Original Research

Descriptive currents in philosophy of religion for Hebrew Bible studies

Jacobus W. Gericke
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 3 | a855 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i3.855 | © 2011 Jacobus W. Gericke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 May 2010 | Published: 14 March 2011

About the author(s)

Jacobus W. Gericke, North-West University, South Africa


This article argued that the utilisation of philosophy of religion in the study of the Hebrew Bible is possible if we look beyond the stereotype of erroneously equating the auxiliary field with natural theology, apologetics or atheological criticism. Fruitful possibilities for interdisciplinary research are available in the form of descriptive varieties of philosophy of religion primarily concerned with understanding and the clarification of meaning rather than with the stereotypical tasks of propositional justification or critical evaluation. Three examples are discussed in the article: analytic traditions (Wittgensteinianism and ordinarylanguage philosophy), phenomenological perspectives involving reduction (bracketing) and comparative philosophy of religion that works in tandem with the history of religion and comparative religion.


Hebrew Bible; Descriptive philosophy of religion; analytic; phenomenology; comparative philosophy; clarification; philosophical analysis


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