This study explores the nature of the conflict between science and religion. It shows through a detailed examination of this conflict as it was manifested in nineteenth century Britain that it is a fallacy that religion and science can co-exist in mutual harmony, since the legacy of their conflict in the past century has been inherited by this century, greatly to the detriment of religious belief. It is the author's contention that a return to the essentials of Kant's critical philosophy (...) would lay bare the profound differences between religious and scientific approaches to the world, and the nature of the choice people can make between them. In his effort to demarcate the outlines of a genuine Biblical theology (and to articulate the proper procedures for producing one) the author casts light on important questions of Biblical interpretation, and demands a radical reassessment of the meaning of science for society. (shrink)
Religion, spirituality, and contemporary shamanic practice in Scotland : exploring the relationships -- The impacts of transformational cultural change on religion and spirituality -- Seeking a new definition of religion -- What is shamanism? -- A case study of three shamanic practice groups in Scotland -- Exploring connections between cross-cultural shamanic elements and neo-shamanic expressions in Scotland : interviews, participant observation, and analysis -- Applying Hervieu-Lger's analytical model of religion to reveal a lineage of spirituality, not belief, in the shamanic (...) chain of memory -- Patterns, conclusions, and resulting issues -- Seeing differently : a new paradigm of spirituality and religion. (shrink)
Challenging the assumption that the concept of divine action is necessarily paradoxical, on the grounds that God is radically transcendent of finitude, or can perform only a master act of creating and sustaining the universe, Frank Kirkpatrick defends as philosophically credible the Christian conviction that God is a personal Agent who also acts in particular historical moments to further the divine intention of fostering universal community. Kirkpatrick claims that God and the world are distinct realities "together bound" in a mutual (...) relationship of reciprocal historical action. In this relationship, God both acts upon and responds to human beings in specific moments in their history. The implications of this claim for understanding the biblical narrative, the problem of evil, cosmological theories, and the realism of Christian community are pursued. (shrink)
This book explores recently opened avenues in logic and philosophical analysis to offer new perspectives on time-honored religious beliefs. Topics covered include the nature of divine attributes, the implications of divine benevolence and divine justice, arguments in support of theism and atheism, and religion and morality.
The concern of this book is the nature of religious belief and the ways in which philosophical enquiry is related to it. Six chapters present the positive arguments the author wishes to put forward to discusses religion and rationality, scepticism about religion, language-games, belief and the loss of belief. The remaining chapters include criticisms of some contemporary philosophers of religion in the light of the earlier discussions, and the implications for more specific topics, such as religious education, are investigated. The (...) book ends with a general attempt to say something about the character of philosophical enquiry, and to show how important it is to realise this character in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The possibility of proving the existence of God has fascinated thinkers and believers throughout the centuries. This book critically analyzes both sides of the contemporary debate between the two most important living philosophers of religion--Richard Swinburne and D.Z. Phillips--and constructs an alternative solution. Instead of taking sides on the issue of God's existence, Messer argues that behind each thinkers' work, and their attitudes toward proving the existence of God, lies fundamental trust. A positive discussion of relativism leads to a fresh (...) analysis of the arguments for God's existence, particularly the ontological argument. In this way, Messer concludes that they are indeed worthwhile, although not for the traditional reasons. (shrink)
The case for dialogue -- Increasing moral capital through moral imagination -- The art of ethical dialogue -- Intelligent spirituality in business -- Spirituality in (and out) of the classroom -- Listening to the anxious atheists -- Beyond the flat world metaphor -- Dialogue as a restraint on wealth -- The limits of dialogue.
