"This book is D.Z. Phillips' systematic attempt to discuss the problem of evil. He argues that the problem is inextricably linked to our conception of God. In an effort to distinguish between logical and existential problems of evil, that inheritance offers us distorted accounts of God's omnipotence and will. In his interlude, Phillips argues that, as a result, God is ridiculed out of existence, and found unfit to plead before the bar of decency. However, Phillips elucidates a neglected tradition in (...) which we reach a different understanding of God's presence amidst suffering, and addresses the ultimate question of how God can be said to be with those who are crushed by life's afflictions." "An ideal text for students of philosophy, religious studies and theology, but also for anyone who reflects seriously on the danger of adding to human evils by the way in which we write and think about them."--Jacket. (shrink)
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)
"This collection of essays explores Wittgenstein's significance for the philosophy of religion. Through a discussion of language-games, forms of life, and Wittgenstein's strictures against subliming the logic of our language, we are brought to see the importance of emphasising that to reflect on the reality of God is to reflect on a kind of reality. God's reality is a spiritual reality, something ignored in contemporary debates between realism and non-realism which pay little attention to concept-formation in religion." "These conceptual insights (...) are brought to bear on the clash between belief and atheism; the task of understanding religious experience; issues concerning language and ritual; whether evil calls for theodicies which claim to understand and justify the ways of God; and difficulties in talking of miracles in the twentieth century." "The author argues against ambitions to construct a Christian philosophy. In contrast, the flexibility in Wittgenstein's methods helps us to appreciate philosophy's distinctive tasks in relation to religion."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (shrink)
This book contains essays, written between 1965 and 1990, which focus on the need to explore such issues as the nature of moral endeavor, the request for a justification of moral endeavor; the appeal to human flourishing; the nature of the ...
This collection of essays argues that we need to recover concepts from the distortions of philosophy. The author shows the disastrous consequences for an understanding of religion of the epistemic divide which can be found in contemporary philosophy of religion: divides between belief and practice, the world and God, religious experience and religious contexts. By closing these divides, religious significance is given its proper place.
Reflection on religion inevitably involves consideration of its relation to morality. When great evil is done to human beings, we may feel that something absolute has been violated. Can that sense, which is related to gratitude for existence, be expressed without religious concepts? Can we express central religious concerns, such as losing the self, while abandoning any religious metaphysic? Is moral obligation itself dependent on divine commands if it is to be objective, or is morality not only independent of religion, (...) but its accuser if God is said to allow horrendous evils? In any case, what happens to the absolute claims of religion in what is, undeniably, a morally pluralistic world? These are the central questions discussed by philosophers of religion and moral philosophers in this collection. They do so in ways which bring new aspects to bear on these traditional issues. (shrink)
As the century draws to its close, how should we think of religion? Some see it as the survival in our midst of an outmoded, primitive way of thinking, while others accuse its critics of simply being blind to the meaning of religious belief. From a different perspective, the clash between belief and unbelief is not seen as a matter of identifying incoherent systems of thought, but as a clash between different demands made on us by divergent ways of looking (...) at the world. Criticisms will flow between these perspectives. There is, however, another kind of interest in this situation: an interest in giving just characterizations of these different voices, so that the nature of allegiances and oppositions to religion may be better understood. (shrink)
Is religion necessarily a form of fantasy, a superstitious childishness we should have put aside by now? If so, what takes the place of empty heaven? May idle dreams threaten secular moralities as much as they threaten religion ? If so, are there authentic forms of religion as well as authentic forms of morality which transcend these threats? He takes us on a journey from religion conceived as a 'somewhere over the rainbow, ' to possibilities of living under a sacramental (...) sky. (shrink)
What can transcendence mean for us? We live in a world in which there are many conceptions of transcendence. Some philosophers say that they all point, in their way, to a transcendent realm, without which death and life's sorrows have the last word, while their opponents argue that since this realm is an illusion, we must use our own resources to meet life's trials. Others argue that moral and religious concepts of transcendence are obscured by philosophical notions of transcendence, and (...) must be rescued from them. These conflicting views on a central issue in our culture are brought into sharp relief in the present collection. (shrink)
Remarkable in the range that it covers, The Possibilities of Sense testifies to an equally remarkable philosopher. In essays on ethics and thephilosophy of religion, on literature and education, the contributors displaynot only the breadth of D.Z. Phillips's work but also its power. This powercomes largely from Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose significance as a moral and religious philosopher rivals his reputation as a philosopher of language.