This paper discusses the philosophical significance of 'September 11' by relating it to attempts that have been made throughout the history of philosophy to read particular events as symbols of conceptual change. It draws especially on Susan Neiman's Evil in Modern Thought and Giovanna Borradori's dialogues with Derrida and Habermas, in her Philosophy in a Time of Terror, to relate 'September 11' to Kant's versions of Progress, Providence and Cosmopolitanism.
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought is an investigation into two basic concepts of ancient pagan and Christian thought. The study examines how activity in Christian thought is connected with the topic of participation: for the lower levels of being to participate in the higher means to receive the divine activity into their own ontological constitution. Torstein Theodor Tollefsen sets a detailed discussion of the work of church fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the (...) Confessor, and Gregory Palamas in the context of earlier trends in Aristotelian and Neoplatonist philosophy. His concern is to highlight how the Church Fathers thought energeia (i.e. activity or energy) is manifested as divine activity in the eternal constitution of the Trinity, the creation of the cosmos, the Incarnation of Christ, and in salvation understood as deification. (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)
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)
Introduction : "The idea of divine providence in Orosius, Augustine, and Dante" -- "Destined lands and chosen fathers: Virgil, Livy, and the Bible" -- "Orosius defends the Roman Empire" -- "Augustine's theology of history" -- "Dante's monarchia with and against Augustine" -- "Dante's Commedia and the ascent to incarnational history" -- Conclusion : "The hand of God".
Introduction -- Euripides, philosopher of the stage -- The world of men and gods -- Agreeing with nature : fate and providence in stoic ethics -- Augustine : divine justice and the "ordering" of evil -- The philosopher and the princess : Descartes and the philosophical life -- Living with necessity : Spinoza and the philosophical life -- Designer worlds -- Providence as progress -- Providence lost.
Introduction -- How does God do things? -- Divine governance and the laws of nature -- Trouble with time -- Eternal God as author of nature -- What can God know? -- Healed hearts, inspired minds -- Mystical revelations -- Is science a mystic's friend?
Medieval Jewish philosophers have been studied extensively by modern scholars, but even though their philosophical thinking was often shaped by their interpretation of the Bible, relatively little attention has been paid to them as biblical interpreters. In this study, Robert Eisen breaks new ground by analyzing how six medieval Jewish philosophers approached the Book of Job. These thinkers covered are Saadiah Gaon, Moses Maimonides, Samuel ibn Tibbon, Zerahiah Hen, Gersonides, and Simon ben Zemah Duran. Eisen explores each philosopher's reading of (...) Job on three levels: its relationship to interpretations of Job by previous Jewish philosophers, the way in which it grapples with the major difficulties in the text, and its interaction with the author's systematic philosophical thought. Eisen also examines the resonance between the readings of Job of medieval Jewish philosophers and those of modern biblical scholars. What emerges is a portrait of a school of Joban interpretation that was creative, original, and at times surprisingly radical. Eisen thus demonstrates that medieval Jewish philosophers were serious exegetes whom scholars cannot afford to ignore. By bringing a previously-overlooked aspect of these thinkers' work to light, Eisen adds new depth to our knowledge of both Jewish philosophy and biblical interpretation. (shrink)
This book is about the influence of varying theological conceptions of contingency and necessity on two versions of the mechanical philosophy in the seventeenth century. Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655) and Rene; Descartes (1596-1650) both believed that all natural phenomena could be explained in terms of matter and motion alone. They disagreed about the details of their mechanical accounts of the world, in particular about their theories of matter and their approaches to scientific method. This book traces their differences back to theological (...) presuppositions they inherited from the Middle Ages. Theological ideas were transformed into philosophical and scientific ideas which led to the emergence of different styles of science in the second half of the seventeenth century. (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)
