A prominent scholar sets forth in plain, uncomplicated language the essence of two millennia of Christian thinking on the existence and nature of God, how Jesus reveals God, and what this means for the faithful today.
Training and inspiration in primitive religion.--Religion as method. Yoga.--Religion as psychology. Jinism and Hinayana.--Religion as devotion. Bhakti.--Religion with a salvation fact. Mahayana. Bhakti in Buddhism.--Religion as fight against evil. Zarathustra.--Socrates. The religion of good conscience.--Religion as revelation in history.--The religion of incarnation.--Continued revelation.
In response to Peter Byrne’s critical notice of my book "Revelation", I argue that if God is to put us in a position freely to choose to seek Him, we need some propositional revelation (about what he is like and how to worship him), but also some scope for sorting out the implications of that revelation. Both of these aims are satisfied if the Christian Bible with the normal tradition of how to interpret it are the vehicle (...) of revelation. (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)
Traditionally it has been presumed that the knowledge of God’s triune nature could be derived only from positive Biblical revelation. However, the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on the universal possibility of true salvific faith implies that supernatural revelation also occurs outside Christianity. Karl Rahner’s explanation of the meaning of the Trinity as “concrete monotheism” raises the possibility of an implicit knowledge of God’s self-revelation as “Word” and “Spirit” in the experience of grace and its formulation in (...) the categories of the other world religions. (shrink)
Libertarians such as J.R. Lucas have abandoned traditional Christian doctrines because they cannot reconcile them with the freedom of the will. Traditional Christian thinkers such as Augustine have repudiated libertarianism because they cannot reconcile it with the dogmas of the Faith. In Free Will and the Christian Faith, W.S. Anglin demonstrates that free will and traditional Christianity are ineed compatible. He examines, and solves, puzzles about the relationships between free will and omnipotence, omniscience, and God's goodness, using the idea (...) of free will to answer the question of why God allows evil, and presenting arguments that link free will to eternal life and to the nature of revelation. Topics covered include the meaning of life, the soul and Lesbegue measure, and strategies for discerning the voice of God. (shrink)
Swinburne gives reasons for a religious enquirer to disregard the Islamic revelation and to accept the exclusive superiority of the Christian revelation. This essay attempts to explain Swinburne’s reasoning. An attempt is also made to explain what the Islamic revelation is. I argue that on Swinburne’s own account, the Islamic revelation should not be sidelined in favour of the Christian revelation.
In 1695 John Locke published The Reasonableness of Christianity, an enquiry into the foundations of Christian belief. He did so anonymously, to avoid public involvement in the fiercely partisan religious controversies of the day. In the Reasonableness Locke considered what it was to which all Christians must assent in faith; he argued that the answer could be found by anyone for themselves in the divine revelation of Scripture alone. He maintained that the requirements of Scripture were few and (...) simple, and therefore offered a basis for tolerant agreement among all Christians, and the promise of peace, stability, and security through toleration. -/- This is the first critical edition of the Reasonableness: for the first time an authoritative annotated text is presented, with full information about sources, variants, amendments, and the publishing history of the work. Also provided in the editorial notes are cross-references, references to other works by Locke, definitions of terms, and other information conducive to an understanding of the text. -/- Though modern interest has focused particularly on Locke's philosophy and political theory, increasing attention is being paid to his religious thought. These different strands cannot be understood properly in isolation from each other: so the broader aim of this edition is to help towards an improved understanding of his religious thought in the context of his work as a philosopher, political theorist, and exponent of religious toleration. In his editorial introduction John Higgins-Biddle investigates how Locke's ideas developed, and offers a critical assessment of the three main contemporary and subsequent interpretations of Locke's religious thought, all of which are shown to be unsatisfactory. (shrink)
According to naïve realist (or primitivist) theories of colour, colours are sui generis mind-independent properties. The question that I consider in this paper is the relationship of naïve realism to what Mark Johnston calls Revelation, the thesis that the essential nature of colour is fully revealed in a standard visual experience. In the first part of the paper, I argue that if naïve realism is true, then Revelation is false. In the second part of the paper, I defend (...) naïve realism against a number of objections. (shrink)
This book gives an introduction to the various theological perspectives regarding revelation. It includes a survey of the views of liberal, evangelical, Calvinist, and Charismatic theologians. The author presents his succinct view in the last chapter.
In Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks , Simone Weil discusses precursors to Christian religious ideas which can be found in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone , and in the Iliad , going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks.
Christians and Marxists have co-operated in various forms of political work in recent decades, and, after earlier years of antagonism, thinkers on both sides have come to take the other seriously. The aim of this book is to get Christianity and Marxism to meet on terrain on which they might seem most opposed: their philosophical positions; and to do so without watering either down, but taking then full strength.
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind (...) of truth it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
A RECENT BIOGRAPHY of Marcus Loane, evangelical Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in the 1960s, records that as a student at Moore Theological College he would read during lectures to avoid having to listen to the liberal Principal. When you are committed to a closed system of thought, you can't be too careful when it comes to letting ideas in from the outside. But what about the ideas already inside? How does the Sydney Anglican interpretation of Christianity compare to what (...) Jesus said? (shrink)
Revelation and the God of Israel explores the concept of revelation as it emerges from the Hebrew Scriptures and is interpreted in Jewish philosophy and theology. The first part is a study in intellectual history that attempts to answer the question, what is the best possible understanding of revelation. The second part is a study in constructive theology and attempts to answer the question, is it reasonable to affirm belief in revelation. Here Norbert M. Samuelson focuses (...) on the challenges given from a variety of contemporary academic disciplines, including evolutionary psychology, political ethics, analytic philosophy of religion, and source critical studies of the Bible. This important book offers a unique approach to theological questions and fresh solutions to them and will appeal to those interested in the history of philosophy, religious thought, and Judaism. (shrink)
Through an exchange that is both intimate and enlightening, Vattimo and Girard share their unparalleled insight into the relationships among religion, modernity, and the role of Christianity, especially as it exists in our multicultural ...
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of (...) the larger context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (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)
Lectures on evolution -- On the physical basis of life -- Naturalism and supernaturalism -- The value of witness to the miraculous -- Agnosticism -- The Christian tradition in relation to Judaic Christianity -- Agnosticism and Christianity.
Kierkegaard struck out against all forms of established order–including the established church–that work to make men complacent with themselves and thereby obscure their personal responsibility to encounter God. He considered Training in Christianity his most important book. It represented his effort to replace what he believed had become "an amiable, sentimental paganism" with authentic Christianity. Kierkegaard's challenge to live out the implications of Christianity in the most personal decisions of life will greatly appeal to readers today who (...) are trying to develop their personal integrity in accordance with the truths of revealed religion. (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.
Introduction: Foundations of faith described -- Christian history : a brief overview -- The Apostolic Age (ca. A.D. 30-100 -- The Patristic Age (ca. A.D. 100-500) -- The Medieval Age (ca. A.D. 500-1500) -- The Reformation/counter-Reformation Age -- The Modern Age (ca. A.D. 1600-1950) -- The Postmodern Age (ca. A.D. 1950-present) -- Mormon and evangelical theology : a comparison -- Scripture and revelation -- God and humanity -- Church and temple -- Salvation and the afterlife -- Moral and social (...) standards -- Mormonism and Christianity -- Sociological foundations of faith -- Question 9: Who was or is the greatest influence on your religious beliefs? -- Question 10: What were the religious beliefs of your family when you were growing up? -- Question 13: How much do you associate with people that hold to other religious beliefs? -- Question 15: What would be the social consequences for you if you converted to another religion? -- Sociological foundations of faith : conclusion -- Spiritual foundations of faith -- Question 4: To what extent has spiritual or religious -- Question 6: Mormons and Evangelicals claim to have the witness of the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit in their hearts confirming the Mormons and Evangelicals -- Truth of their faith : how do you know that the assurance you have in your heart is from God? -- Question 8: What do you think of the religious experiences of people outside your religion, especially those which seem to confirm their religious beliefs to them? -- Rational foundations of faith -- Question 16: To what extent do you have faith because you think that Mormonism/Evangelicalism is reasonable? -- Question 18: What do you consider to be the best proof or evidence for Mormonism/Evangelicalism? -- Question 19: Would you believe that Mormonism/Evangelicalism is true even if most of the evidence were against it? -- Question 20: How has your assurance changed over time? -- Question 21: What has caused your faith to become stronger or weaker over time? -- Question 22: To what extent do you ever doubt that Mormonism/Evangelicalism is true? -- Question 23: If you sometimes doubt that your beliefs are true, what causes you to doubt? -- Question 24: How do you respond to or deal -- Conversion stories -- Conclusion: Foundations of faith prescribed. (shrink)
