New York: St. Martin's Press (1996)
The papers in this collection present a diversity of views on the epistemology of religious belief. There is a diversity of views about the intelligibility of particular religious beliefs: for example, about the reality of God's existence and of miracles. There is further disagreement concerning the reasonableness of religious belief itself. Some contributors argue that locating grounds for believing in God is still a fruitful undertaking. Both issues raise the problem of the philosopher's position vis-a-vis religious belief. Are philosophers in a privileged position to determine either the reasonableness or the intelligibility of religious belief? Or is philosophy, properly understood, a descriptive task? The papers in this collection present a diversity of views on this issue, too. Drawing on the works of Kierkegaard, a few of the contributors argue that philosophical description cannot be neatly divorced from religious persuasion. Whatever their views on these issues, however, the contributors accept that philosophical discussion cannot proceed very far without attention to what religious believers say about their beliefs and the practices in which they take part.