Volume 36, 1998
Philosophy of Religion
Truth and Religion Reconsidered
An Analytical Approach
I discuss some of the problems of the application of the notion of truth to religion. After introductory remarks on the problem called truth and religion to show the peculiarity and the actuality of the problem discussed, I examine the different meanings of the notions of truth and religion, in order to formulate some comments on the different concepts of the truth of religion. I name the main types of religious truth, and consider the competencies of the diverse types of the study of religion to determine the truth of religion, and to analyze how to understand the truth of distinct types of religion. I conclude with some remarks on the appropriate approach to the question of the truth of religion. The considerations show that there is no simple answer to the question of the truth of religion in general or in particular. As it turns out the answer requires some relativizations, among others to the notion of truth and of religion. The notions of true religion and credibility of religion, though at first sight distinct, seem to condition each other. The notion of the truth of religion can be a valuable instrument of interpretation of religious phenomena not only in philosophy and theology of religion, but in the social sciences of religion too.