This book addresses the question of the communication of Christian ethics in the public forum of liberal, pluralist societies. Drawing on debates in philosophy, theology and sociological theory, it relates the problem of communication to fundamental questions about the nature of liberal societies and the identity of Christian faith and the Christian community. With particular emphasis on Kantian and neo-Kantian ethics, it explores the link between autonomy and community in liberal societies. The theology of communio, expressed in revealed Christian traditions, (...) can reconcile autonomy and community. Any Christian attempt to communicate this vision must also reflect on Christianity's own identity, especially the ways in which its own self-consciousness grows in critical interaction with secularity. In this light, Christian ethical communication is both a witness to a distinctive identity, founded in the revelation of the triune God, and a vision of universal human solidarity which can reconcile autonomy and community. (shrink)
The function and method of philosophy.--The nature of religious experience.--Religion and philosophy: naturalism.--Religion and philosophical idealism.--The structure of the universe and the objectivity of values.--The christian conception of god.--The doctrine of the person of christ.--The doctrine of the trinity.
This paper defends the view that philosophical propositions are merely relatively true, i.e. true relative to a doxastic perspective defined at least in part by a non-inferential belief-acquiring method. Here is the strategy: first, the primary way that contemporary philosophers defend their views is through the use of rational intuition, and this method delivers non-inferential, basic beliefs which are then systematized and brought into reflective equilibrium. Second, Christian theologians use exactly the same methodology, only replacing intuition with revelation. Third, (...) intuition and revelation yield frequently inconsistent output beliefs. Fourth, there is no defensible reason to prefer the dictates of intuition to those of Christian revelation. Fifth, the resulting dilemma means that there are true philosophical propositions, but we can't know them (scepticism), or there are no philosophical propositions and the naturalists are right (nihilism), or relativism is true. I suggest that relativism is the most palatable of these alternatives. (shrink)
Approaching modern psychology -- Science and faith: learning from the past -- Neuropsychology: linking mind and brain -- Neuropsychology and spiritual experience -- Linking the brain and behavior -- Human nature: biblical and psychological portraits -- Human nature and animal nature: are they different? -- Personology and psychotherapy: confronting the challenges -- Human needs: psychological and theological perspectives -- Consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Explaining consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Determinism, freedom, and responsibility -- The future of science (...) and faith: beyond perspectivalism? (shrink)
Nancy Levene reinterprets a major early-modern philosopher, Benedict de Spinoza - a Jew who was rejected by the Jewish community of his day but whose thought contains, and critiques, both Jewish and Christian ideas. It foregrounds the connection of religion, democracy, and reason, showing that Spinoza's theories of the Bible, the theologico-political, and the philosophical all involve the concepts of equality and sovereignty. Professor Levene argues that Spinoza's concept of revelation is the key to this connection, and above all (...) to Spinoza's view of human power. This is to shift the emphasis in Spinoza's thought from the language of amor Dei (love of God) to the language of libertas humana (human freedom) without losing either the dialectic of his most striking claim - that man is God to man - or the Jewish and Christian elements in his thought. Original and thoughtfully argued, this book offers new insights into Spinoza's thought. (shrink)
The paper considers the criticisms that Eleonore Stump has made of Richard Swinburne's account of Christian's revelation, as set out in his book "Revelation: From Metaphor to Analogy." It argues that Stump's criticisms of Swinburne's theory of biblical interpretation are misguided, but that her criticism of his deistic picture of revelation contains a crucial insight. Direct theories of revelation, which see God as communicating propositions directly to believers, are superior to deistic ones, which see God as (...) communicating propositions only to an original group who then hand on the propositions to everyone else. Stump's suggested alternative to a deistic picture is flawed. A better theory would result from incorporating Swinburne's account of the Church into a direct theory, and holding that God communicates propositions directly to believers in the teaching of the Church. This position combines the insights to be found in Stump and Swinburne, while avoiding their mistakes. (shrink)
