Throughout the ages one of the central topics in philosophy of religion has been the rationality of theistic belief. This book proposes that parties on both sides of this debate might shift their attention in a different direction, by focusing on the question of whether it is rational to be a religious theist. 

Explaining that having theistic beliefs is primarily a cognitive affair but being a religious theist involves a whole way of life that includes one's beliefs, Golding argues that it can be pragmatically rational to be a religious theist even if the evidence for God’s existence is minimal.

The argument is applied to the case of Judaism, articulating what is involved in religious Judaism and arguing that it is rationally defensible to be a religious Jew. The book concludes with a discussion of whether a similar argument might be constructed for other versions of religious theism such as Christianity or Islam, and for non-theistic religions such as Taoism or Buddhism.

Joshua Golding offers a carefully wrought explanation of how it can be rational for someone to live a religious life, in particular (but not necessarily only), a traditional Jewish life.

chapter 1|16 pages


chapter 2|10 pages

The Religious Theist

chapter 4|31 pages

The Rationality of Being a Religious Jew 1