The Logic of Religion

The Logic of Religion

by Jude P. Dougherty

5.50 x 8.25 in

  • Paperback
  • 9780813213088
  • Published: January 2003


  • eBook
  • 9780813218212
  • Published: January 2003



The Logic of Religion presents an examination of the nature of religion from a philosophical perspective. In successive chapters classical, medieval, and modern authors are canvassed for their views. Even among those who find no evidence for the existence of God, we encounter discussions of the nature of religion and its function in society. This study begins in antiquity with Socrates, Plato, Cicero, and Seneca. It then moves through Augustine to the Middle Ages as represented by Averroes and Aquinas. By so proceeding, the author gives the reader insight into the nature and logic of religion as conceived before and after the advent of Christianity. Subsequent investigation leads to a consideration of the work of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and G.W.F. Hegel, in whose philosophies we find not only an account of the logic of religion but an appreciation of its implications in the practical order, and of Sigmund Freud's negative assessment of religion in The Future of an Illusion.

Although the focus of this study is primarily Western religion, attention is also paid to selected oriental modes of thought, some properly called "religion" in the Western sense, others more akin to philosophy than religion.

Throughout history the cultural implications of religion are apparent. In this book, readers will find many interesting philosophical observations of the nature of belief, worship, ritual, sacrifice, doctrine, theology and community.


Jude P. Dougherty, Dean Emeritus of the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, is author of Western Creed, Western Identity, editor of the Review of Metaphysics, and general editor of the Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy series published by CUA Press.


1.Religion as an Object of Philosophical Study
2.Greek and Roman Insights into Nature of Religion: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca
3.Christian Conceptions of Belief: Early Church Fathers, Augustine
4.The Relation of Faith to Reason in Aquinas and the Reformers: Aquinas, Luther, Calvin
5.Modern Interpretations of Religion, I: Hume, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard
6.Modern Interpretations of Religion, II: Mill, Marx, Dewey, Freud
7.Religion and the State in Western Democracies: Jacques Maritain
8.Religion and the State under the U.S. Constitution: John Courtney Murray
9.Oriental Religions and Similar Cultural Manifestations: Buddhism, Confucianism
10.The Unity of Religious Experience


"Enjoyable and thought-provoking." —Glen Ebisch, Catholic Library World

"The Logic of Religion can be recommended as an enjoyable and stimulating book." - Bijdragen International Journal in Philosophy and Theology