Is your God really God? -- Believing in God -- On the "names" of God -- The meaning of "God" and the common conception of God -- What is salvation? -- Salvation versus spiritual materialism -- The idolatrous religions -- The ban on idolatry -- Idolatry as perverse worship -- Graven images and the highest one -- Idolatry as servility -- The rhetoric of idolatrousness -- The same God -- The Pharisees' problem with Jesus -- Could we be idolaters? -- (...) Supernaturalism and scientism -- Scientism and superstition -- Supernaturalism -- Legitimate naturalism -- Scientism versus science -- The argument for naturalism from true religion -- The phenomenological approach -- The method and the question -- Yahweh's use of the method -- A criterion or an enclosed circle -- Yahweh's criterion applied to himself -- Forgiving the God -- A reply to yahweh's answer to job -- Is there an internal criterion of religious falsehood? -- The pope's criterion of religious falsehood -- A consequence of the pope's criterion -- Religious and scientific fallibilism -- Why God? -- Doesn't substantive reasonableness suffice? -- The fall -- Homo incurvatus in se -- The redeemer? -- After monotheism -- The highest one -- The tetragrammaton -- The paradox of the highest one -- Speaking of the highest one -- Existents as dependent aspects of existence itself -- An alternative to the thomistic interpretation of the highest one -- Process panentheism -- The goodness of the highest one -- The analogy of logos -- Process panentheism -- The self-disclosure of existence itself -- The problem is with the pantheon -- Panentheism not pantheism -- Distinguishing panentheism and pantheism -- Presence -- Presence as disclosure -- Is being almost entirely wasted? -- Ubiquitous presence -- Against natural representation -- Representation and "carrying information" -- Can causation account for aboutness? -- What could replace the representationalist tradition? -- A diagnosis of the representationalist's mistake -- A transformed picture of "consciousness" and reality -- Confirming the surprising hypothesis -- The mind of God -- The objectivity of the realm of sense -- How the structure of presence might impose evolutionary constraints -- Objective mind and the mind of the highest one -- The doubly donatory character of reality -- Does God exist? -- The highest one -- Christianity without spiritual materialism -- Religion and violence -- The Gospel according to Girard -- Where is original sinfulness? -- Original sinfulness as self-will and false righteousness -- Christ destroys the kingdom of self-will and false righteousness -- The afterlife as an idolatrous conceit -- Against "man's quest for meaning" -- The afterlife as resistance to Christ -- Naturalism's gift : resurrection without the afterlife. (shrink)
Charting a "middle way" between the extremes represented by Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, Garth Hallett explores the thesis that if belief in other minds is rational and true (as it surely is), so too is belief in God. He makes a strong case that when this parity claim is appropriately restricted to a single, sound other-minds belief, belief in God and belief in other minds do prove epistemically comparable. This result, and the distinctive path that leads to it, will (...) interest students and scholars in philosophy of religion and theology. (shrink)
Process theology likes to compare itself favorably to what it calls classical theism. This book takes that comparison seriously and examines process theology's claim to do better than classical theism.
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)
Arguing for Atheism introduces a wide range of topics in the philosophy of religion and metaphysics. Robin Le Poidevin does not simply defend a denial of God's existence; he presents instead a way of intepreting religious discourse which allows us to make sense of the role of religion in our spiritual and moral lives. Ideal as a textbook for university courses in the philosophy of religion and metaphysics, Arguing for Atheism is also designed to be accessible, in its style and (...) its numerous explanations, to the general reader. (shrink)
The past forty years or so have witnessed a renaissance in the philosophy of religion. New tools (modal logic, probability theory, and so on) and new historical research have prompted many thinkers to take a fresh look at old topics (God’s existence, the problem of evil, faith and reason, and the like). Moreover, sophisticated examinations of contentious new issues, such as the problem of religious diversity or the role of emotions and other non-evidential factors in shaping rationally held religious beliefs, (...) have also emerged. Addressing the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of this rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of scholarly literature, Philosophy of Religion is a new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Philosophy. Edited by a leading scholar, it is a four-volume collection which brings together key examples of the most important recent work, together with carefully selected historical pieces needed to understand them. Volume I focuses on concepts of the divine while Volume II explores arguments for and against the existence of a divine reality, with special attention to the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness, and the case for naturalism. Volume III and the first part of Volume IV are devoted to broadly epistemic issues: the cognitive value of religious experience; the proper role of evidence in the formation of religious belief; the nature of justified religious belief; and pragmatic arguments for religious belief. The remainder of Volume IV introduces some of the best recent work on religious diversity, tolerance, and the public role of religion in a pluralistic society. The Philosophy of Religion is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource. Available now at a special introductory price. This price is applicable until 3 months after publication. For more information, please contact us ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). (shrink)
How to use this book -- Answering examination questions -- Timeline -- The God of philosophy -- Plato and philosophy of religion -- Aristotle and philosophy of religion -- The God of faith -- God the creator -- The goodness of God -- Parts 1 and 2: The gods of faith and philosophy compared -- The existence of God -- The ontological argument -- The cosmological argument -- The teleological argument -- The moral argument -- Challenges to the belief in (...) God -- The problem of evil -- Religion and science -- Psychology and sociology of religion -- The nature of religious belief -- Life after death -- Revelation and Holy Scripture -- Miracles -- Religious language -- Nature of God. (shrink)
