Revisioning Transpersonal Theory
* Book: Revisioning Transpersonal Theory. A participatory vision of human spirituality. By Jorge Ferrer.
- 1 Summary
- 1.1 Foreword: Richard Tarnas on paradigm shift
- 1.2 Part One: Deconstruction
- 1.2.1 Chapter 1
- 1.2.2 Chapter 2: Roots of the experiential vision
- 1.2.3 Chapter 3: The empiricist colonization
- 1.2.4 Chapter 4: Transpersonal Psychology and the Perennial Philosophy
- 18.104.22.168 1. Perennialism is an apriori metaphysical stance
- 22.214.171.124 2. Perrenialism privileges a non-dual metaphysics
- 126.96.36.199 3. Perennialism is geared towards an objectivist epistemology
- 188.8.131.52 4. Perennialism leans towards Essentialism
- 184.108.40.206 5. Perennialists tend toward Dogmatism and Intolerance
- 220.127.116.11 On Wilber
- 1.3 Part 2: Reconstruction
- 1.4 Appendixes
- 2 More information
From the reading notes of Michel Bauwens , 2006:
This is a summary of the first, 'critical' part of the book; not yet the second 'reconstructive' part.
Foreword: Richard Tarnas on paradigm shift
An original break often returns assumptions of the past, so that a second break may be needed.
Example: Copernicus' hypothesis of heliocentrism still suffered from the assumption that the planets move in circles; it took Kepler to step outside it, and discover elliptical movement.
The evolution of transpersonal psychology, whose aim it was to bridge the break between science and religious experience, followed a similar pattern.
It's precursors were William James and Carl Gustav Jung; it's founders were Abraham Maslow and Stanislav Grof.
Transpersonal Psychology represented a radical break with the prevailing positivism and reductionism, but remained itself within the the same problematic: it retained "Cartesian assumptions, i.e. the stress on separate intrasubjective experience; it also shared the anti-Christian attitude of the Enlightenment.
Part One: Deconstruction
Chapters 1 to 4 are a 'deconstruction' and critique of the individualist premises of the early phase of transpersonal psychology, and amongst others, critiques this orientation in Ken Wilber. The second part, starting with chapter 5, will then be dedicated to a 'reconstruction' based on relational premises.
This is the key book that ended the dominance of the field by the ideas of Ken Wilber, and formulated the epistemological requirements set by post-structuralism, so that the discourse and practice of spirituality can be taken seriously by contemporary culture.
After a review of the origins of the movement, Ferrer stresses that desite the many different strands, what unites them is the recognition of the epistemic value of the spiritual experience, i.e. it discloses something vital about self, other, and world; in contrast to scientism, positivism, materialism, reductionism. But, paradoxically, Transpersonal Psychology did not have its own epistemology, though it was grounded in Cartesian viewpoints, mainly experentialism, and intrasubjective empiricism.
When Ferrer started this research, he first wanted to
- 1) to confirm Cartesian presuppositions, but failed - 2) then undertook a epistemic turn (away from experience) - 3) but finally decided on a participatory turn: i.e. spirituality as a multi-local event that would disclose itself in a individual, relationship, community, etc..
These shifts did not occur without blockages and periods of stagnation!
Chapter 2: Roots of the experiential vision
I. In the West: the differentiation of the unified metaphysical worldview
- 1. The objective or natural world: empirical science, instrumental-technical rationality (OBJECTIVE TRUTH)
- 2. The intersubjective or social world. This is the realm of politics and ethics, approached by moral-pragmatic rationality (NORMATIVE RIGHTS)
- 3. The subjective or individual world: the realm of arts, religion, psychotherapy, approached by aesthetic-expressive rationality (SINCERITY)
Religious and spiritual phenomena were therefore relegated to the subjective realm, and not considered to disclose valid knowledge.
In Western religious studies, the idea of religion as an inner experience can be traded to Schleiermacher's "On Religion", from 1794.
