In this substantial book, Samuel Fleischacker—a prominent historian of modern ethical and political theory—attempts to develop and defend a theory of revealed religion that eschews the dangers of religious fundamentalism. The chief claim of the book is stated clearly on its very first page: “revealed religions can offer us something of great importance, but stand in danger of corruption or fanaticism unless they are combined with secular scientific practices and a secular morality” (by “secular,” Fleischacker seems to mean religiously neutral).

In the first two parts of the book, Fleischacker attempts to establish the claim that strict commitment to scientific truth and morality must precede religion and that revelation cannot make claims against morality and science. Yet, revelation has something important to offer us that secular morality and science cannot provide and that is, claims Fleischacker, the satisfaction of our “telic yearnings,” or “a...

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