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The Sea of Faith (SCM Classics) Paperback – 4 May 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (4 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334029279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334029274
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

Don Cupitt shows how the rise in our science-based, democractic industrial society, of historical criticism and of knowledge of other religions has over the centuries slowly eroded the traditional framework of doctrinal belief--leaving us, as it seems to many, free, alone, and disoriented. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Don Cupitt is Senior Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a sense I could not disagree more with the estimable Mr Versey's review but even as an agnostic who came away thinking that there was indeed nothing in religion for me, this book gave me a similar feeling to 'Honest To God' (its near companion in re-engaging with God although with more philosophical rigour than Bishop Robinson): I was very impressed by and enjoyed it. Cupitt's central point has to be correct: Stephen Jay Gould's view that Faith and Science are non-overlapping magisteria is here seen as wrong, so this book identifies a sort of zero-sum game, thus the advance of one requires a shrinking or, better, a recasting of the other for a thoughtful intellectual such as the author. Cupitt sees this must be necessary, which would surprise most people not aware of developments in the universities and in Church scholarship, where it is considered obvious. Parodoxically then, If there is hero of this book it is Kierkergaard the fideist, precisely for resolutely deciding to abnegate Reason, we see that,if fact, what the late Bishop of Durham David Jenkins was saying is now orthodox in the non Fundamentalist Bible colleges: the Resurrection was actually, in fact "a conjuring trick with bones"; that miracles were there to impress a crowd of desert-dwelling illiterates. So, the Good Book needs to be contextualised as we are not Bronze Age illiterates and what was mutandis must be mutatis [forgive my pidgin Latin). A fine complement to this book would be the brilliant literary critic James Wood's 'The Broken Estate' where from similar premises Wood draws quite different conclusions in the title essay (the others are about literature only). I am of Wood's mind. Cupitt's is an excellent book, written with elan and transparent good intentions. They certainly do not pave the Highway to Hell, that other place-that-is-not-a-place! Neither am I on the Stairway to Heaven! This is a a salutary, stimulating book, read twice with equal pleasure each time.
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Format: Paperback
C S Lewis, among others, pointed to the gulf which separates the God who is master of the universe from the personal God we need to pray to. We cannot call on the first or find intellectual room for the second. Cupitt's treatment of the problem, its roots and its resolution, is not only thorough and systematic but leads to the optimistic conclusion which modern mysticism had already embraced - that we need God but not as traditionally conceived. He traces the encroachment of secularity into the religious sphere over the last 500 years (as the churches lost control of the activities of daily life) and the steady loss of belief in traditional religion over the last 150 years (since Darwin and biblical criticism struck at the cosmological basis of Judeo-Christianity. Yet he sees a persistent need of God in the Western world and a changing conception of what the word means.
Kant's recognition that knowledge can only be about the human mind, that it is essentially not about things out there, that it is subjective and never objective, has led others to see that the idea of God must also be anthropocentric. If all we know is what is in the mind then that is where God is. This was clear to the highly religious Pascal as much as to the irreligious Marx. Kierkegaard saw it in his life of withdrawal, Schweitzer in his life of ethical commitment. Wittgenstein saw that what we mean by God is determined by the limits not only of the mind but also of language.
Cupitt concludes that we need to see God as the focus of our lives, our values, our hopes, but we do not need an objective 'out there' God. It may be painful to walk away from the divine Father Christmas but we will be greatly enriched if we do.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating 2 April 2000
By chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I must admit to having a more than vested interest in Mr Cupitt, he was a lecturer in the philosophy of religion at the university in which i now study theology. (Cambridge) His work is to my mind of the most fundamental importance to anyone who is not prepared to dismiss religion as "the opium of the people" but finds its claims to supernatural truth unteneble in the scientific age in which we live. He offers the reader a reason to let go of the traditional dogma of the church, not just because it seems unbelievable these days, but it is he says the prerequisite to finding a true spirituality, and a genuine religious experience in which the individual can be an autonomous moral and personal agent. For many people his approach is far too radical to be taken seriously, (some even find it offensive.) But he allows for this in his book, he says that to understand him one has to make fundamental changes to their outlook on the world and that most people will not be able to do this. I am not a religious person, and this maybe why i had less problems with him than many of the people i study with. But whether you agree with all he says or not, one cant miss the passion with which he writes, nor misunderstand depth of his own spirituality. This book fundamentally altered my view on the world, and my approach to the subject both academically and emotionally has been changed through reading it. He is the one author i recommend to any one who tells me that religion or more specifically christianity is outdated or naive. Read this book, even if you disagree with everything he says, it will give you a much greater idea of why you believe what you do.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book arrived promptly and was in good condition. In addition 15 Sept. 2014
By Ted - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived promptly and was in good condition. In addition, I thought it was a very good book, well written and interesting, a true story
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new religion 29 July 2000
By Andreas Saugstad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Don Cupitt has for years been teaching philosophy of religion in Cambridge, England. I find him to be one of the most interesting and radical thinkers in England today.
In his book, Cupitt suggests a new spirituality. The old belief in the metaphysical God, Cupitt finds unintelligible. Cupitt is much inspired by thinkers like Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, and he advocates a human-centred spirituality without belief in the God of Christian theism. God is for Cupitt the sum of our values and ethical standards. "The true God is not God as a picturesque supernatual fact, but God as our religious ideal", he writes. Cupitt's God is not external, but something you can create through your thoughts and form of life.
Cupitt may be critized like the rest of the postmodern movement. When he writes "reality does not determine language: language determines reality", he is far too radical, and I don't think for instance Wittgenstein would agree with this.
But Cupitt is very interesting. One may get the feeling that he has an agenda, and is thinking with his soul, not merely playing an intellectual game. He challenges you. Cupitt is an excellent writer who should be read and discussed!
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