language, religious

language, religious
   Religious language is language that refers to what is believed to be the ultimate nature of reality or its relationship to us. While religious language appears grammatically and syntactically like non-religious language, the unique nature of its subject suggests that they could differ radically in deeper ways. For instance, while the phrases 'Mother spoke to me' and 'God spoke to me', or 'The doctor healed me' and 'God healed me', appear to differ only in their subject, this surface similarity may well conceal important differences beneath. While there certainly seem to be cases where the religious and nonreligious use of language is univocal (for example, 'God exists' and 'My mother exists'), many Christian philosophers have argued that most religious language depends on analogy between the religious and non-religious reality. Insofar as one views human concepts as inadequate for describing divine reality one could follow the via negativa or, more radically, lapse into an apophatic, mystical silence.
   Further reading: Alston 1989a; Sherry 1976a; Sherry 1976b

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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