On Religion  book cover
2nd Edition

On Religion

ISBN 9781138714861
Published September 14, 2018 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

In a thoroughly updated second edition of his popular and engaging book, John D. Caputo revisits Augustine’s ancient question "what do I love when I love my God?" and presses it into service in the post-modern world. Accessible but without compromising the big ideas, he raises the question of what religion means today in the face of widespread religious violence after 9/11, of spreading secularization, the dazzling discoveries of contemporary cosmology, and the eerie advent of the "post-human" world. All along sculpting the idea of a post-modern, post-secular "religion without religion," which turns on the "mystical element" of our lives, he wonders what the future of traditional religion will be, or whether it even has one.

On Religion will fascinate anyone interested in the challenges religion faces in the contemporary world. It offers an ideal starting point from which undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers, and lecturers can explore religion and philosophy today.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

The Love of God One

Religion is for Lovers

The Impossible

The Secret

What do I Love When I Love My God?

How the Secular World Became Post-Secular Two

The Sacral Age


Our Prophets: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche

Desecularization: The Death of the Death of God

Putting Religion in Its Place Three

What is What?

Why the Why?

The Mystical Element in Life

The Place of Religion

Can There Be a Religion with Religion? Four

Never Say "Only" a Symbol

A God Before Whom We Can Sing and Dance

Why is Religion So Violent? Five

Impossible People

Religious Violence

Ban the Bible

Ban the Unconditional

Why Was Jesus Killed?

The Hermeneutics of Love

Cosmic Grace: World Without Why, Amen Six

God is Dead—Or Maybe Not So Fast


Panentheism or the Divine Milieu

Not Your Great-Grandfather’s Newtonianism

The Post-Humans: Immaculate Electronic Conceptions,

Virginally Virtual Births, Copy and Paste Resurrections

Becoming Divine: The Electronic Tree of Life

Cosmic Grace: World Without Why, Amen

On Religion – Without Religion Seven

Religious Truth/True Religion

The Tragic Sense of Life

The Faith of a Post-Modern

Axioms of a Religion Without Religion



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John D. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus at Syracuse University, USA and the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Villanova University, USA.


"Caputo's ability to distill Continental thought - making it both more potent and more easily imbibed - was already on full display in On Religion. This revised edition maintains all the depth and approachability of the first while increasing the breadth of concepts, influences, and applications covered. For anyone teaching or just interested in the (re)turn to religion, it is time to move On Religion from 'recommended' to 'required'."

- David Cerequas, Hunter College (CUNY), USA

"Many are the people who write uninterestingly and unintelligently about religion. Precious few do the opposite, and no one writes more brilliantly and delightfully on religion than John Caputo. From the first sentence of On Religion to the last, Caputo guides you into what is arguably life's most alluring (and insistent) exploration. On Religion is both incisive and playful, accessible and profound, snarky (in a philosophical way) and reverent. This new second edition preserves all that made the original edition so outstanding and adds new material that makes this book even more worth reading - whether you're an agnostic college student or an aging minister like me."

- Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

"This second edition of John Caputo's classic text on religion is a most welcome event. It is a book full of bold wit, singular compassion and surprising grace. Vintage Caputo, inviting us to an impossible God beyond God before whom one can dance and sing."

- Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA

"On Religion, 2nd Edition entertains as it provokes, and it should not be missed by anyone concerned with religion in a postmodern condition."

- Eric Weislogel, Saint Joseph's University, USA, Reading Religion