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Title: Faith and Reason: An Epistemological Critique of Religious Belief with reference to Reformed Epistemology and Christian Fundamentalism
Contributor(s): Doherty, Donald George (author)
Conferred Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2004
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The thesis opens by examining how some definitions of religion either invite or exclude the notion of subjecting religious faith and belief to rational critique, and by examining how religions can be conceptualised in relation to the limits of the knowable. Elements of Reformed Epistemology, such as 'properly basic beliefs', warrant, and Calvin's 'sensus divinitatis' are then examined, and historical antecedents are surveyed with special reference to the question of whether Reformed Epistemology can be accused being a form of 'fideism' which paves the way for the 'extreme fideist' mindset of Religious Fundamentalism in a contemporary Christian context. To this end, the thoughts of Plato, Augustine, Calvin and Plantinga are discussed. An examination of the formation of mindsets with their necessary prejudices, and of Gould's NOMA (Non Overlapping Magisteria), is followed by a discussion of how the 'roles' of science and religion may be perceived by various mindsets including the fundamentalist mindset. An attempt is then made to evaluate the factors of delusion, deception, and epistemological irresponsibility in religious beliefs in conjunction with an analysis of verifiable/non-verifiable and falsifiable/non-falsifiable beliefs held by Christian Fundamentalists.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 2004 - Donald George Doherty
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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