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 ( email@example.com ). (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)
AT LEAST ONE MODEL OF THE RATIONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEVER EXISTS: PRIMARY COMMITMENT TO DISCOVERING TRUTH AND ACTING RIGHTLY; COMMITMENT TO A RELIGION FLOWING FROM THOSE PRIMARY ONES; SOME DEGREE OF TENTATIVENESS ABOUT FAITH; SEARCHING FOR PROBABILITY, MORE THAN CERTAINTY; FAITH CONSTITUTING A PARTLY MORAL WAGER AIMED AT MAXIMIZING EXPECTED UTILITIES OF CERTAIN KINDS; A TOLERANT WISDOM ABOUT COMMITMENTS (AND ORDERINGS) PARTLY PLEASING TO SUCH SECULAR THINKERS AS MILL, QUINE AND POPPER, ALSO AQUINAS, BARTLEY AND WILLIAM JAMES; PRIMARY LOVE FOR GOD (...) AS THE SUPREME JUSTIFIER OF HUMAN JUSTIFIER OF HUMAN HISTORY--GOD’S POWER BEING TREATED AS SECONDARY TO HIS GOODNESS. (TOPICS INCLUDE: MIRACLES, IS AND OUGHT, PROBABILITY, WAGERS, PROOFS, TIME, WAR). (shrink)
Philosophy of the Buddha is a philosophical introduction to the teaching of the Buddha. It carefully guides readers through the basic ideas and practices of the Buddha, including kamma , rebirth, the not-self doctrine, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, ethics, meditation, non-attachment, and Nibbâna . The book includes an account of the life of the Buddha as well as comparisons of his teaching with practical and theoretical aspects of some Western philosophical outlooks, both ancient and modern. Most distinctively, (...) Philosophy of the Buddha explores how Buddhist enlightenment could enable us to overcome suffering in our lives and reach our full potential for compassion and tranquillity. This is one of the first books to introduce the philosophy of the Buddha to students of Western philosophy. Christopher W. Gowans' style is exceptionally clear and appropriate for anyone looking for a comprehensive introduction to this growing area of interest. (shrink)
This study looks at two central religious issues--the religious ambiguity of the world and the diversity of faiths--and probes their implications for religious beliefs. Author Robert McKim offers a self-critical, open, and tentative approach to beliefs about religious matters.
Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals, antagonistic to religion, devoid of moral sentiments, advocates of an "anything goes" lifestyle. Now, in this revealing volume, nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism, shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief. These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists, providing a portrait that will surprise most readers. Many of the authors, for example, (...) express great affection for particular religious traditions, even as they explain why they cannot, in good conscience, embrace them. None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive, and several even express regret that they cannot, or can no longer, believe. Perhaps more important, in these reflective pieces, they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems facing the human mind and spirit. For instance, if God is dead, is everything permitted? Philosophers without Gods demonstrates convincingly, with arguments that date back to Plato, that morality is independent of the existence of God. Indeed, every writer in this volume adamantly affirms the objectivity of right and wrong. Moreover, they contend that secular life can provide rewards as great and as rich as religious life. A naturalistic understanding of the human condition presents a set of challenges--to pursue our goals without illusions, to act morally without hope of reward--challenges that can impart a lasting value to finite and fragile human lives. Collectively, these essays highlight the richness of atheistic belief--not only as a valid alternative to religion, but as a profoundly fulfilling and moral way of life. -/- "This Atheists R Us compilation differs markedly in tone from Hitchens and Dawkins. Excellent fare for Christian small groups whose members are genuinely interested in the arguments raised by atheists." --Christianity Today -/- "Readable, personal, and provocative.... Contrary to the popular image, atheism isn't all rebellious trumpets and defiant drums.... Here we have all the varieties of unreligious experience, a full symphony of unbelief." --Free Inquiry -/- "Compelling and sophisticated arguments that religious people ought to confront." --Tikkun. (shrink)
