Juha Sihvola: Maailmankansalaisen uskonto [The religion of the world citizen]

21 October 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Maailmankansalaisen uskonto
[The religion of the world citizen]
Helsinki: Otava, 2011. 199 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-1-21279-9
€ 29, paperback

This book focuses on the core questions of religious philosophy with special emphasis on Christianity, but it also addresses Judaism, Islam and the Middle East conflict as well as conflicts between Hindu nationalists and Muslims. Juha Sihvola, a professor of history, ends up advocating the view which holds that religion and science are largely independent of one another: under-standing the special nature of belief enables a justifiable critique of both religious fundamentalism and radical neo-atheism. In this work, Sihvola examines the relationship of faith and morals to history, freedom of conscience, religious tolerance and the possibilities of developing a more pluralistic society. The ideas of contemporary philosophers John Rawls and Martha Nussbaum seem closest to Sihvola’s own thinking. He formulates an optimistic vision in which religion that is liberal, non-fundamentalist and understands the special nature of belief faces important tasks ahead.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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