Robert Bolger was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle earning a B.A. degree in philosophy. He then went on to get an M.A in Theology and a PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Theology. Robert, deeply influenced by the Wittgensteinian approach to philosophy and theology taught to him by his teacher D.Z. Phillips, is the author of Kneeling at the Altar of Science: The Mistaken Path of Contemporary Religious Scientism (Wipf and Stock, 2012) and Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy (Bloomsbury, 2014). In 2019, Robert published ReligiousLanguage, Meaning and Use (written with Robert C. Coburn). He is currently working on Staring Through the Darkness: Faith, Doubt and the Fear of Death.
New(ish) Book Out Now!
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About Religious Language, Meaning and Use:
Can the meaning of religious language be separated from its use? In Religious Language, Meaning and Use: The God Who is Not There, Robert Bolger and Robert Coburn address what has become a contentious though often overlooked account of the relationship between religious belief and religious practice. Through philosophical argumentation and by means of a variety of sermon-like essays on religious topics, this book seeks to return religion to the place in which the meaning and practical impact of its beliefs become inseparable from the life of the believer.
Part I begins by considering, through the loose lens of Wittgenstein's philosophical method, how religious language has been misunderstood leading straightway to a variety of challenges and conceptual confusions. Part II presents previously unpublished essays written by Robert C. Coburn who has, for over 50 years, been at the forefront of the study of metaphysics and philosophy of religion.
Making a compelling case for a religious practice that avoids trivializing religious belief, this book promises to be a corrective to those who see faith as nothing more than ethics in disguise and to those metaphysicians who see faith as a set of beliefs..
“Almost two books for the price of one! The lively essays by Robert Coburn are philosophical and personal: a delight to read. Robert Bolger argues against 'idolatry', belief in God 'up there'. In contrast stands religion anchored in a moral and personal practice. A challenging view, worthy of consideration.”
Willem B. Drees, Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
“Robert K. Bolger's Religious Language, Meaning and Use is both a challenge and an invitation. The challenge is to resist religion's tendency to engage in a semantic and cognitive domestication of God that Bolger argues is a kind of idolatry. The invitation is, along with Robert Coburn, to see religion instead as a form and practice of life that is best-and perhaps only-understood when viewed from the inside.”
Kevin Timpe, William H. Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy, Calvin College, USA