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)
TO BE A THEIST, THE AUTHOR ARGUES, IS TO CONSTRUE THE WORLD AS A WHOLE ON THE MODEL OF A RATIONAL AGENT’S ACTIVITIES. CHRISTIAN THEISM IS CHARACTERISED BY PARTICULAR CLAIMS AS TO MATTERS OF FACT: GOD IS (A) THAT WHICH IS SAID TO MAKE ALL THINGS, (B) THE OBJECT OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, (C) THAT WHICH WILL ULTIMATELY BRING ABOUT A STATE OF JUSTICE, (D) THAT WHICH BROUGHT IT ABOUT THAT JESUS LIVED, DIED AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD. MEYNELL CONTENDS THAT (...) THIS IS A LOGICALLY COHERENT IDEA AND SHOWS WITH REFERENCE TO THE DEPENDENT CONCEPTS OF GRACE, EVIL, PRAYER, PROVIDENCE, MIRACLE AND THE AFTER-LIFE THAT THE CHRISTIAN FAITH HAS ESCHATOLOGICAL TRUTH-CONDITIONS. (BP). (shrink)
El presente estudio se centra, en un primer momento, en el tema de la providencia, visto con detenimiento y en la complejidad de sus múltiples implicaciones desde la metafísica o la teología hasta la ética y la política, para ello partimos de un marco, desarrollado en esta Introducción, donde analizamos las distintas concepciones de la providencia desde los orígenes del pensamiento hasta bien … [+]entrada la época moderna. Se entrecruzan términos como logos, alma del mundo, destino, fortuna, azar, historia de (...) salvación, razón y orden universal y pedagogía divina, entre otros, como voces sinónimas o cercanas al concepto de providencia. En un segundo momento nos centramos en estudiar las mutaciones que sufre la concepción cristiana de orden providencial en el despliege del pensamiento de la modernidad, desde sus orígenes, con la reforma protestante, el deísmo y el racionalismo, centrándonos en la figura de Baruc Spinoza. Concluimos con un breve estudio, al respecto, de los tres autores más emblemáticos de la Ilustración alemana: Lessing, Kant y Hegel, dejando en este punto el relato o la breve historia sobre las distintas concepciones de la providencia divina, convertida ya en el depliege interno de la historia y el pensamiento humana, una providencia ya no divina y trascendente sino humana e inmanente a la razón y la historia. (shrink)
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, ...
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.
Does George Berkeley provide an argument for the existence of the Judeo-Christian God at Principles of Human Knowledge, part I, section 29? The standard answer is that he does. In this paper, we challenge that interpretation. First, we look at section 29 in the context of its preceding sections and argue that the most the argument establishes is that there are at least two minds, that is, that the thesis of solipsism is false. Next, we examine the argument in section (...) 29 in light of the conclusions Berkeley draws in sections 30–33. There Berkeley concludes that there is one cause of the ordered world of ideas, a cause he calls the "Author of Nature." We argue that Berkeley's Author of Nature is conceptually distinct from, although numerically identical with, the Judeo-Christian God, for whose existence Berkeley argues in section 146. Finally, we ask whether, if our conclusion is correct, it is significant that Berkeley drew a conceptual distinction between the Author of Nature and the Judeo-Christian God. (shrink)
Samuel Clarke was by far the most gifted and influential Newtonian philosopher of his generation, and A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God, which constituted the 1704 Boyle Lectures, was one of the most important works of the first half of the eighteenth century, generating a great deal of controversy about the relation between space and God, the nature of divine necessary existence, the adequacy of the Cosmological Argument, agent causation, and the immateriality of the soul. Together with (...) the other texts presented in this edition, it also provides the best introduction to Clarke's philosophical views, which, in addition to their intrinsic interest, are historically important for the light they shed both on the philosophical positions within the Newtonian circle and on the exchange between Clarke and Leibniz, the most famous philosophical controversy of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Views of self (using Gilligan's paradigm) and of the Christian God (using a similar, newly-developed paradigm) were explored in 44 first-year and senior Christian college students. Men aligned with a self-ethic of justice; women, more often with justice than predicted. Moral