John Dewey has been portrayed as a sort of villain in Rosenow's (1997) article which appeared in this journal, apparently because he was unfairly opposed to God and to religion, and also because he deliberately usurped religious language to 'camouflage' his secular ideas. By drawing mainly upon similar sources but with some important additions, I wish to challenge the four major concerns raised in Rosenow's article and in doing so aim to offer an alternative interpretation. It is understood here that (...) Dewey's approach to religion was not so much religious as it was 'spiritual' and while developing and changing throughout his writings, his ideas on spirituality nevertheless were thoroughly entwined with his other views, especially those dealing with education, science and democracy. (shrink)
Introduction -- The significance of story -- Morphogenic fields -- The universe story and Christian story -- Morphic resonance : two stories converge -- The "kingdom of God" -- Emerging capacities -- Meditation -- The power of intention -- The fields converge -- A field of compassion -- Manifesting a field of compassion -- Engaging the grace we imagine.
This is a critical assessment of today presentations of Jesus of Nazareth’ Kingdom of God in so-called historical-exegetical books. Three of them are selected for a minute criticism. It follows a brief exegesis of all then important Gospel texts about the Kingdom of God as a «future event» or as «present» and «already come» in Jesus ministry. After a close scrutiny, only one Gospel passage (Luke 17:20-21) can be used with some doubts for sustaining that Jesus has proclaimed (...) a Kingdom of God already present. The article concludes with a brief exposition of the conceptions of the historical Jesus view about the Kingdom, and some consequences for the modern transpositions of his view. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the effects of sin for our cognition of God primarily consist in a lack of knowledge by acquaintance of God and the relevant ensuing propositional knowledge. In the course of my argument, I make several conceptual distinctions and offer analyses of 1Cor 13:9-12 and Rom 1:18-23. As it turns out, we have ample reason to think that sin has had and still has profound consequences for our cognition of God, but there is no reason (...) to think that sin has taken away all knowledge of God or that sin has resulted in a loss of specific cognitive faculties that are oriented toward knowledge of God. (shrink)
The author examines Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion to discover a variant of the usual teleological argument that abandons reliance on analogical reasoning. This second version, never refuted in the Dialogues, is termed "pragmaticist" in Peirce's sense. It relies on an abductive hypothesis that claims not logical proof but the power of instinctual conviction. The Dialogues' espousal of sound common sense may then be viewed as an imperfectly articulated precursor of Peirce's pragmaticist argument for the reality rather than the existence (...) of God. (shrink)
Paley’s ‘proof’ of the existence of God, or some supposed version of it, is well known. In this paper I offer the real thing and two objections to it. One objection is Hume's, and the other is provided by Darwin.
The last half century has seen both attempts to demythologize the idea of God into purely secular forces and the resurgence of the language of “God” as indispensable to otherwise secular philosophers for describing experience. This volume asks whether “piety” might be a sort of irreducible human problematic: functioning both inside and outside religion.S. Clark Buckner works in San Francisco as an artist, critic, and curator. He is the gallery director (...) at Mission 17 and publishes regularly in Artweek and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. Matthew Statler is the Director of Research at the Imagination Lab Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland. His current research is focused on practical wisdom as it pertains to organizational phenomena such as strategy making and leadership. He also has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. (shrink)
In this book, controversial and world-renowned theologian, Stanley Hauerwas, tackles the issue of theology being sidelined as a necessary discipline in the modern university. It is an attempt to reclaim the knowledge of God as just that – knowledge. Questions why theology is no longer considered a necessary subject in the modern university, and explores the role it should play in the development of our “knowledge” Considers how theology is often excluded from the knowledges of the modern university because these (...) are constituted by an understanding of time necessary to make economic and state realities seem inevitable Argues that it is precisely this difference that makes Christian theology an essential resource for the university to achieve its task - that is, to form people who are able to imagine a different world through critical and disciplined reflection Challenges the domesticated character of much recent theology by suggesting how prayer and the love of the poor are essential practices that should shape the theological task Converses with figures as diverse as Luigi Giussani, David Burrell, Stanley Fish, Wendell Berry, Jeff Stout, Rowan Williams and Sheldon Wolin Published in the new and prestigious Illuminations series. (shrink)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical philosophy (...) and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
