H. Paul Douglass Lecture: Heaven is a wonderful place: The role of reasonableness in religious discourse

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Abstract

The United States is one of the best educated countries in the world, and yet a large proportion of the public claims to believe in the existence of heaven. To understand why there is relatively little apparent conflict between reason and faith about this topic, I examine the language devices subjects use in qualitative interviews to avoid appearing unreasonable when talking about heaven. I discuss references to religious authority and associated disclaimers, registers and register shifts, symbolic contrasts between heaven and earth, and expressions of ambivalence about who goes to heaven and how wonderful it may be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalReview of Religious Research
Volume52
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy

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