The task of the following considerations is the elucidation of the relationship of religion to thought. Every philosophical investigation with this task proceeds under the expectation that it will take into account religious self-understanding. Herein lies the special difficulty of a philosophical theory of religion. On the one hand, the philosopher of religion may not assume this self-understanding in order to avoid offering a religious theory (a theology) instead of the philosophical theory expected from him. On the other hand, he cannot by-pass religious self-understanding because this is the key to insight into the uniqueness of religious discourse. Without knowledge of this uniqueness, it is impossible to indicate the conditions under which religious statements lead to the question of truth. Even if religion cannot prescribe to philosophical investigation, whose methods the latter must apply to examine its object, it may in addition require that the standard by which it is measured be suited to grasp those special characteristics which mark it as different from other realms of life. Therefore, it may be required of the philosophical interpretation, that the question of the legitimacy and validity of religious self-understanding be treated from the very beginning as an open one, and not as one already decided. If this question is rashly decided in the negative, then all analysis of religious propositions is necessarily done along the guidelines of a method that in its foundation masks of the religious thematic.
Truth and Belief
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