voice thus appears contextually dependent, contrary to Gilligan's earlier predictions. Senior students integrated both views of self, but not both views of God, more often than first-year students. This suggests that the Christian liberal arts context nurtures integrated and complex (...) views of the self, but authoritative views of God. All but one student described God as authoritative; most did not see God as relational. This preference for authoritative views of God perhaps shaped the heavy justice self-ethic. Consistent with earlier findings, justice views of the self were generally elicited by impersonal dilemmas; authoritative views of God, in contrast, were equally associated with both impersonal and personal dilemmas. (shrink)
Many people believe in angels and evil spirits, and popular culture abounds in talk about encounters with such entities. Yet the question of the existence of such spirits is ignored in the academy. Even the Christian Church, which one might expect to show keen interest in transcendent realities, does not appear to be paying much attention. In this book Phillip Wiebe defends the plausibility of the traditional Christian claim that spirits are real. Wiebe examines descriptions of encounters with both good (...) and evil transcendent beings in biblical times and in later Christian history, along with recent accounts of similar experiences. He argues that invisible beings can be postulated to explain events just as unobservable objects are postulated in many scientific theories. Beyond supporting claims for the existence of lesser spirits such as demons and angels, this empirical approach yields important results for assessing common arguments surrounding the existence of God - a question that has become artificially separated from the question of spirits as such. Grounding his argument in a wide range of phenomena - from near death experiences to demonic possession - Wiebe offers a sophisticated case for belief in God on philosophical and epistemological grounds. (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)
Philosophy of religion in the Anglo-American tradition experienced a 'rebirth' following the 1955 publication of New Essays in Philosophical Theology (eds. Antony Flew and Alisdair MacIntyre). Fifty years later, this volume of New Essays offers a sampling of the best work in what is now a very active field, written by some of its most prominent members. A substantial introduction sketches the developments of the last half-century, while also describing the 'ethics of belief' debate in epistemology and showing how it (...) connects to explicitly religious concerns and to the topics of the individual contributions. These topics include: the relationship between God and the natural laws; the metaphysics of bodily resurrection; the role of appeal to 'mystery' in the religious life; the justification of both theistic belief generally and more specific doctrinal beliefs; and the social-political aspects of religious faith and practice. (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 problem of evil -- Aquinas, philosophy, and theology -- What there is -- Goodness and badness -- God the creator -- God's perfection and goodness -- The creator and evil -- Providence and grace -- The trinity and Christ -- Aquinas on god and evil.
The question of realism - that is, whether God exists independently of human beings - is central to much contemporary theology and church life. It is also an important topic in the philosophy of religion. This book discusses the relationship between realism and Christian faith in a thorough and systematic way and uses the resources of both philosophy and theology to argue for a Christocentric narrative realism. Many previous defences of realism have attempted to model Christian belief on scientific theory (...) but Moore argues that this comparison is misleading and inadequate on both theological and philosophical grounds. Using Speech Act theory and the work of non-realists and Wittgensteinians, he offers a new account of the meaningfulness of Christian language; and uses this to develop a regulative conception of realism according to which God's independent reality is shown principally in Christ and, on this basis, through Christian practices and the lives of Christians. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to examine the relationship between Wolfhart Pannenberg's idea of God and his conception of history, with the intention of determining the precise nature of the link that, in his view, connects both philosophical and the theological reflection on the meaning of history. We shall first analyze Pannenberg's response to the traditional criticism of Christianity as an anthropomorphic projection of the human being. Then we shall pay attention to the features of any possible fundamentum (...) of history. We will show that, according to Pannenberg, a transition from a philosophical into a theological consideration of history is needed in order to provide a rationally acceptable foundation for both the unity and the meaning of universal history. (shrink)