II. In the East
- 1. In Buddhist studies, it stems from
- a. new Japanese Zen movements of the Kyoto school (Nishida Kitaro, D.T. Suzuki) - b. the vipassana revival, starting at the end of the 19th cy
- 2. In Hindu studies:
- a. from the 19th cy: emergence of neo-Hindu thinkers such as Rammohan Roy, R. Tagore, S. Radakrishnan
After Maslow had identified peak experiences with the 'core-religious' experiences, transpersonalists could either follow Jung, or the East, and according to Ferrer, this in part explains the Washburn-Wilber split. The necessary legitimization of the field made 'Intrasubjective empiricism" unavoidable. Tthough experientialism was therefore necessary and emancipating, it has now become regressive.
What are its main problems ?
- intrasubjective reductionism - subtle Cartesianism - spiritual narcissism - integrative arrestment
- a. Intrasubjective reductionism
This gave a space to spirituality in the modern differentiation, and validated it as a form of knowledge. This is radical but incomplete. Spirituality has to include the objective (self and world, self and nature), it has to be socially engaged (Rothberg); while Wilber has advocated a new form of cognition which can integrate these 'dissociated' worlds. Nevertheless, Wilber retains the experiential vision but wants to expand it in all 4 quadrants in a 'expanded empiricism'. Divorced from ethical and communal practices, it may loose its transformative potential to become a simple peak experience and a vehicle for narcissism. It also reduces spirituality to a mere human phenomenological affair, something that a participative vision would avoid.
- b. Subtle Cartesianism
This involves the understanding of spiritual phenomena according to a subject-object model of knowledge and cognition. Though TP explicitely argued against it, the experiential vision grounds it back in such a split.
But Transpersonal Psychology nevertheless challenges Cartesianism because:
- 1) the subjective can become objective ('witnessing' techniques)
- 2) the objective can become subjective:
- a. inner transformation creates new world spaces - b. objectified archetypes can become new personality structures
Ferrer concludes by showing a 'double shift' has occured to 'reduce' transpersonal phenomena. First, it is limited to inner experience, and then, it is split into a subject experiencing 'objects'.
The previously mentioned 'double shift' leads to two betrayals:
- 1) spiritual narcissism
- 2) arrested development
- c. Spiritual narcissism
If spirituality can be seen as a path towards self-transformation, in order to overcome narcissism and self-centeredness, often it is not. Spiritual narcissism is the misuse of spiritual practices, energy or experiences to bolster self-centered ways of being
It can manifest itself in:
- 1) ego-inflation - 2) self-absorption (i.e. pre-occupation with one's own spiritual achievements) - 3) spiritual materialism (appropriation to strengthen ego)
Intrasubjective reductionism favors narcissism by placing experiences in the domain of the ego, while subtle Cartesianism reinforces it by :
- subjectivism, i.e. including everything in 'me' - objectivism, i.e. believing one is a 'detached observer' of the world
Both viewpionts isolate from participation and engagement!
- "In one case, I devour everything into my experience; in the other, I dominate through my intellect and will". (Evans)
- d. Integrative arrestment
The goal of the spiritual quest is to stabilize spiritual consciousness and to integrate transpersonal phenomena into daily life. Experientialism puts up two roadblocks on that path.
- 1) the emphasis on experience is disjointed from the full integrative understanding of spirituality, which includes ethics, study of the scriptures, etc..
- 2) experiences are seen with a beginning and an end, rather than as permanent transformational processes.
Chapter 3: The empiricist colonization
Is it a good thing to equate spirituality with science ? Ferrer wants to show that it is ultimately a misguided effort. The starting point for TP epistemology is 'inner empiricism', i.e. claims that can be replicated through disciplined introspection and can be intersubjectively verified. The first version was Jung's 'neo-Kantian' epistemology, which only recognized mental phenomena and thus was agnostic about extra-mental realities He considered mysticism based on pre-Kantian notions and thought they were directly experienced as the archetypes, BUT, in his late works such as AION he declared them possible. After Jung, Maslow declared that peak-experiences were experiential and self-validating. But it was Charles Tart with his proposal of state-specific sciences, using, 'adequately trained observers', for intersubjective verification, which first systematized the idea. Finally, there came Wilber's arguments for a 'broad empiricism'.
