Introductions should introduce, but sometimes lead to engagements. That is our aim. We want to make Plato’s Republic more easily read by modern readers, but do not want to do only that. For philosophy is like poetry, and cannot be learned second-hand. I can learn all sorts of facts about a poem, but unless I have entered into the poet’s experience, if only in my imagination, it remains dead. Similarly, I shall not see the point of text-book analyses of philosophical (...) doctrines unless I have felt the force of the arguments that led the philosopher to propose them, and have some sense of the objections he encountered and the way he sought to surmount them. That is why we still need to read Plato and Aristotle, as we do Homer and Sophocles, in a way that we do not, save as a historical exercise, read ancient textbooks of medicine or mechanical construction. (shrink)
Faith and Criticism addresses a central problem in the church today--the tension between traditionalists and progressives. Traditionalists want above all to hold fast to traditional foundations in belief and ensure that nothing of value is lost, even at the risk of a clash with "modern knowledge." Progressives are concerned above all to proclaim a faith that is credible today, even at the risk of sacrificing some elements of traditional doctrine. They are often locked in uncomprehending conflict. Basil Mitchell argues that, (...) not only in theology but in any other serious intellectual pursuit, faith and criticism are interdependent. A tradition which is not open to criticism will eventually ossify; and without faith in some established tradition criticism has nothing to fasten upon. This interdependence of faith and criticism has implications for society at large. Religious education can be Christian without ceasing to be critical, and a liberal society can espouse Christian values. (shrink)
These essays represent an important contribution to modern philosophical theology. They begin with an appreciation of Basil Mitchell's work and then discuss the role of reason in the justification of Christian theism, giving special attention to the nature of informal reasoning in religion and science. The latter essays examine particular arguments raised by specific religious concepts, covering such topics as the problem of evil, conspicuous sanctity, atonement, and the Eucharist. Drawn from a wide spectrum of philosophers and theologians, the contributors (...) include Maurice Wiles, Grace M. Jantzen, Gordon Kaufman, J.R. Lucas, Rom Harr'e, Richard Swinburne, and Michael Dummett. (shrink)
This book analyzes the moral confusion of contemporary society, relating rival conceptions of morality with a wide variety of views about the nature and predicament of man. Mitchell argues that many secular thinkers possess a traditional "Christian" conscience which they find hard to defend in terms of an entirely secular world-view, but which is more in line with a Christian understanding of man.
A starting-point for the philosophical examination of theological belief, by A. Farrer.--The possibility of theological statements, by I. M. Crombie.--Revelation, by A. Farrer.--How theologians reason, by G. C. Stead.--The soul, by J. R. Lucas.--The grace of God, by B. Mitchell.--Religion and morals, by R. M. Hare.--"We" in modern philosophy, M. B. Foster.