Against DogmatismDwelling in Faith and Doubt

Against DogmatismDwelling in Faith and Doubt

Madhuri M. Yadlapati

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780252037948

Publisher: University of Illinois Press


Many contemporary discussions of religion take an absolute, intractable approach to belief and nonbelief that privileges faith and dogmatism while treating doubt as a threat to religious values. As this book demonstrates, however, there is another way: a faith (or nonfaith) that embraces doubt and its potential for exploring both the depths and heights of spiritual reflection and speculation. Through three distinct discussions of faith, doubt, and hope, the book explores what it means to live creatively and responsibly in the everyday world as limited, imaginative, and questioning creatures. It begins with a perceptive survey of diverse faith experiences in Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Protestant Christianity and then narrows the focus to Protestant Christianity and Hinduism to explore how the great thinkers of those faiths have embraced doubt in the service of spiritual transcendence. Defending the rich tapestry of faith and doubt against polarization, the book reveals a spiritual middle way, an approach native to traditions in which faith and doubt are interwoven in constructive and dynamic ways.