Going to religious studies, Ferrer concludes that, though there are many experiential-scientific claims by contemporary Buddhists and Hindus, there are quite different from the traditions.
He goes on to to describe the call for a broad empiricism (natural, mental and spiritual), following the 3 strands of
- injunction - apprehension - communal confirmation / falsification
.. in effect calling for a marriage of science and religion, against reductionist scientism and dogmatic premodern religion. But Wilber's critique of positivism is incomplete, seeing only the reduction to sensory elements, and not its reduction of everything to empirical verification, which Wilber makes the very cornerstone of his method!
Wilber does not take into account 50 years of humanistic epistemological critiques (Gadamer, etc ..). His extension of positivism includes Popper's falsifiability principle which is already deeply problematic within the philosophy of science
("the history of science does not conform to it - Kuhn; "science would be wiped out if it were to be accepted" - Feyerabend). In practice, a theory is refuted not when it is falsified (this is put aside as an anomaly),
but when a better one comes along (Lakatos).
A fatal strike was provided by the Duhem-Quine principles of the 'underdetermination of the theory by evidence", which says that:
- 1) logically incompatibl3e theories may fit the same evidence
- 2) that theories can be infinitely adjusted.
The Popperian principle has shown itself to be inapplicable in most fields of natural and human science. Contrary to Wilber, Ferrer claims that most contemplative claims are not falsifiable.
The claims of the various traditions are mutually incompatible:
- 1) the absolute and substantial nature of the Self (Advaita)
- 2) the existence of a soul and a loving God
- 3) the no-self doctrine of the Theravadans
What one tradition sees as insight, another sees as delusion. Most claims cannot be either corroborated or falsified, and that is not their purpose: they are prescriptive systems aimed at transforming 'being in the world'. If corroboration occurs, it is contextual and related to the tradition.
Note also that the marriage that Wilber calls for involves both 'premodern religion' and 'modern science'. New forms of spiritual insight are arising out of inter-religious dialogue, who take a pluralistic point of view; as well as new forms of post-empiricist research. The 3 strands are also inadequate to understand radically new insights (such as the Buddha's), which had no 'community of the adequate'.
Chapter 4: Transpersonal Psychology and the Perennial Philosophy
Transpersonal psychology has been dominated by perennialism from the start, in the neo-Advaitin version of Grof and in the structuralist version of Wilber. Perennialism dates from the Renaissance when it was an attempted marriage of Christianity and Platonism (Ficino, Pico, Cuso), first formulated by a Vatican librarian, bishop Steuco (1497-1546). It was used by the Thomists, by Leibniz, by Theosophists, but was especially popularized by Huxley in his 1946 classic.
Perennialism believes in the following postulates:
- 1) involutionary cosmology
- 2) hierarchical ontology and axiology (the Great Chain of Being)
- 3) hierarchical epistemology (knowledge of higher realms is morfe authorative)
It may come in different types:
- a) BASIC , one path, one God (Huxley) - b) ESOTERICIST: one goal, many paths (Schuon) - c) STRUCTURALIST: different contextual manifestations of one underlying pattern (Laughlin) - d) PERSPECTIVIST: many paths, many goals, but reflecting one Ground of Being (Nasr, Grof) - e) TYPOLOGICAL: a limited number of paths and goals are available, which are themselves independent of time and space (Otto, Stace, Zaehner)
Ferrer cautions that the differences he outlined are not always clearcut. After describing Grof's tenets, he distinguishes Wilber from the 'classic' evolutionary perennialists such as de Chardin and Aurobindo. Wilber has no omega point in the future, since he says it is outside time and space. But his version is teleological, since he sees Spirit as the final goal and pull. Moreover, it includes a modern element, structuralism, and a postmodern one, constructivism (Varela's enacting paradigm), which allows him to formulate a more powerful synthesis.
