The second volume in a trilogy advancing a systematic philosophical theology, this book explores the realities of human existence articulated by religion.
Religion, writes Robert Cummings Neville, articulates existential predicaments and provides venues for ecstatic fulfillment. Like its companion volumes treating ultimacy and religion, Existence advances a systematic philosophical theology to address first-order questions found in the array of Axial Age religions. Issues arising in the major religious traditions are explored through a complex array of philosophical approaches. This second volume shows religion to be the engagement of ultimate realities common to all human beings. Neville finds five problematics relative to ultimate boundary conditions of the human world: the contingency of existence, living under obligation, the quest for wholeness, engagement with others, and the meaning or value in life. Common to all human beings and hence "religion," the engagement with realities is also historically and culturally bound, becoming simultaneously socially constructed "religions. " Readers will find Neville's philosophical theology both bold and enlightening, running counter to dominant intellectual trends while richly informed by a long and fruitful engagement with theology, philosophy, and religion, East and West.
Robert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology and Dean Emeritus of the School of Theology at Boston University. He is the author of many books, including Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist's Perspective; Ritual and Deference: Extending Chinese Philosophy in a Comparative Context; and Ultimates: Philosophical Theology, Volume One, all published by SUNY Press.