The Experience of God Being, Consciousness, Bliss David Bentley Hart

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
30 Sep 2014
ISBN:
9780300209358
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
376 pages: 210 x 140mm

From one of the most revered scholars of religion, an incisive explanation of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great faiths

Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.

Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.

Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator.

‘. . .there is something evangelical about this study: it is at once both the most valuable discussion of the doctrine of God to have appeared for decades, and a witty, often mordant, defence of Christian belief. . .The Experience of God is still an outstanding addition to the literature on God, not least for its survey of so many of the world’s great faiths. It is also a fine piece of work of Christian apologetics, and a major contribution to debate on science and religion.’—Andrew Davison, Times Literary Supplement

“A classic of Christian apologetics”—Francesca Aran Murphy, First Things