A critique of perennialism could take the following form:
- 1) it is an apriori metaphysical stance - 2) it privileges nondual, monistic perspectives - 3) it is geared towards an objectivist epistemology - 4) it leans towards essentialism - 5) shows dogmatism and intolerance
1. Perennialism is an apriori metaphysical stance
Why ? Because it is not arrived at through
a) cross-cultural research, or through,
- b) inter-religious dialogue
It is claimed to be the result of the use of the Intellect, which arrives at universal Truths, rather than reason, which can only arrive at individual truths. But this is a circular reasoning that means disagreement is necessarily false. It's a-priori-ness means it cannot be proven by experience.
2. Perrenialism privileges a non-dual metaphysics
Though they say the Ground is unqualifiable, they also insist it is the Absolute One, and place it above other forms of mysticism.
3. Perennialism is geared towards an objectivist epistemology
Though it cogently criticizes the objectivism in science decades before the philosophy of science itself, it falls back to it by stressing that there is an ultimate pregiven reality that can be objectively known (through the intuitive knowledge of the Intellect). This means they have the same problems as Cartesianism, i.e. absolutism vs relativism and objectivism vs subjectivism remain as unsolvable contradictions of which they reject the latter element.
4. Perennialism leans towards Essentialism
It looks for what is common, but that is not necessarily what is most valuable. It may well be the most distinctive aspects of a tradition, that are its most transformative!
5. Perennialists tend toward Dogmatism and Intolerance
Since they claim to know the most valid interpretation of the Absolute, they inevitably find themselves ranking traditions and insights. But the unity of contemplatives cannot be substantiated by the history of spirituality: they hardly agree amongst themselves. The purported unity is a dogma. Thus, they are incapable in entering in a full 'symmetrical' dialogue, unable to fully accept religious 'otherness'.
Wilber is a structuralist, amongst other things, since an important element in his approach is to distinguish between surfaces and deep structures.
Ferrer accepts that it may be useful to discover structural similarities, but not that one can put it in fixed hierarchical frameworks of value. Wilber is also a 'subtle objectivist' since he claims these structures are pregiven. He does use Varela's constructionism but renders it inoperative because he opposes evolution by 'natural drift' (i.e. market by open-endedness). He is also 'essentialist' because he sees the deep structures "as reified existents with supra-ordinate powers". The result of all of this is that Wilber severely restricts novelty in his system, since it is limited to surfaces bound by the logic of the corresponding structure. It is also 'bad hermeneutics', which homogenizes the traditions and fails to convey specificity.
It also often distorts the specific traditions, and Ferrer cites the interpretation of Nagarjuna. Then, not only is ranking as such problematic, but the specific forms of ranking are not coherent. For example, placing Buddhist realization above the Christian 'Unio Mystica', would imply that the former went through such an earlier development phase, but such is not the case. While some mystic's biographies exemplify Wilber's stages, others do not, with some showing opposite sequences, i.e. going from nondual to personal union (Abhishaktimana).
To conclude the first part of his book (part 2 is Ferrer's attempt at participative 'reconstruction'), Ferrer delves into the possible reasons that Transpersonal Psychology is wedded to perennialism. Amongst the reasons are the influence of Maslow and Wilber, in the Zeitgeist of the 60s and 80s; the lack of contact with disciplines advocating religious pluralism. Finally, he posits that experientialism and perennialism may be wedded to each other by necessity: one begets the other. To avoid subjectivism means looking for objectivism, hence universalism, but this conundrum of subjectivism vs objectivism, only arises under Cartesian assumptions in the first place.
Part 2: Reconstruction
Chapter 5: The Participatory Nature of Spiritual Knowing
On the main epistemic features of the participatory turn.