The central debate of natural theology among medieval Muslims and Jews concerned whether or not the world was eternal. Opinions divided sharply on this issue because the outcome bore directly on God's relationship with the world: eternity implies a deity bereft of will, while a world with a beginning leads to the contrasting picture of a deity possessed of will. In this exhaustive study of medieval Islamic and Jewish arguments for eternity, creation, and the existence of God, Herbert Davidson provides (...) a systematic classification of the proofs, analyzes and explains them, and traces their sources in Greek philosophy. Throughout the study, Davidson tries to take into account every argument of a philosophical character, disregarding only those arguments that rest entirely on religious faith or which fall below a minimal level of plausibility. (shrink)
Hans Jonas developed in ‘Past and Truth’ (1991) a demonstration of the existence of God based on the ‘truth of past things’. And in ‘The Concept of God after Auschwitz’ (1984) he created a new myth of divine self-alienation in order to take away God’s responsibility for human misery. Both these texts were conceived as an alternative to a more Hegelian, objective idealist perspective on theology. This article shows that Jonas’s alternative does not fully succeed in this respect because his (...) arguments bring him back to an idealist perspective. His proof of God is revisited and explained using new insights recently developed by Robert Spaemann, whose interpretation of the proof makes it clear that many important critics of Jonas are too quick to reject his claims. The arguments of Jonas now seem to show a new strength even though they still fail to give an alternative to an objective idealist theological framework. (shrink)
Once it is appreciated that it is not possible for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God to exist, the important question arises: What does exist that is closest to, and captures the best of what is in, the traditional conception of God? In this paper I set out to answer that question. The first step that needs to be taken is to sever the God-of-cosmic-power from the God-of-cosmic-value. The first is Einstein’s God, the underlying dynamic unity in the physical universe which (...) physics seeks to depict by means of a true, unified, physical “theory of everything”. Science has already achieved some theoretical knowledge of this God-of-cosmic-power. The second is what is of most value in our human world, and in the world of sentient life more generally. Having cut God in half in this way, our fundamental problem, intellectual and practical, becomes: How can the God-of-cosmic-value (as it is represented on earth at least) exist and best flourish within the God-of-cosmic-power? Or, in other words: How can what is of value associated with human life – and sentient life more generally – exist and best flourish within the physical universe? Clearly acknowledging that this is our fundamental problem, in academic inquiry, and in all that we do, might help what is of value in life to flourish rather better than it does at present. (shrink)
This cogently argued and richly illustrated book rejects the dichotomy between the God of Abraham and the God of the philosophers to argue that the two are one. In God of Abraham, one of our leading philosophers of religion shows how human values can illuminate our idea of God and how the monotheistic idea of God in turn illuminates our moral, social, cultural, aesthetic, and even ritual understanding. Throughout Goodman draws on a wealth of traditional, philosophical, historical, and anthropological materials, (...) and particularly on a wide range of Jewish sources. He demonstrates how an adequate understanding of the interplay of values with monotheism dissolves many of the longstanding problems of natural theology and ethics and guides us toward a genuinely humanistic moral and social philosophy. (shrink)
This book is the fullest study in English for many years on the role of God in Spinoza's philosophy. Spinoza has been called both a 'God-intoxicated man' and an atheist, both a pioneer of secular Judaism and a bitter critic of religion. He was born a Jew but chose to live outside any religious community. He was deeply engaged both in traditional Hebrew learning and in contemporary physical science. He identified God with nature or substance: a theme which runs through (...) his work, enabling him to naturalise religion but - equally important - to divinise nature. He emerges not as a rationalist precursor of the Enlightenment but as a thinker of the highest importance in his own right, both in philosophy and in religion. (shrink)
Monotheism is usually considered Judaism's greatest contribution to world culture, but it is far from clear what monotheism is. This work examines the notion that monotheism is not so much a claim about the number of God as a claim about the nature of God. Seeskin argues that the idea of a God who is separate from his creation and unique is not just an abstraction but a suitable basis for worship. He examines this conclusion in the contexts of prayer, (...) creation, sabbath observance, repentance, religious freedom, and love of God. Maimonides plays a central role in the argument both because of his importance to Jewish self-understanding and because he deals with the question of how philosophic ideas are embodied in religious ritual. (shrink)
What is the meaning of life? In the post-modern, post-religious scientific world, this question is becoming a preoccupation. But it also has a long history: many major figures in philosophy had something to say on the subject. This book begins with an historical overview of philosophers from Plato to Hegel and Marx who have believed in some sort of meaning of life, either in some supposed "other" world or in the future of this world. Young goes on to look at (...) what happened when the traditional structures that provided life with meaning ceased to be believed. (shrink)
In the first two chapters of the Monologion Anselm shows, or tries to show that “Of all the things that exist, there is one that is the best, greatest and supreme.” In this paper I examine his argument.
