“. . . establishes the literary and philosophical greatness of the Dialogues in ways that even its warmest admirers have been unable to do before.”
In this lively reading of David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, William Lad Sessions reveals a complex internal hermeneutic that gives new form, structure, and meaning to the work. Linking situations, character, style, and action to the philosophical concepts presented, Sessions finds meaning contained in the work itself and calls attention to the internal connections between plot, character, rhetoric, and philosophy. The result avoids the main preoccupation of previous commentaries, namely, the attempt to establish which of the main characters speaks for Hume. Concentrating on previously unexplored questions of piety and theology, Sessions asks important questions in the philosophy of religion today—what is the nature of true religion, what is the relationship between theology and piety, and how should we actively engage with God?