What is needed is a move away from objectivist and intrasubjective premises to an emphasis to participatory events. The understanding of transpersonal phenomena must be reframed in a way that does not connote intentionality. They must be understood as multilocal participatory events, beyond the locus of the individual, occuring in relationships, communities, spaces. The ontological event precedes, calls for, the experience.
What does this mean, an event ?
Compare it to a festive party, that is an event, not just an inner experience!
To explain the multiocal character, Ferrer refers to Buber's "Between", with spiritual realization occuring in the space between you and me; to group events (collective identity, the species mind) and to locale-specific experiences in sacred spaces.
The concept of 'participatory' has different meanings:
- 1) involving different dimensions of the human being, not just the mind - 2) to communion, or 'creative participation' - 3) to the fundamental ontological predicament of humans, as 'always participating in the self-disclosure of spirit.
What are the ways of knowing: presential, enactive, transformative.
- 1. Participatory knowing is presential
= knowing by virtue of being (no subject/object split)
- 2. Participatory knowing is enactive
= a bringing forth of a domain of distinctions co-created by the different elements of the event (not a mental presentation of a pro-given reality)
- 3. Participatory knowing is transformative
= 1) participation brings forth transformation of self and world
= 2) a transformation of self is a condition of participation
The participatory account also has the advantage of undermining the shortcoming of the experiential vision, i.e.:
- 1) intrasubjective reductionism - 2) subtle cartesianism - 3) spiritual narcissism - 4) integrative arrestment
- 1. Intrasubjective reductionism
The spiritual cannot reduced to private individual experience. But: it is multilocal and can occur in relationships, communities, places.
- 2. Subtle Cartesianism
Participatory events are neither subjective nor objective
- 3. Spiritual Narcissism
If it is outside the realm of inner experience, it is outside of the sphere of domination by the ego.
- 4. Integrative Arrestment Participatory knowing transforms us.
In Conclusion: the participatory vision releases us from the dualism of experience and knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is a 'state of discernment', which liberates. The point of contemplative traditions is not to 'have' or to 'attain' mystical states, but that the knowledge brings liberation.
Chapter 6: An ocean with many shores
What new spiritual landscapes are disclosed by this alternative vision ? Perennialism assumes that there is one ultimate spiritual reality, and if different accounts are given, this means that it has different aspects. But perennialists inevitably 'grade' accounts according to the closeness to that assumed Reality.
Following a seminal collection by Steven Katz in 1978 , "Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis", (post)modern scholars have challenged this view, insisting on the following arguments:
- 1) the plurality of mystical aims and experiences - 2) the mediated (and not direct) nature of this knowledge - 3) the questionable ontological states of spiritual realities.
This 'contextualism' insists on cultural determinants, on 'strong mediation', which shapes the account of the experiences. Experience cannot but be shaped by prior concepts. These account for different aims so that God, Brahman, and Nirvana cannot be said simply to be different aspects; they are in fact altogether different experiences and realities.
However despite these differences, both adversaries in fact share a number of epistemological assumptions, which can and should be transcended. Perrenialism shares the objectivist Myth of the Given, that there is a given reality waiting to be known by human cognition, an idea which is now rejected by most contemporary philosophers. This does mean that there is no reality 'out there', but that it is dynamic and co-created by interpretation; despite or because these critiques, many still hold to a weaker version of the myth of the given (Searle, 1995), in order to explain why we can have a conversation at all.
If we accept the hypothesis of the given in its weak form, we must stress that the weakness is even greater in the spiritual field than in the empirical field: the role of human cognition is even greater! In conclusion we must reject the Cartesian roots of perennialism. But what about the new neo-Kantian epistemological assumptions of contextualism ? Indeed, they stress that pure knowledge is impossible and always mediated (the Myth of the Framework). But such a dualism of the Given (reality), and the Framework (interpretation) has also be challenged. Davidson has shown that different interpretations require a common ground (otherwise, they could not be compared at all). Tarnas adds that the gap with reality, re-inforces alienation.
