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Rescuing religious non-realism from Cupitt

Don Cupitt's version of religious non-realism based as it is on linguistic constructivism, radical relativism and the view that culture forms human nature has been attacked with devastating effect by realists in the last few years. I argue that there is another strand in Cupitt's thinking, his biological naturalism, that supports a different version of religious non-realism and that he failed to see this possibility because of his global non-realism and commitment to the strong programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge. Cupitt's biological naturalism should have led smoothly into evolutionary psychology, which has an account of religious belief that supports a non-realist interpretation. Evolutionary psychology shows that religious beliefs are natural, normal and about matters of the deepest significance to humans. They gain their character from the operation of evolved structures of the mind and cannot be reduced to other sorts of belief. I argue that the form of religious non-realism that emerges from taking biological naturalism seriously has a future because it respects the nature of religious belief and seeks to build on its capacity as a unique source of meaning in people's lives. There is also enough common ground with religious realism for there to be genuine dialogue between the two.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Walker, R.(2006). Rescuing religious non-realism from Cupitt. The Heythrop Journal, 47(3), 426-439.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an author’s version of an article published in the journal: The Heythrop Journal. ©2006 The author. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com