In this paper, I draw upon the ‘post-Kantian’ reading of Hegel to examine the consequences Hegel’s idea of God has for understanding his metaphysics. In particular, I apply Hegel’s ‘recognition-theoretic’ approach to his theology. Within the context of this analysis, I focus especially on the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ. First, I claim that Hegel’s philosophy of religion employs a peculiar notion of sacrifice (kenotic sacrifice). Here, sacrifice is conceived as a withdrawal, that is, as a ‘making room’ for the (...) other. Second, I argue that the idea of kenotic sacrifice plays a fundamental role in Hegel’s account of Christ. Third, I conclude by sketching some of the consequences Hegel’s idea of a God who renounces his own divinity has for an idealistically conceived metaphysics. My main thesis is that Hegel’s turn to Christianity can be regarded as indicative of his endorsement of social and political freedoms that are characteristic of modernity. That is, modern freedoms are cognate with a certain idea of God. Thus, the notion of incarnation is conceived as the expression of a spirit that advances only insofar as it is willing to withdraw and make room for the other. (shrink)
This paper explores the way in which God as the infinite ground of existence is discerned by the imagination and understanding. The representation of the apophatic divine is facilitated by the working of the human mind, which means that the manifold nature of thinking establishes the presence of God. In the metaphysical speculations of kabbalah and tantra the singular light of Ein Sof and Paramashiva intersects with the human imagination, and is refracted into a multiple display of understanding. So the (...) mind acts as a prism through which God is conceptualized and delineated. It constitutes a mediated envisaging of the Absolute, and the corollary of this perception is the engendering of the divine presence, notably as the feminine Shekhinah and Shakti. In short, in these two apparently different traditions—of kabbalistic and tantric thought—there is a detectably common theme of the notions of activity and force in creation as betokening a feminine representation of God’s being. (shrink)
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)
The struggle that prompted Bonhoeffer’s “unconscious Christianity” offers a concrete illustration of the commonsensical in Rahner’s “anonymous Christian.” Thus Rahner’s theory adds theological coherence to what Bonhoeffer intuited. While Bonhoeffer faced the seeming ineffectiveness of Jesus’ teaching for the majority of Christians in Germany, Rahner faced his church’s view of Augustine’s “massa damnata” through a reexamination of church mission and theological categories. In both theologians, Jesus the God-man is the symbol of God’s communion with “the human” in God’s care (...) for all peoples. The article concludes by asking whether the advent of such Christologies signals an approaching time of greater humility with regard to the Christian path to salvation. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss critically Richard Swinburne’s concept of God, which I find to be incoherent, and his understanding of Christianity, which I find to be based on a precritical use of the New Testament.
Introduction: Evolution and mind -- The evolution of morality -- Setting the task -- The moral brain -- The first layer : kin selection -- The second layer : reciprocal altruism -- A third layer : indirect reciprocity -- A fourth layer : cultural group selection -- A fifth layer : the moral emotions -- Conclusion: From moral grammar to moral systems -- The evolution of moral religions -- Setting the task -- The evolution of the religious mind -- Conceptualizing (...) the almighty -- The moral function of gods -- Evolutionary religious ethics : Judaism -- Setting the task -- Constructing Yahweh -- TheTen Commandments : an evolutionary interpretation -- Conclusion: The evolved law -- Evolutionary religious ethics : Christianity -- Setting the task -- Constructing the Christ -- Setting the boundaries : Christian and/or Jew? -- The third race : Christians as in-group -- Putting on Christ : Christianity's signals of commitment -- Loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek -- Religion, violence, and the evolved mind -- Setting the task -- Devoted to destruction : sanctified violence and Judaism -- The blood of the Lamb -- A case study in the evolved psychology of religious violence : 9/11/01 -- Religion evolving -- Setting the task -- Varieties of religious expressions -- If there were no God -- Religion, ethics, and violence : an assessment -- Responding to religion, ethics, and violence : some proposals. (shrink)