Thus the cosmologic estrangement, initiated by Copernicus, and the ontological estrangement initiated by Descartes, were completed by the epistemological estrangement initiated by Kant (p. 419).
There is only one solution to move towards the ‘recognition of the simultaneously interpretative and immediate nature of human knowledge’ (p. 143). Looking for a common element in religion, we find that they al involve an overcoming of narrow self-centeredness towards a fuller participation in the Mystery of Being. Ferrer calls this the ‘Ocean of Emancipation’.
Its entry is accompanied by a transconceptual disclosure of reality, but unlike perennialism, we have to accept they are 'multiple'. Any 'single insight' theory is misconceived for 3 reasons:
- 1) reality is plural, diversity also exists at the transconceptual level
- 2) absence of conceptual content does not mean phenomenological identity
- 3) the transconceptual unfolding is not necessarily the same in all traditions (f.e. personal vs impersonal, dual vs nondual)
All this can only mean there are several kinds of Enlightenment. The Ocean of Emancipation has many shores. And particular rafts are needed to arrive at certain shores.
This does not deny that they may have some elements in common! This recognition allows for both difference and commonality, paving the way for comparative scholarship. Ferrer then reviews some historical precents for the notion of human co-creation of divine becoming For co-creation to be real and innovative, Wilber's idea of pre-given deep structures has to be given up.
Chapter 7: After the participatory turn
What are the implications of this turn for:
1) the ranking of spiritual traditions ?
- Spiritual ranking is rampant not only between different religions but also inside the different strands of one religion. Other states and methods are considered as inferior stages on the way to the ultimate truth of one's own school. If there is no spiritual ultimate, then these rankings are untenable.
2) transpersonal developmental models
- Developmental models based on so-called medidative cartographies are misguided, because most such maps were derivative of doctrine, and not experience. The were in fact prescriptive, or even sometimes, purely scholastic exercices. To derive a universal path out of their syntheses can only be flawed. They should be seen only as enaction, in a particular tradition.
3) conflicting truth claims
- Explanations for divergence take 3 general routes:
- 1) dogmatic exclusivism: only my religion is true - 2) hierarchical inclusivism: our truth is more encompassing - 3) ecumenical pluralism: all religions ultimately lead to the same path
But if there is no spiritual ultimate, these problems disappear. Diversity naturally depends on different 'enactions'. For humans, there is no view 'from nowhere', and no view 'from everywhere'. The pluralism is not just doctrinal, but metaphysical. Pluralism penetrates into the very heart of ultimate reality (Pannikar, cited page 167)
4) the validity of spiritual truths
The criteria changes from 'does the account accurately describe ultimate reality', which becomes a meaningless question, to "does it present, enact, embody, and transform', i.e. is it an efficacious means to transform self, community, and society, towards more selfless behavior. On this criteria various traditions and practices can still be compared. Instead of knowledge that is matched to pregiven results, we seek knowledge that is grounded in, and aligned with, the Mystery of Being.
As such, it provides an inherent critique to previous 'dissociated' means of knowing. Cross-cultural validity chains are inherently problematic, cannot be decided a priori, but must be the results of dialogue.
5) The problem of mediation in spiritual knowledge
Mediation = the constructions and mechanisms through which humans access reality.
Mysticism and perennialism dispute that (= immediacy of spiritual knowledge).
This is unsolvable within a Cartesian-Kantian Duality of Framework vs Reality, but in a participatory epistemology, these mediating lenses can be seen as vehicles through which reality or being self-manifests in the human. What is needed is, following Panikkar, a re-integration of the ontology/epistemology and object/subject split: "everything is because it mediates. The hermeneutics of discovery (of a pregiven reality), or of suspicion (of distorting mediation), becomes a hermeneutics of communion.
6) The understanding of spiritual liberation
- "To know is to be liberated, and if you're free, you know".
In mystical doctrine, the sociological, phenomenological dimension (human salvation and happiness) and the epistemological / ontological dimension (knowledge of ultimate reality), are strongly inter-linked.
