Abstract

Abstract:

This essay explicates Robert Cummings Neville's theory of religious truth, focusing especially upon its foundations in the semiotic and pragmatism of C. S. Peirce. In accordance with Peirce's semiotic, Neville construes religious truth as consisting in a triadic relation obtaining between religious signs, the ultimate objects they represent, and the living interpreters who interpret those ultimate objects via religious signs. In accordance with Peirce's pragmatism, Neville construes religious truth as consisting in the practical fruits of interpreting religious signs in the experience, behavior, and thought of living interpreters. Neville's theory of religious truth also depends crucially upon his metaphysics, which hypothesizes that all determinate things are defined by four elements: form, components formed, existential location, and value-identity. These "cosmological ultimates" define the finite sides of four "finite/infinite contrasts" with the infinite, indeterminate ontological creative act that creates all determinate things out of nothing. Religious symbols are true in a semiotic sense when they represent what is ultimately real by schematizing the finite/infinite contrasts that actually define the boundedness of the creation over against the ontological creative act. And religious symbols are true in a pragmatic sense when interpreting those symbols causes interpreters to regard as their ultimate concerns the religious predicaments associated with having form, components, existential location, and a value-identity. In short, religious symbols are true insofar as they represent realities that are truly ultimate and their interpretation generates the good living fruits of righteousness, wholeness, love, and ultimate meaning.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2156-4795
Print ISSN
0194-3448
Pages
pp. 31-48
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-25
Open Access
No
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