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Paradox and the ProphetsHermann Cohen and the Indirect Communication of Religion$
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Daniel H. Weiss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199895908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895908.001.0001

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(p.215) Conclusion
Paradox and the Prophets

Daniel H. Weiss

Oxford University Press

Having examined the purposes and functioning of Cohen’s style, the conclusion considers the philosophical implications of Cohen’s insistence that a performative reasoning through texts is necessary for successful communication of religious concepts. Through its very style and form, Religion of Reason stands as a sharp critique of the distortions that arise from contemporary attempts to speak or write about religious concepts in an “overly consistent” manner, and it points toward the possibility of a mode of communication in which philosophy itself must become “scriptural.” Likewise, though not all inconsistencies are inherently rational, the example of Cohen’s text points toward a more general argument that paradox and a lack of theoretical consistency is to be an expected and necessary feature of any rational communication of religion.

Keywords:   performative, reasoning, scriptural, rational, inconsistencies, communication, religion, critique, paradox

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