Different religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, (...) a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth CollegeDifferent religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth College. (shrink)
Introduction: Setting the scene -- The soul, Dharma, and liberation -- The supreme person's descent -- The path of enlightened action -- The path of classical yoga -- The vision of the supreme, I -- Quitting the body, the ephemeral, and eternal worlds -- The vision of the supreme, II -- Seeing the supreme in this world -- The revelation -- Stages of devotion -- The vision of the supreme in the heart -- The three Gusas -- The journey from (...) bondage to liberation -- The divine and the demonic -- The manifestation of the three Gusas in human life -- Summary and conclusion: Surrender to Kusa alone. (shrink)
There are deep and pervasive disagreements today in universities and colleges, and popular culture in general, over the credibility and value of belief in God. This has given rise to an urgent need for a balanced, comprehensive, accessible resource book that can inform the public and scholarly debate over theism. While scholars with as diverse interests as Daniel Dennett, Terry Eagleton, Richard Dawkins, Jürgen Habermas, and Rowan Williams have recently contributed books to this debate, "theism" as a concept remains poorly (...) understood and requires a more thorough and systematic analysis than it has so far received in any single volume. _The Routledge Companion to Theism_ addresses this need by investigating theism's history as well as its relationship to inquiry in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and to its wider cultural contexts. The contents are not confined within the philosophy of religion or even within the more expansive borders of philosophy. Rather, _The Routledge Companion to Theism_ investigates its subject through the lens of a wide variety of disciplines and explores the ramifications of theism considered as a way of life as well as an intellectual conviction. The five parts of the volume indicate its inclusive scope: I. What is Theism?; II. Theism and Inquiry; III. Theism and the Socio-Political Realm; IV. Theism and Culture; V. Theism as a Way of Life. The result is a well ordered and thorough collection that should provide a wide spectrum of readers with a better understanding of a subject that's much discussed, but frequently misunderstood. As the editors note in their Introduction, while stimulating and informing the contemporary debate, a key aim of the volume is to open new avenues of inquiry into theism and thereby to encourage further research into this vital topic. Comprised of 54 essays by leading scholars in philosophy, history, theology, religious studies, political science, education and sociology, _The Routledge Companion to Theism_ promises to be the most useful, comprehensive resource on an emerging subject of interest for students and scholars. (shrink)
This book addresses a fundamental question in the philosophy of religion. Can religious experience provide evidence for religious belief? If so, how? Keith Yandell argues against the notion that religious experience is ineffable, while advocating the view that strong numinous experience provides some evidence that God exists. An attractive feature of the book is that it does not confine its attention to any one religious cultural tradition, but tracks the nature of religious experience across different traditions in both the East (...) and the West. (shrink)
This volume examines the ways in which the authors of the early Frankfurt School criticized, adopted and modified traditional forms of religious thought and practice. Focusing on the works of Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, Max Horkheimer, Otto Kirchheimer and Franz Neumann, it analyzes the relevance of religious traditions and of the Enlightenment critique of religion for modern conceptions of emancipatory thought, art, law, and politics.