Nietzsche's importance -- Nietzsche's ideas -- Nietzsche's legacy -- Aphorisms, 1875-1889 -- On truths and lies in an extramoral sense, 1873 -- On the uses and disadvantages of history for life, 1874 -- Human, all too human, 1878 -- The gay science, 1882 -- Thus spoke Zarathustra, 1883-1884 -- Beyond good and evil, 1886 -- On the genealogy of morals, 1887.
Most of the reports on synthetic biology include not only familiar topics like biosafety and biosecurity but also a chapter on ‘ethical concerns’; a variety of diffuse topics that are interrelated in some way or another. This article deals with these ‘ethical concerns’. In particular it addresses issues such as the intrinsic value of life and how to deal with ‘artificial life’, and the fear that synthetic biologists are tampering with nature or playing God. Its aim is to analyse what (...) exactly is the nature of the concerns and what rationale may lie behind them. The analysis concludes that the above-mentioned worries do not give genuine cause for serious concern. In the best possible way they are interpreted as slippery slope arguments, yet arguments of this type need to be handled with care. It is argued that although we are urged to be especially vigilant we do not have sufficiently cogent reasons to assume that synthetic biology will cause such fundamental hazards as to warrant restricting or refraining from research in this field. (shrink)
Why is the philosophy of religion important? -- Is God real? -- How can God be known? -- Faith and reason or faith vs. reason? -- What is religious experience? -- Who is religious and what is faith? -- What is God? -- Does religion need the supernatural? -- Do miracles occur? -- What is evil and why does it exist? -- What happens after death? -- What is spirituality? -- How does religion affect personal ethics? -- How does religion (...) affect social ethics? -- What is a religious life? (shrink)
Comparative philosophy of religions -- Disciplinary challenges -- A grammar for comparison -- Comparative philosophy of religions -- Content, structure, and arguments -- Epistemology -- Religious epistemology in classical India: in defense of a Hindu god -- Interpreting Nyāya epistemology -- The Nyāya argument for the existence of Īśvara -- Defending the Nyāya argument -- Shifting the burden of proof -- Against Īśvara: Ratnakīrti's Buddhist critique -- The section on pervasion: the trouble with natural relations -- Two arguments -- The (...) section on the reason property -- The section on the target property -- Is Īśvara the maker of the world? -- Language, mind, and ontology -- The theory of exclusion, conceptual content, and Buddhist -- Epistemology -- The theory of exclusion -- What exclusion is not -- Semantic value -- Ratnakīrti's inferential argument -- Jñānaśrīmitra's three questions -- Ratnakīrti's world: toward a Buddhist philosophy of everything -- An inventory of mental objects/images -- The contents of perception -- The contents of inferential/verbal awareness -- Nonexistence, existence, and ultimate existence -- The Īśvara-inference, revisited -- Who created the world? -- The values of Buddhist epistemology -- Foundational figures and foundational texts -- The soteriological significance of epistemology -- Jñānaśrīmitra on epistemology as pedagogy -- Ratnakīrti's framework of value -- Religious reasoning as religious practice. (shrink)
An integrated overview of history The volume in this series are arranged topically to cover biography, literature, doctrines, practices, institutions, worship, missions, and daily life. Archaeology and art as well as writings are drawn on to illuminate the Christian movement in its early centuries. Ample attention is also given to the relation of Christianity to pagan thought and life, to the Roman state, to Judaism, and to doctrines and practices that came to be judged as heretical or schismatic. Introductions to (...) each volume tie the articles together for an integrated understanding of the history. Offers insights and understanding The aim of the collection is to give balanced and comprehensive coverage, selected on the basis of the following criteria: original and excellent research and writing; subject matter of use to teachers and students; groundbreaking importance for the history of research; background information for issues and opinions. Understanding the development of early Christianity and its impact on Western history and thought offers valuable insights into the modern world and the present state of Christiantiy. It also provides perspective on comparable developments in other periods of history and reveals human nature in its religious dimension. (shrink)
Foreword Philip T. Grier The attempt to retrieve a work of scholarship buried under as much historical debris as was IA Il'in's original two-volume commentary on the philosophy of Hegel presented distinct challenges, as well as possible ...
Students and nonspecialist intellectuals may both benefit by the book, which illuminates the problem of development of doctrine that is now, even more than in the days of Newman, a fundamental issue between Roman Catholic and Protestant, ...
