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Contemplative NationA Philosophical Account of Jewish Theological Language$
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Cass Fisher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776646

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776646.001.0001

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Jewish Theology as a Religious and Doxastic Practice

Jewish Theology as a Religious and Doxastic Practice

(p.65) 2 Jewish Theology as a Religious and Doxastic Practice
Contemplative Nation
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines two related problems: what can replace the systematic and dogmatic approach to theology within Judaism, and what account of Jewish theology can embrace the resources of hermeneutic theory while maintaining the possibility of theological truth claims. It addresses these issues by offering a critical analysis of Pierre Hadot's work on the role of spiritual exercises in ancient philosophy and William Alston's contribution to analytic religious epistemology. Hadot's complex account of the functions of ancient philosophical discourse implies that the systematic and dogmatic conception of theology can be replaced with an account of theology in which theory and practice are inextricable. In his Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience, Alston proposes a religious epistemology that is primarily concerned with the contribution of religious experience to religious belief. Alston's externalist epistemology claims that we have no alternative but to rely upon socially established belief-forming practices, which he calls doxastic practices.

Keywords:   theology, Judaism, hermeneutic theory, Pierre Hadot, ancient philosophy, William Alston, religious epistemology, religious experience, religious belief, doxastic practices

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