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By Andreij Kodjak

Sinceits founding by means of Jacques Waardenburg in 1971, Religion and Reason has been a number one discussion board for contributions on theories, theoretical concerns and agendas relating to the phenomenon and the learn of faith. subject matters contain (among others) classification formation, comparability, ethnophilosophy, hermeneutics, technique, delusion, phenomenology, philosophy of technological know-how, medical atheism, structuralism, and theories of faith. now and then the sequence publishes volumes that map the cutting-edge and the background of the self-discipline.

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Sample text

Finally, after God's relationship to those who are persecuted is revealed ("Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven"), in cantrast to the previous beatitudes a comment is appended: "for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you" (5: 12). Thus the ninth beatitude violates almost all aspects of uniformity established in the preceding eight and thereby emphasizes the unifying factors of the system. Chart 1 (p. 45) summarizes the above observations on the formal structure of the Beatitudes.

To some degree their op~nmindedness can be detected in their willingness to travel a considerable distance in order to hear a new teaching, and at the same time their eagerness testifies to their religious devotion. We can hardly detect in these crowds any trace of either skepticism or indifference to the religious tradition. The crowds listening to Christ firmly believed in one invisible and loving God, creator of the universe and life, who had chosen the Jewish nation for His purposes in the world, and had made a covenant with this nation concerning its present righteousness and future deliverance from pain and suffering by the promised Messiah.

The analysis cannot be dominared by a preconceived ideology, no matter how attractive it may appear. A srudent of a text, and, above all, of a religious text, must make a special effort to approach the material under investigation wirhout cultural or personal prejudice, with a mind as open as possible to any message, for, as was shown, a preconceived code of perception may distort the communication under examination. After all, religious texts are primarily preoccupied with revealing a new and startling world view and, therefore, must contradict to a greater or lesser degree the established and commonly accepted ideology.

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