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History/Philosophy of religion. Where to start

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    I think that religious discussion possibly falls broadly into two areas.

    The first area relates to what I would refer to as the macro area and covers; “How/why did a particular religion evolve.” and “The history of religion and its relationship to the establishment/state.”

    The second is the micro area and relates to why/how individuals believe.

    I may not have used the correct terminology and am open to suggestions.
    I have no idea where to start looking for reading matter on these areas or even if I have defined them correctly and would appreciate some suggestions.
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    Well, for the actual religion, you may want to read the Holy Books. The Bible, Qur'an/Hadith, Torah etc would be a good place to start.

    For history, just wiki the religion and look at it briefly to get a general idea. Then, if you want, go onto more scholarly and in depth information. I can't say I've done much of the second (since it's tedious) but I would imagine that that's the way forward.
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    Lucretius.
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    The Holy Books. The Bible, Qur'an/Hadith, Torah etc. I don't think so. I'm looking for something rather more objective.
    Regarding Lucretius, beautiful as his work might be the same goes, objectivity.
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    (Original post by BML)
    I think that religious discussion possibly falls broadly into two areas.

    The first area relates to what I would refer to as the macro area and covers; “How/why did a particular religion evolve.” and “The history of religion and its relationship to the establishment/state.”

    The second is the micro area and relates to why/how individuals believe.

    I may not have used the correct terminology and am open to suggestions.
    I have no idea where to start looking for reading matter on these areas or even if I have defined them correctly and would appreciate some suggestions.
    The Existence of God - Richard Swinburne
    The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology - ed. Craig & Moreland

    for Philosophy of Religion.

    The Resurrection of God Incarnate - Richard Swinburne
    The Resurrection of the Son of God - NT Wright
    The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach - Michael Licona

    for Christianity in particular.

    Christian Theology: An Introduction - Alister McGrath

    for Christian history.
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    (Original post by Calumcalum)
    The Existence of God - Richard Swinburne
    The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology - ed. Craig & Moreland

    for Philosophy of Religion.

    The Resurrection of God Incarnate - Richard Swinburne
    The Resurrection of the Son of God - NT Wright
    The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach - Michael Licona

    for Christianity in particular.

    Christian Theology: An Introduction - Alister McGrath

    for Christian history.
    I wouldn't touch any of those books with a barge pole. NT Wright was a maximalist. And McGrath is a theologian. Two reasons not to trust either of them.
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    (Original post by BML)
    The Holy Books. The Bible, Qur'an/Hadith, Torah etc. I don't think so. I'm looking for something rather more objective.
    You're not going to find anything more objective than that when every book ever written on the subject (most likely) will have been written by an author with an opinion on the subject. Unless you're looking at the history of religion, which is only one part of your question, the philosophy of it isn't all that objective.

    The best place to get info on the actual religion is to look at the religion itself and its tenets. There's no better place for that than the Holy Books.

    Again, read the Holy Books. Decide for yourself whether its true or false afterwards.
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    I wouldn't touch any of those books with a barge pole. NT Wright was a maximalist. And McGrath is a theologian. Two reasons not to trust either of them.
    Not to worry, I doubt anyone is liable to trust your judgement on here, Martyn.

    Besides, McGrath and Wright don't really exist. They're myths based on Egyptian goddesses - didn't you know?
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    This is as academic as it can get

    Also in amazon it's about $60, so this website is cheaper (click on image). Shipped from Malaysia.
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    You should also focus on the Psychology and Sociology of religion...
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    I think that I have part of the answer to the questions I raised in, "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.
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    It's always good to start at the beginning
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    Paden's 'Interpreting Religion'. The primary text in Philosophy and Sociology of Religion.
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    How about "the illustrated guide to World Religions" by Michael D. Coogan, covers the main religions.

    Also a good old book "The Outline of History: Volume 1" by H.G. Wells.

    The first chapter does a decent job for a book written in 1920.

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