Throughout the ages one of the central topics in philosophy of religion has been the rationality of theistic belief. This book proposes that parties on both sides of this debate might shift their attention in a different direction, by focusing on the question of whether it is rational to be a religious theist.
Explaining that having theistic beliefs is primarily a cognitive affair but being a religious theist involves a whole way of life that includes one's beliefs, Golding argues that it can be pragmatically rational to be a religious theist even if the evidence for God’s existence is minimal.
The argument is applied to the case of Judaism, articulating what is involved in religious Judaism and arguing that it is rationally defensible to be a religious Jew. The book concludes with a discussion of whether a similar argument might be constructed for other versions of religious theism such as Christianity or Islam, and for non-theistic religions such as Taoism or Buddhism.
Joshua Golding offers a carefully wrought explanation of how it can be rational for someone to live a religious life, in particular (but not necessarily only), a traditional Jewish life.
Table of Contents
Introduction; the Religious Theist; the Rationality of Being a Religious Theist; the Rationality of Being a Religious Jew; Appendix: Comparison of the Standard and Alternative Conceptions of God.
'Golding offers a stimulating and thought-provoking approach to questions of the rationality of theism that avoids the morass of insoluble problems concerning God's existence.' Theological Book Review '... is is interesting to encounter such a rigorous version of the pragmatic argument as this, and the close analysis of the Jewish way of life found here is refreshing to find at a time when philosophy of religion is increasingly dominated by explicity Christian aims and sensibilities.' Modern Believing '... Golding has presented in this stimulating book what is on the whole a nuanced, well-argued, and persuasive defence of the rationality of religious, and in particular Jewish, theistic commitment.' Religious Studies '... I find his book a well-argued and interesting one.' www.arsdisputandi.org 'Joshua Golding's Rationality and Religious Theism is a well-considered work that endeavours [...] to shift the axes of a debate common in religious epistemology...' Australian Religious Studies Review