. The present malaise of religionâand of theology, its intellectual formulationâin Western society is analyzed, with some personal references, especially with respect to its history in the United Kingdom and the United States. The need for a more open theology that takes account of scientific perspectives is urged. An indication of the understandings of God and of God’s relation to the world which result from an exploration starting from scientific perspectives is expounded together with their fruitful relation to some (...) traditional themes. The implications of this for the future of theology are suggested, not least in relation to the new phase, beginning in 2003, of the development of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. In a concluding reflection the hope is expressed that the shared global experience and perspectives generated by the sciences might form a more common and acceptable starting point than hitherto for the exploration towards God of the seekers of many religious traditions and of none. (shrink)
Hobbes denies in Leviathan that we have an idea of God. He does think, though, that God exists, and does not even deny that we can think about God, even though he says we have no idea of God. There is, Hobbes thinks, another cognitive mechanism by means of which we can think about God. That mechanism allows us only to think a few things about God though. This constrains what Hobbes can say about our knowledge of God, and grounds (...) his belief in a fairly strong version of the thesis that God is incomprehensible. (shrink)
The existence of natural laws, whether deterministic or indeterministic, and whether exceptionless or ceteris paribus, seems puzzling because it implies that mindless bits of matter behave in a consistent and co-ordinated way. I explain this puzzle by showing that a number of attempted solutions fail. The puzzle could be resolved if it were assumed that natural laws are a manifestation of God’s activity. This argument from natural law to God’s existence differs from its traditional counterparts in that, whereas the latter (...) seek to explain the fact of natural laws, the former seeks to explain their possibility . The customary objections to the traditional arguments cannot be successfully adapted to counter this new argument, with one exception which has only limited effect. I rebut four claims that the theistic solution to the puzzle about natural laws is paradoxical, though I concede that one of these claims has merit. I consider four objections to the new argument but find three of them more or less unsatisfactory. The fourth, if successful, would undermine our claims to know the truth about the world. (shrink)
Introduction -- The mathematical roots of the concept of analogy -- Aristotle : the uses of analogy -- Aristotle : analogy and language -- Thomas Aquinas -- Immanuel Kant -- Karl Barth -- Final reflections.
Richard Swinburne presents a substantially rewritten and updated edition of his most celebrated book. No other work has made a more powerful case for the probability of the existence of God. Swinburne gives a rigorous and penetrating analysis of the most important arguments for theism: the cosmological argument; arguments from the existence of laws of nature and the 'fine-tuning' of the universe; from the occurrence of consciousness and moral awareness; and from miracles and religious experience. He claims that while none (...) of these arguments are deductively valid, they do give inductive support to theism and that, even when the argument from evil is weighed against them, taken together they offer good grounds to support the probability that there is a God. The overall structure of the discussion and its conclusion have been retained for this new edition, but much has been changed in order to strengthen the argumentation and to take account of Swinburne's subsequent work on the nature of consciousness and the problem of evil, and of the latest philosophical and scientific writing, especially in respect of the laws of nature and the argument from fine-tuning. This is now the definitive version of a classic in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Basing his argument for the existence of God on the continuous nature of the temporal world, Braine here posits that the philosophy of religion cannot be continued as a separate discipline: the solution of its problems will be the fruit of the correct telesis of the problems of general philosophy in their complex interrelationships.
John Foster presents a clear and powerful discussion of a range of topics relating to our understanding of the universe: induction, laws of nature, and the existence of God. He begins by developing a solution to the problem of induction - a solution whose key idea is that the regularities in the workings of nature that have held in our experience hitherto are to be explained by appeal to the controlling influence of laws, as forms of natural necessity. His second (...) line of argument focuses on the issue of what we should take such necessitational laws to be, and whether we can even make sense of them at all. Having considered and rejected various alternatives, Foster puts forward his own proposal: the obtaining of a law consists in the causal imposing of a regularity on the universe as a regularity. With this causal account of laws in place, he is now equipped to offer an argument for theism. His claim is that natural regularities call for explanation, and that, whatever explanatory role we may initially assign to laws, the only plausible ultimate explanation is in terms of the agency of God. Finally, he argues that, once we accept the existence of God, we need to think of him as creating the universe by a method which imposes regularities on it in the relevant law-yielding way. In this new perspective, the original nomological-explanatory solution to the problem of induction becomes a theological-explanatory solution. The Divine Lawmaker is bold and original in its approach, and rich in argument. The issues on which it focuses are among the most important in the whole epistemological and metaphysical spectrum. (shrink)