The latter stance, to maintain to know the Truth of reality, 'as it really is', is deeply problematic in a pluralist world, where dialogue is predicated on the willingness to be transformed.
For Ferrer, the tension between the participatory vision and the absolutist mystical vision can be relaxed by simultaneously holding on to two claims:
- 1) that all traditions are potentially correct in their claim of direct insight
- 2) but that this insight does not refer to the Cartesian 'pre-given' reality.
"Things as they really are" should be seen as referring to "things as they can or should be", according to the prescriptive enactions of the tradition. Ferrer's position differs from ecumenical pluralism, because the latter sees only interpretations of a single spiritual ultimate, and thus denies the ontological validity of mystical claims.
Box: Critiques of the Myth of the Given
Ferrer, p. 139:
• Tarnas: Participatory epistemology, (1991)
• Varela, Thompson and Posch’s ‘enactive paradigm of cognition’
• Quin’s critique of the two myths of empiricism (1953, 1990)
• Van Glaserfeld’s ‘radical constructivism’, (1984)
• Sellar’s attack on the ‘idea of givenness’ (1956, 1963)
• Gadamer’s notion of ‘truth events’ (1990)
• Kuhn’s challenge to the ‘neutral nature of observation’ (1970)
• Goodman’s ‘ways of worldmaking’ , (1978)
• Rorty’s deconstruction of the metaphor of the ‘mind as the mirror of nature’, (1979)
• Davidson’s refutation of an ‘uninterpreted reality’ , (1984)
Box: Perrenialist vs. Contextualist arguments
1) There is a cross-cultural ‘pure consciousness’ experience that is non-conceptual
2) Mystical experiences are deconstructive of cultural conditioning
3) Scriptural data show similarities, especially in heretical attempts that are counter-cultural
4) They accuse contextualism of being a performative contradiction
1) Use scriptural data to indicate the contextuality
2) Describe the mystical path as reconstructive, i.e. re-using culturally determined material
3) Experience and interpretation cannot be separate
4) Deny the possibility of pure consciousness
5) Show the biases of mystics and perennialists (sexist, patriarchal, etc ..)
Box: Equivalencies between religions
- 1) cognitive: common beliefs, doctrines
- 2) functional: practices with analogous roles
- 3) homoversal: human invariants (we all dream)
- 4) ontological: union with personal God in christianity, islam and judaism
There are 3 possible methods of interfaith dialogue:
- J.J. Clarke. Oriental Enlightenment: the encounter between Asian and Western thought. Routledge, 1997
- J.B. Cobb. Beyond Dialogue: toward mutual understanding and transformation of Christianity and Buddhism. Fortress Press, 1990.
- Coward H. Jung and Eastern Thought , 1985
- Cupitt, D. Mysticism after modernity. Blackwell 1998
Books critiquing Objectivism
- W.V. Quine:
- 1) From a logical point of view. Harper & Row, 1953 - 2) In pursuit of truth. Harvard Univ. Pr., 1990 - 3) The only tradition. SUNY, 1997
- Varela, F.J. , et al. The embodied mind. MIT Press, 1991
- W. Sellars. Science, perception, and reality. Routledge, Kegan Paul, 1963
- N. Goodman, Ways of world-making. Hackett, 1978
- R. Rorty. Philosophy and the mirror of nature. Princeton UP, 1979
- D. Davidson. Inquiries into truth and interpretation. Oxford UP, 1984
Books on religious pluralism
- T. Dean, ed. Religious pluralism and truth. Suny, 1995
- P. J. Griffiths. Apology for apologetics: a study in the logic of inter-religious dialogue. Orbis, 1991
- S.M. Heim. Salvations: Truth and difference in religion. Orbis, 1995
- L. Irwin. Visionary worlds: the making and un-making of reality. Suny, 1996
- H.M. Vroom. Religions and the truth. Eerdman, 1989