Job's Final Insight, Narratives, and the Brain
In continental philosophy of religion, the hermeneutics of narratives takes a central role. Analytic philosophy of religion, on the other hand, considers religious statements mostly as assertions of fact. It examines the logical form and semantics of religious statements, addresses their logical commitments, and examines their epistemological status. Using the example of a passage in the Book of Job, it is investigated whether the methods of analytic philosophy are also suitable for analyzing religious narratives. The question is explored whether there is a genuine form of knowledge, besides propositional factual knowledge, which is bound to the form of narration. Particular attention will be paid to the inter-personal pragmatic embeddedness of narratives. The connection between second-personal knowledge and narratives is examined. Using the historical example of Ignatius of Loyola's theory of religious knowledge, it is argued that propositional argumentative knowledge is only one form of religious knowledge among others. The others are second-personal and narrative in character. Having thus established this distinct form of knowledge, it is asked whether our best empirical knowledge of the neurophysiological basis of intuitive and non-argumentative cognition provides a foundation for better understanding inter-personal religious cognition within narratives.
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