Recent debates about Intelligent Design have brought into high relief the huge schism between those who believe in Darwin and the power of science to understand the world, and those who look through the prism of religious faith. Why, asks eminent philosopher Philip Kitcher, does this debate continue to rage given that the scientific consensus in favor of Darwin is overwhelming? This accessible and elegant essay attempts to answer this question. Kitcher first presents the compelling evidence on behalf of Darwin's (...) evolutionary theory, bringing out with unprecedented clarity the structure of the reasoning that has convinced almost all educated people of its merits during the past century and a half. He then sets the current debate about Intelligent Design in historical context, showing that ID theory is really dead science. Explaining the scientific issues in an elegant and accessible way, Kitcher shows how crucial discoveries successively undermined the Creationist views about life on earth that were once considered scientific orthodoxy. Finally, Kitcher goes on to analyze the recurrent opposition to Darwinian ideas, arguing that they do present a genuine threat to those forms of religion that invoke divine providence. A Darwinian understanding of the history of life makes popular forms of religious faith, including most versions of Christianity and Judaism, hard to sustain. The dispute about Intelligent Design emerges as a symptom of a much deeper problem - the clash between the deep impulses to religion and the discoveries of the natural and human sciences. Kitcher contends that we cannot resolve that clash either by denying these discoveries or by brusquely overriding the underlying impulses. Somehow, we must develop a version of secular humanism that will prove genuinely satisfying. (shrink)
Endorsed by OCR for use with the OCR AS and A2 Religious Studies specifications. This tailor-made, up-to-date guide sets a new standard within the field. Written by an experienced teacher and edited by an experienced A-level examiner, this lively and student-friendly textbook strictly follows the OCR syllabus, covering all the areas integral to the course. Each chapter includes features such as explanations of key terminology, example examination questions, suggestions for activities and discussion, and recommended further reading. Philosophy of Religion for (...) AS and A2 is a one-stop shop for all students taking the OCR specification. (shrink)
At least since Darwin's Origin of Species was published in 1859, it has increasingly become accepted that the existence of God is, intellectually, a lost cause, and that religious faith is an entirely non-rational matter--the province of those who willingly refuse to accept the dramatic advances of modern cosmology. Are belief in God and belief in science really mutually exclusive? Or, as noted philosopher of science and religion Richard Swinburne puts forth, can the very same criteria which scientists use to (...) reach theories about everything from DNA to the Big Bang be used to argue for the existence of God? In Is There a God? Swinburne presents a powerful and approachable case for the existence of God. Using the methods of scientific reasoning, Swinburne rigorously argues that science, far from replacing God, provides good grounds for belief in God. With each new discovery and advance, from black holes to quarks, superstrings to continuing evolution, science brings us closer to a complete understanding of how things work--but science can only go so far. Though it can explain much of how the universe works, science doesn't tell us why there is a universe at all. We can understand much of how life evolved, but why is there any life on earth? We can name and explicate scientific laws, but how is it that they operate in the universe? The Darwinian theory holds that the complex animal and human bodies that are here today exist because, ages ago, there were certain chemicals on earth, and given the laws of evolution, it was probable that complex organisms would emerge. But why those laws rather than any other? Why those chemicals? In Swinburne's view, the ultimate grand unifying theory is possible only by a belief in what he calls theism, acknowledging the existence of God: it was God who brought about the natural laws so that humans and animals would evolve. The watch may have been made, Swinburne asserts in reference to Richard Dawkins, with the aid of some blind screwdrivers (or even a blind watchmaking machine), but they were guided by a watchmaker with some very clear sight. At the heart of his argument is Swinburne's belief that the very success of science in showing us how deeply ordered the natural world is provides strong grounds for believing there is an even deeper cause of that order. By embracing a belief in God that acknowledges the truth in science, Swinburne's elegant argument supplies an essential spiritual element to our understanding of order and beauty, the structure beneath the chaos of the natural world. This informed and provocative volume will be essential reading for all readers of popular science, philosophy, and religion. (shrink)
At his death in 1987, Paul W. Pruyser of the Menninger Foundation was widely recognized as one of America's foremost authorities on the psychology of religion. His book A Dynamic Psychology of Religion set the stage for creative dialogue on the subject. In this volume, two leading practitioners in the field present a compilation of Pruyser's seminal articles, providing an overview of the major themes in Pruyser's thought. Newton Malony and Bernard Spilka evaluate Pruyser's viewpoint and suggest how (...) his position continues to influence the psychology of religion. (shrink)
In early pre Edwards drafts of Pandas, the term “creation” was defined as “various forms of life that began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features intact—fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings ...
Introduction -- Overview -- Theism, simplicity, and properly anthropocentric metaphysics -- Materialism and dualism -- The power, knowledge, and motives of the primordial God -- The existence of the primordial God -- God changes -- Understanding evil -- The Trinity -- The Incarnation -- Concluding remarks.
This unique volume collects some of the best recent work on the philosophical challenge that religious diversity poses for religious belief. Featuring contributors from philosophy, religious studies, and theology, it is unified by the way in which many of the authors engage in sustained critical examination of one another's positions. John Hick's pluralism provides one focal point of the collection. Hick argues that all the major religious traditions make contact with the same ultimate reality, each encountering it through a variety (...) of culturally shaped forms of thought and experience but all offering equally effective paths to salvation or liberation. Another central position is William P. Alston's defense of the Christian practice of forming beliefs about manifestations of God in response to experiences of divine presence or activity. Articles by Hick and Alston develop their arguments and other selections respond, criticizing or defending various aspects of one or both positions. Religious skepticism, religious exclusivism, religious inclusivism, and other perspectives are also represented. In the introduction, the editors suggest connections among the articles and report on additional exchanges between the contributors. The only anthology that provides comprehensive coverage of the current philosophical debate about religious diversity, The Philosophical Challenge of Religious Diversity is ideal for courses and seminars on the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and world religions. (shrink)
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.
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)