Jesus said to Peter, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven,” This looks like a noetic miracle which happened in (or to) Peter. Must all Christians have a comparable miracle in themselves, or does the Bible enable us to apprehend, in some “natural” way, the revelations made to prophets and apostles long ago?I suggest that we need not have a single answer to this question, and that the “mix” of revelation (...) and reason, natural and supernatural noetic elements, may be different in various believers. (shrink)
This essay introduces central features of classical Hindu reflection on the existence and nature of God by examining arguments presented in the Nyāyamañjarī of Jayanta Bhatta (9th century CE), and the Nyāyasiddhāñjana of Vedānta Deśika (14th century CE). Jayanta represents the Nyāya school of Hindu logic and philosophical theology, which argued that God’s existence could be known by a form of the cosmological argument. Vedānta Deśika represents the Vedånta theological tradition, which denied that God’s existencecould be known by reason, gave (...) primacy to the revelatory texts known as the Upanisads, and firmly subordinated theological reasoning to the acceptance of revelation. Jayanta and Deśika are respected representatives of their traditions whose clear, systematic positions illumine traditional Hindu understandings of “God” and the traditional Hindu debates about God’s existence and nature. Attention to their positions highlights striking common features shared by Hindu and Christian theologies, and offers a substantial basis for comparative reflection on the Christian understanding of God’s existence and nature, and the roles of reason and revelation in knowledge of God. (shrink)
Kierkegaard's fundamental view of life was negative and Gnostic. It was through his interpretation of life that his vision of the nothingness of existence became positive. What formed the material of Kierkegaard's interpretation was the common experience of existence, what ?all? men know. His concept of existence has a threefold content : immediacy, subjectivity, and the Christian Revelation. Immediate reality that is not made content of subjectivity becomes empty changeableness, and subjectivity that does not appropriate immediacy deprives itself of (...) the concrete (as with the mystic). Immediacy's ?text? first acquires a qualitative transcendent content through the ?repetition? of subjective choice. Kierkegaard takes this appropriation of the immediate to be also the self?development of subjectivity. Consciousness of guilt is an expression of a God?relationship. Implicated with this consciousness is the consciousness of the nothingness of everything ? echoed in man as dread. Yet even when subjectivity is conscious of guilt the truth remains immanent in subjectivity. In the Christian Revelation truth is outside man: subjectivity is untruth (sin). (shrink)
In this article, a sequel to “Prophetic Experience as Revelation,” I argue that history is the symbolic agency through which revelation occurs. Four issues are central to this claim: the action of God in history, the notion of universal history as revelation, the concept of Christian history as revelation, and the function of history as a symbol in the process of revelation itself.
With the passing of disputations between Jewish and Christian thinkers as to whose tradition has a more universal ethics, the task of Jewish and Christian ethicists is to constitute a universal horizon for their respective bodies of ethics, both of which are essentially particularistic being rooted in special revelation. This parallel project must avoid relativism that is essentially anti-ethical, and triumphalism that proposes an imperialist ethos. A retrieval of the idea of natural law in each respective tradition enables the (...) constitution of some intelligent common ground for ethical cooperation in both theory and practice between the traditions. This essay also suggests how the constitution of this common ground could include Muslims as well. The constitution of this common ground enables religious ethicists to present more cogent ethical arguments in secular space, but only of course, when those who now control secular space are open to arguments from members of any religious tradition. (shrink)
The most important work of the famed German philosopher, this 1841 polemic asserts that religion and divinity are outward projections of inner human nature. Feuerbach's critique of Hegelian idealism excited immediate international attention — Marx and Engels were particularly influenced. This acclaimed translation is by the celebrated English novelist George Eliot.
The problem -- The Christian concept of truth -- Metaphysical experience and Christian dogmatics -- Understanding revelation -- The renewing of the mind -- The dialogue between the theologian and the philosopher -- Conclusion: The difficult condition of the Christian philosopher.