Knowledge and Ignorance - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Knowledge and Ignorance

KNOWLEDGE AND IGNORANCE. A cognitive element is essential to most religions and probably to all, but exactly what constitutes religious knowledge is problematic. Strong belief, for example, may be subjectively indistinguishable from knowledge. In a 1984 BBC interview, Billy Graham asserted that he knows there is to be a second coming of Christ. At a lecture, the Hindu scholar Swami Bon declared that "transmigration is not a dogma, it is a fact." This article will examine the various and conflicting conceptions of religious knowledge that have emerged in the major traditions through history.

Primal Peoples

"It appears," Dominique Zahan has written, "that every religion, however primitive, contains a cognitive element" ("Religions de l'Afrique noire," Histoire des religions 3, 1976, p. 609). In primal religions, according to Åke Hultkranz, religious knowledge rests on a fundamental division of experience: "A basic dichotomy between two levels of existence, one...

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This section contains 11,578 words
(approx. 39 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Knowledge and Ignorance from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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