Knowledge concerned with supernatural entity and transcendental reality like God, soul Criteria of knowledge: certain, distinct, indubitable, verifiable However, subject matter of religious knowledge is transcendental (beyond experience and reason) Hence, it lacks all criteria of knowledge. So from rational & philosophical point of view, we cannot call religious knowledge as knowledge but religious beliefs. For religious persons, there is no doubt about such knowledge. They accept it on the basis of faith Religion is considered a priori, i.e., there is something which prompts human towards heaven. Man has a strong predisposition towards spiritual quest. This gives rise to religious belief. 2 types: belief- in & believe -that- Belief-in: an attitude to a person, human/ divine. Believe-that: a proposition for which there can be some reason In Both- element of trust. However, in belief-in, it's so strong that even life can be risked. highly evaluative; not merely factual not merely cognitive; not just scientific knowledge both interested & disinterested. Interestedness: since God is our refuge & strength in tough times. But when humans thank Him, then they do so disinterested. affective & contains warmth of feeling nearest analogy of belief in God- belief in a friend. It is absolute trust in God w/o whom there would be no others. Function- control & guide the conative (impulsive) trends in man 1. Selection- One has to use reason to make a decision about one's deity. This clash b/w religions may give rise to various results- i. cross fertilization of ideas concerning ones' beliefs ii. rejection of other deities > forced conversions ii. wholesale mass conversion, as in ancient India. Many foreigners (Huns, Parthians) were concerted to Hinduism 2. Conceptualization- Religious experience/contact with god is transient. This has to be conceptualized in words. As the experience is extraordinary, words can never be precise. Expressions containing ordinary words are used in an extraordinary way.
3. Interpretation of religions scriptures- Upanishads & Gita are holy scriptures' but they have to be interpreted with reason Shankar- Brahman, being devoid of form cannot be an object of perception & inference. But he believes inference has to be used to understand scripture. Ramayan- Brahman is super-sensuous & cannot rest exclusively on arguments. Scripture is authoritative & reason should be applied only to support scripture. 4. Conviction in faith- Reason by itself cannot originate faith, but can be used to strengthen/weaken it.