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Can Human Friendship Yield Knowledge of God?

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Towards a Religious Epistemology Embodied in the Spirituality of Everyday Life

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While friendship is a perennial phenomenon, it adopts characteristic forms in contemporary culture. These are reflected in the contemporary revival of thought on friendship. The authors build on this revival by inquiring whether friendship could be developed into a key concept for religious epistemology. Does friendship contain an implicit knowledge that might be called religious, and that lends itself to explication by religious epistemology? The authors argue that it does, and that an embodied epistemology is capable of teasing out the spiritual dimensions of friendship. Thus, examining friendships between human beings may yield knowledge of God. Finally, the authors argue that since epistemology and spirituality are closely related, the move from a foundationalist epistemology to an epistemology embodied in friendship also involves a move to a different type of spirituality that is neither rationalistic nor fideist in nature.

Affiliations: 1: Evangelical Theological Faculty, Leuven, Belgium ; 2: School of Catholic Theology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands


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