George Santayana's philosophy of religion : his Roman Catholic influences and phenomenology / Edward W. Lovely ; foreword by Robert S. Corrington.

Lovely, Edward W., 1938-
Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, [2012]
xvi, 240 pages ; 24 cm

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Santayana, George, 1863-1952.
Religion -- Philosophy.
George Santayana (1862-1952), of Spanish descent and generally included in the canon of American philosophers, was substantially influenced by his Roman Catholic origins in his philosophical disposition toward the value of tradition, religious symbols, and dogma. His philosophical project sustained a respectful attitude toward the spiritual value of orthodox religion, while the thrust of his philosophy was naturalistic and materialistic throughout. George Santayana's Philosophy of Religion: His Roman Catholic Influences and Phenomenology develops the argument that his philosophy, at the core depicting a harmonious striving toward individual happiness, remained essentially consistent from his earliest publications (Interpretations of Poetry and Religion and The Life of Reason) through his later works (Scepticism and Animal Faith, Realms of Being, Dominations and Powers, and The Idea of Christ in the Gospels).
Santayana's philosophical approach incorporates both phenomenological and social-con-structionist aspects, significantly preempting the methodology of social-constructionist theology and postmodern interpretations of religion. Edward W. Lovely compares his idiosyncratic phenomenological approach with the "benchmark" methodology of Edmund Husserl, the generally accepted founder of the phenomenological method. There are also important similarities between Santayana's phenomenological approach and that of Charles Sanders Peirce and William James. Santayana's contribution to religious studies is not only philosophical but also theological, in that he utilizes Christian theological language in transposing and interpolating his philosophy of religion to the Christian drama of the salvational Christ. Santayana's essay "Ultimate Religion" reflects his perspective of a disillusioned but still-spiritual vision, incorporating the piety, discipline; and spirituality of a life of reason. Within the framework of this "model," this book develops and explores Santayana's philosophy of religion and, finally, addresses the relevance of Santayana's philosophy of religion to contemporary religious studies and selected religious issues. This book has much to offer academic scholars of Santayana and American philosophy in general, as well as theologians and philosophers with an interest in philosophy of religion, theology, and phenomenology of religion.
Edward W. Lovely received a PhD in philosophy of religion at Drew University after a career in science and business. He teaches philosophy at William Paterson University and Fairleigh Dickinson University, both in New Jersey. Book jacket.
A paradoxical "Catholic" naturalist
The philosophical basis for Santayana's philosophy of religion
The phenomenological character of Santayana's philosophy of the Spirit
The coherent nature of Santayana's philosophy of religion
Aspects of Santayana's legacy to religious studies in the third millennium.
Includes bibliographical references and index.