The Future of Religion by Gianni Vattimo, Richard Rorty
"Recommended for large academic Libraries" -- Library Journal
"We're lucky then, to have The Future of Religion...unlike so many voices we've heard in the last week, Rorty and Vattimo think big about Catholicism." -- Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer
" The Future of Religion is the perfect primer in post-metaphysical historicism." -- Paul J. Griffiths, First Things
"This brief book opens a vista onto the thought of two... helpful thinkers." -- Jeffrey Dudiak, Philosophy in Review
"Intellectually stimulating." -- James J. DiCenso, Journal of the American Academy of ReligionReview
"It is a truism that modernity understood itself as a liberation from religion: the Age of Faith was to be superseded by the Age of Reason. It is this self-assurance that postmodernism calls into question by heralding, for its part, the Age of Interpretation. Should modernity's verdict about the demise of religion also be revisited? In this book, two of the most preeminent figures of postmodernism engage in a conversation on the issue. The pragmatist Richard Rorty, who calls himself 'religiously unmusical,' grants -- somewhat grudgingly, given his anticlericalism -- that religion will probably not disappear, but contends that it should remain private and kept out of the public sphere, while Gianni Vattimo, returning to the belief of his roots, argues that Christianity, with its ethics of humility and pardon, represents the very presupposition of our public life. A delightful dialogue that challenges the beliefs of theists and atheists alike. It also confirms that postmodernists practice what they say when they hold that philosophy is a conversation." -- Jean Grondin, University of Montreal.Product Description
Though coming from different and distinct intellectual traditions, Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo are united in their criticism of the metaphysical tradition. The challenges they put forward extend beyond philosophy and entail a reconsideration of the foundations of belief in God and the religious life. They urge that the rejection of metaphysical truth does not necessitate the death of religion; instead it opens new ways of imagining what it is to be religious -- ways that emphasize charity, solidarity, and irony. This unique collaboration, which includes a dialogue between the two philosophers, is notable not only for its fusion of pragmatism (Rorty) and hermeneutics (Vattimo) but also for its recognition of the limits of both traditional religious belief and modern secularism.
In "Anticlericalism and Atheism" Rorty discusses Vattimo's work Belief and argues that the end of metaphysics paves the way for an anti-essentialist religion. Rorty's conception of religion, determined by private motives, is designed to produce the gospel's promise that henceforth God will not consider humanity as a servant but as a friend. In "The Age of Interpretation," Vattimo, who is both a devout Catholic and a frequent critic of the church, explores the surprising congruence between Christianity and hermeneutics in light of the dissolution of metaphysical truth. As in hermeneutics, interpretation is central to Christianity, which introduced the world to the principle of interiority, dissolving the experience of objective reality into "listening to and interpreting messages."
The lively dialogue that concludes this volume, moderated and edited by Santiago Zabala, analyzes the future of religion together with the political, social, and historical aspects that characterize our contemporary postmodern, postmetaphysical, and post-Christian world.About the Author
Richard Rorty is professor of comparative literature and philosophy at Stanford University. He is the author of numerous works, including Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature; Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity; and What's the Use of Truth?
Gianni Vattimo teaches hermeneutic philosophy at the University of Turin. Among his books are After Christianity; Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and Law; Dialogue with Nietzsche; and After the Death of God.
Santiago Zabala is the editor of Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Gianni Vattimo and author of The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy and the forthcoming The Remains of Being.