What could it mean to be religious in a world where religion no longer retains its former authority? Posing this question for his fellow Western intellectuals who inhabit just such a world, James C. Edwards investigates the loss of religion's traditional power in a culture characterized by what he calls "normal nihilism"-a situation in which one's commitment to a particular set of values is all one really has, and in which traditional religion is only a means of interpretation used to preserve what one most cares about. Recognizing the important historical role of religion in making us the people we are, he seeks to establish a viable understanding of religion without traditional beliefs and within the context of contemporary skepticism.
The Plain Sense of Things is a book more interested in the power of religion that in its truth and in what happens to that power when the claims to truth slacken their grip.
-Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
-Jeffrey Stout, Princeton University
James C. Edwards is Professor of Philosophy at Furman University. He is the author of Ethics Without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life (1985) and The Authority of Language: Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and the Threat of Philosophical Nihilism (1990).