, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 701-703

Review of John Hick, Between Faith and Doubt: Dialogues on Religion and Reason

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The much-published philosopher of religion, John Hick, now aged 88, has written this book in dialogue form. It is between himself and someone who is highly skeptical of religion, but not ready to dismiss religion out of hand. Hick hopes that the book will be useful to those who are ‘somewhere on the spectrum between doubt and faith.’

The argument of the book is that the fundamental difference between the skeptic and Hick is experiential, not intellectual. Which experience is he writing about? It is the experience greatly sought after in Zen, and it was experienced by Hick himself. His physical environment and himself became ‘part of a single indivisible whole. And the totality of which I was part, not just what I could see, was such that there couldn’t possibly be anything to be afraid of or to be anxious about. It was extraordinarily joyous… the awareness of the “friendliness” of the universe was the most important aspect of it’ (49).

And over the page, he wrote ‘So I think the experien