The author aims to provide a definition of God; a proposed reconstruction of religion; elements that should be integrated with religion; and democracy; to name a few. These topics include a discussion on three identified areas: medicine, environment, and feminism (Hildebrand). One found the intention to provide a definition of God as interesting, yet still wanting. The definitions that were presented were still very much abstract and readers from a wide range of demographical and cultural backgrounds could find it challenging to grasp the concepts being asserted. It was, likewise, commendable to try and explain the different constructs of religion as containing three common elements: a content; a method; and a divine guarantee (Hildebrand). Regardless of religious affiliation or orientation, one is convinced that these three elements are the crucial ingredients of a particular faith or doctrine.
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Some ideas which were unique included establishing a link between religion and democracy; as well as affirming that religion no longer plays a significant credible appeal in Western society’s existence (Hildebrand). It could be asserted that the notion was primarily taking the author’s perspective. One strongly believes that religion still plays an active role in contemporary societies’ values and beliefs; as it assists in the formation of values and conformity with moral and ethical standards on a more universal and global scale.
However, one finds it difficult to agree with the contention that “ If it can be appreciated that many of our most celebrated achievements have been directly facilitated by a human community (and not by God), then community may provide a powerful source of inspiration for this new, common faith” (Hildebrand 202). One is convinced that the human community, by nature, cannot be separated from the purpose of God’s creation. As such, the driving force of the human community is still believed to be theologically spurred, especially for very religious groups, like predominantly Catholic nations. The steadfast and firm belief in God has entrenched values and beliefs which emphasize the need to be cognizant of one’s neighbors’ wellbeing. As such, it could never be understood or accepted that most celebrated achievements could be facilitated by the human community without acknowledging God in the process.
Finally, one agrees with the quotation from Dewey which affirmed that “ respect for the things of experience alone brings with it such respect for others, the centers of experience, as is free from patronage, domination and the will to impose” (Hildebrand 207). The ability to grasp new ideas and explore different possibilities to understand philosophical views depend on the ability to respect others for what they believe in and to allow freedom of expression as a more productive avenue for discourse to learn new things and to appreciate the diversity of knowledge from multidimensional points of view.