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Keywords:

  • British Idealism;
  • modality;
  • Michael Oakeshott;
  • practical mode;
  • practice;
  • religion;
  • George Santayana;
  • Georg Simmel;
  • Eric Voegelin

Abstract.

Michael Oakeshott's religious view of the world stands behind much of his political and philosophical writing. In this essay I first discuss Oakeshott's view of religion and the mode of practice in his own terms. I attempt next to illuminate his idea of religion by describing it in less technical language, drawing upon other thinkers such as Georg Simmel and George Santayana, who share similar views. I then evaluate Oakeshott's view as a whole, considering whether his ideas about religion can stand up to careful scrutiny and whether they have value for present-day reflection on religion.