Kant’s use of the terms ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ in his essays on history has long puzzled commentators. Kant personifies Nature and Providence in a curious way, by speaking of them as “deciding” to give humankind certain predispositions, “wanting” these to be developed, and “knowing” what is best for humans Moreover, he leaves the relationship between the two terms unclear. In this essay, I argue that Kant’s use of ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ can be clarified and explained. Moreover, I (...) show that Kant’s use of the terms is symptomatic of a much more important and not sufficiently appreciated fact about Kant’s philosophy of history, viz., that it fulfils a function in both his theoretical and his practical philosophy. (shrink)
When, in The Gay Science, Nietzsche poses the question of how the natural sciences are possible, he insists that they depend not on a principle that is natural but on the will to truth, the will not to deceive even oneself, with which, he holds, ?we stand on moral ground.? Yet, that the natural sciences stand on ground that is moral also means, for Nietzsche, that their origin is to be located in ?a faith that is thousands of years old,? (...) a faith that, in the Genealogy of Morals, he develops as presupposing what he calls the ascetic ideals of Judaism and Christianity. Further, in holding that the natural sciences have their origin in principles that are biblical, Nietzsche goes on to indicate that, like the natural sciences, his own critical position, unconditionally honest atheism, is, in forbidding itself ?the lie involved in belief in God,? not opposed to, but is rather an expression of, Judaism and Christianity's ascetic ideals. In addressing the interrelationships among the religious, the secular, and the natural sciences in light of Nietzsche, I argue that the natural sciences have their origin in principles that are not natural but that are no less religious than secular. (shrink)
The article shows the "Appendix" to Søren Kierkegaard's "Philosophical Fragments" to be a response to Ludwig Feuerbach's critique of Christianity. While previous studies have detected some influence by Feuerbach on Kierkegaard, they have so far discovered little in the way of specific responses to Feuerbach's ideas in Kierkegaard's published works. The article first makes the historical argument that Kierkegaard was very likely reading Feuerbach's "Essence of Christianity" while he was writing "Philosophical Fragments", as several of Kierkegaard's journal entries (...) from that period discuss Feuerbach in relation to central ideas in "Fragments". The article then shows how Kierkegaard's pseudonym Johannes Climacus inverts Feuerbach's projection theory, turning it against critics like Feuerbach. At the heart of Feuerbach's critique of Christianity is the claim that religion is a conceptual illusion, whereby the individual projects his or her personal limits onto the species and then projects the unlimited onto a supposed divine being. Furthermore, Feuerbach sees Christianity as rife with absurdities that tell against its reasonableness. In exploring a hypothetical transcendent avenue toward the truth, Climacus inverts both of these philosophical moves. He argues that on the transcendent hypothesis, the immanentist critic is himself a victim of an "acoustical illusion": the absolute paradox of the appearance of the god in time is in fact not judged by, but rather judges, the critic as absurd. In inverting and not repudiating Feuerbach's critique, Climacus reveals the critic as a Socratic figure who displays the heights—and ultimately, the limits—of secular philosophy's capabilities. (shrink)
Religion and intelligence.--The philosophic theory of knowledge.--The absolute object of intelligence.--The Biblical theory of knowledge.--Biblical ontology: the absolute.--Biblical ontology: the world.--Biblical ontology: man.--Comparative philosophic content of Christianity.
