teaching there on religion and society, and has previously written a book on religion in culture entitled Assertive Religion (2013).
'By far the most thorough examination to date of an essential aspect of religious life in late modernity, this book does an excellent job exploring the evolution of liberalism in the three major Abrahamic religions. The range, insights and dramatic interest of Emanuel de Kadt’s survey make it truly an intellectual pleasure to read. Comparisons between Judaism, Christianity (with separate chapters on Protestantism and Catholicism), and Islam powerfully illustrate how modernity and post-modernism have affected religiosity, the emphasis on individual authenticity, views on revelation and scripture, identity formation, humanism and more.' – Kathleen M. Moore, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
"It is a convenient introduction to an understudied subject. (...) The breadth of de Kadt’s book will mean that it could even be helpful to specialists in religion who are interested in traditions beyond their own areas of expertise." - Isaac Barnes May, University of Virginia, USA