Publication Date

Spring 2002

Document Type



Published in the Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, 1:1, Spring 2002, 123-134.


In his article “In Defense in Religion,” Jones reacts to current trends to minimize the role of reason in religion by attempting to show that if religionists desire their religious beliefs to correspond to knowledge, the noetic tool most likely to achieve this goal is reason. This he does by reviewing the leading epistemological approaches to metaphysical knowledge, and showing that each relies to some extent on reason. He further argues that all of them must utilize reason if they wish to attempt to critically verify their findings. Then he argues that religious knowledge is a type of metaphysical knowledge. He shows that the leading approaches to obtaining religious knowledge parallel to the various approaches to metaphysical knowledge, and have similar reliance on reason. Even in the case of supernatural revelation, reason is used in identifying and interpreting the revelation. Therefore, Jones concludes, “reason is the primary mechanism for obtaining religious knowledge.”