The political institutions under which we live today evolved from a revolutionary idea that shook the world in the second part of the eighteenth century: that a people should govern itself. Yet if we judge contemporary democracies by the ideals of self-government, equality, and liberty, we find that democracy is not what it was dreamt to be. This book addresses central issues in democratic theory by analyzing the sources of widespread dissatisfaction with democracies around the world. With attention throughout (...) to historical and cross-national variations, the focus is on the generic limits of democracy in promoting equality, effective participation, control of governments by citizens, and liberty. The conclusion is that although some of this dissatisfaction has good reasons, some is based on an erroneous understanding of how democracy functions. Hence, although the analysis identifies the limits of democracy, it also points to directions for feasible reforms. (shrink)
Since the modern age the attacks against faith and religious belief have been raised. One of the major arguments against the existence of God who is described in theistic religious holy books as Almighty and all loving God come in terms of suffering in human life and the presence of evil in the world created by God. The challenge according to the critics against the religious life and faith is how a believer can be considered rational in his faith while (...) there are many suffering in human life and evil in the world. The aim of this paper is to deal with this challenge and the solution is given on the basis of Islamic teachings. There are different responses for this challenge both in Islamic theology and Christian theology. This research is limited to Quranic teachings and the main claim as one possible response and defense for the presence of evil in human life is to point out that evil plays a main role in provoking inborn knowledge of God in human nature. Keywords - life, inborn, faith, Quran, evil. (shrink)
Despite the central role that the concept of God played in Kitarō Nishida's philosophy—and more broadly, within the Kyoto School which formed around Nishida—Anglophone studies of the religious philosophy of modern Japan have not seriously considered the nature and role of God in Nishida's thought. Indeed, relevant Anglophone studies even strongly suggest that where the concept of God does appear in Nishida's writings, such a concept is to be dismissed as a 'subjective fiction', a 'penultimate designation', or a peripheral Western (...) intrusion with no genuine relationship to the core of Nishida's thought. However, a careful study of Nishida's own writings reveals that for Nishida, in his own words, God is 'that which is indispensable and decisive'. For the first time in English, this present study reveals Nishida's view of God, especially examining Nishida's debt to the theologian Karl Barth and Christianity. (shrink)
Kant proclaimed that all theodicies must fail in ?On the Miscarriage of All Philosophical Trials in Theodicy?, but it is mysterious why he did so since he had developed a theodicy of his own during the critical period. In this paper, I offer an explanation of why Kant thought theodicies necessarily fail. In his theodicy, as well as in some of his works in ethics, Kant explained moral evil as resulting from unavoidable limitations in human beings. God could not create (...) finite beings without such limitations and so could not have created humans that were not prone to committing immoral acts. However, the work of Carl Christian Eberhard Schmid showed Kant that given his own beliefs about freedom and the nature of responsibility one could not account for moral evil in this way without tacitly denying that human beings were responsible for their actions. This result is significant not only because it explains an otherwise puzzling shift in Kant's philosophy of religion, but also because it shows that the theodicy essay provides powerful evidence that Kant's thinking about moral evil and freedom underwent fundamental shifts between early works such as the Groundwork and later works like the Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason. (shrink)
C. S. Lewis is one of the most beloved Christian apologists of the twentieth century; David Hume and Bertrand Russell are among Christianity’s most important critics. This book puts these three intellectual giants in conversation with one another on various important questions: the existence of God, suffering, morality, reason, joy, miracles, and faith. Alongside irreconcilable differences, surprising areas of agreement emerge. Curious readers will find penetrating insights in the reasoned dialogue of these three great thinkers.
God Owes Us Nothing reflects on the centuries-long debate in Christianity: how do we reconcile the existence of evil in the world with the goodness of an omnipotent God, and how does God's omnipotence relate to people's responsibility for their own salvation or damnation. Leszek Kolakowski approaches this paradox as both an exercise in theology and in revisionist Christian history based on philosophical analysis. Kolakowski's unorthodox interpretation of the history of modern Christianity provokes renewed discussion about the historical, (...) intellectual, and cultural omnipotence of neo-Augustinianism. "Several books a year wrestle with that hoary conundrum, but few so dazzlingly as the Polish philosopher's latest."--Carlin Romano, Washington Post Book World "Kolakowski's fascinating book and its debatable thesis raise intriguing historical and theological questions well worth pursuing."--Stephen J. Duffy, Theological Studies "Kolakowski's elegant meditation is a masterpiece of cultural and religious criticism."--Henry Carrigan, Cleveland Plain Dealer. (shrink)
1. Constructing a defence in the case of God is doing something not only for his glory but also for our advantage, in that it may move us to •honour his greatness, i.e. his power and wisdom, as well as to •love his goodness and the justice and holiness that stem from it, and to •imitate these as best we can. This defence will have two parts—a preparatory one and then the principal one. The ﬁrst part studies the •greatness and (...) the •goodness of God separately. The second part concerns these two perfections taken together, including the providence that God extends to all created things and the control that he exercises over creatures endowed with intelligence, particularly in all matters concerning piety and salvation. ·The ﬁrst part will occupy sections 2–39, the second part sections 40–144·. (shrink)