Anthropology and the Religious Hypothesis

  • Brandon Daniel-Hughes


This chapter consolidates the working conceptions of continuity, inquiry, and community into a sketched philosophical anthropology. The first three sections characterize inquisitive engagement as the simultaneous pursuit of three ends: personal integration, communal coordination, and cosmic harmony . At each level, inquiry is characterized both broadly and vaguely, and the chapter stresses the simultaneity and reciprocity of inquiry at all three levels. Section 4.4 introduces a new religious theme, ultimate orientation, and argues both for including ultimate orientation among the relevant aims of inquisitive engagement and that cultivating habits and signs of ultimate orientation may further the aims of inquiry at the other three levels in important respects. Ultimate orientation requires enormous cognitive, imaginative, and semiotic sophistication. If, however, the persistence of human attempts to signify Ultimacy, regardless of the literal truth or adequacy of those signs, alters the efficacy and efficiency of inquiry, then any examination of religious communities must wrestle with the meaning and aims of such attempts.


Ultimate orientation Ultimacy Personal integration Communal coordination Cosmic harmony Religious anthropology 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon Daniel-Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.John Abbott CollegeSainte-Anne-De-BellevueCanada

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