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 book falls into four segments. In the first (Chapter 1), the particular conception of deity that has been predominant in western civilization—the theistic idea of God—is explicated and distinguished from several other notions of the divine. The second segment considers the major reasons that have been advanced in support of the belief that the theistic God exists. In chapters 2 through 4 the three major arguments for the existence of God are discussed, arguments which appeal to facts supposedly available (...) to any rational person, whether religious or not. Chapter 5 considers religious and mystical experience as a source and justification for theistic belief. And in Chapter 6 we examine the role that faith may play in the formation and justification of religious belief. We also consider the important issue of whether belief in God may be entirely rational quite apart from any evidence in its behalf. The third segment undertakes an examination of the problem of evil, which some have thought to provide rational grounds for atheism, the belief that the theistic God does not exist. A number of topics quite central to theistic religion are considered in the fourth segment of the book, chapters 8 through 11. These topics include miracles, the question of life after death, problems in relating the idea of divine foreknowledge to the belief in human freedom, and problems arising from the existence of diverse religions. (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)
Holmes Rolston challenges the sociobiological orthodoxy that would naturalize science, ethics, and religion. The book argues that genetic processes are not blind, selfish, and contingent, and that nature is therefore not value-free. The author examines the emergence of complex biodiversity through evolutionary history. Especially remarkable in this narrative is the genesis of human beings with their capacities for science, ethics, and religion. A major conceptual task of the book is to relate cultural genesis to natural genesis. There is also a (...) general account of how values are created and transmitted in both natural and human cultural history. The book is thoroughly up-to-date on current biological thought and is written by one of the most well-respected figures in the philosophy of biology and religion. (shrink)
This book cuts new ground in bringing together traditional Christian theological perspectives on truth and reality with a contemporary philosophical view of the place of language in both divine and wordly reality. Patterson seeks to reconcile the requirements that Christian theology should both take account of postmodern insights concerning the inextricability of language and world as well as taking God's truth to be absolute for all reality. Yet it is not simply about theological language and truth as such. Instead Patterson (...) asks: where does language fit in divine and human reality? Patterson's discussion straddles realist, liberal-revisionist and postliberal theological schools, and critiques their various positions before going on to utilise selectively their insights to develop and apply a theological model of 'language-ridden' reality. This model affirms that worldly reality has a radical dependence on God. Finally, the book explores the theological and ethical implications of the model it proposes. (shrink)
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion provides a broad overview of the topics which are at the forefront of discussion in contemporary philosophy of religion. Prominent views and arguments from both historical and contemporary authors are discussed and analyzed. The book treats all of the central topics in the field, including the coherence of the divine attributes, theistic and atheistic arguments, faith and reason, religion and ethics, miracles, human freedom and divine providence, science and religion, and immortality. In addition (...) it addresses topics of significant importance that similar books often ignore, including the argument for atheism from hiddenness, the coherence of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, and the relationship between religion and politics. It will be a valuable accompaniment to undergraduate and introductory graduate-level courses. (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.
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)
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)
We live in a culture which, while largely dependent on science for its material welfare, is largely ignorant of the new ideas and perspectives on which science is based. This book examines the true significance of science and technology for society over the last three hundred years. Professor Hanbury Brown's insight and experience have resulted in a novel approach to the discussion of the cultural role of science. After reviewing the history of how science grew to be both useful to, (...) and feared by society, the book traces the same period in the context of new ideas and concepts in scientific research. Later chapters deal with society's current view of science and the need for attitudes to be changed, and then a discussion of the religious dimensions of science. This book aims to clear away some of the popular misconceptions about science and to put in their place a wider and deeper understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. (shrink)
Is the Holocaust Vanishing? explores the ramifications of the passing of survivors for Holocaust studies, the removal of the Jew from Holocaust studies, and what all of this means for Jewish identity after the Holocaust. The book consists of years of reflection and wrestling with these issues on the part of a man who is a Holocaust survivor, a rabbi, and a professor of Holocaust studies.
For centuries, westerners have referred to China's numerous traditions of spiritual expression as "religious"--a word born of western thought that cannot completely characterize the passionate writing that fills the pages of this pathbreaking anthology. The first of its kind in well over thirty years, this text offers the student of Chinese ritual and cosmology the broadest range of primary sources from antiquity to the modern era. Readings are arranged chronologically and cover such concepts as Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and even communism. (...) A large number of the selections concern the role of the female in Chinese religion, and are either by or about women. Through invocations, poetry, drama, philosophical texts, religious treatises, and modern fiction, students hear the voices of numerous Chinese masters expounding on the movements and traditions that inspired them: the mysterious Tao-te ching of Lao Tzu, cloaked in the mists of deepest antiquity; the Analects of stately, reverent Confucius; "Nailing a Stick into Empty Space," from The Recorded Conversations of Ch'an Master I-hsuan, and many others, including the work of Mencius, Pan Chao, Han Shan, Chang Tsai, Wang Yang-ming, Lu Hsun, and Mao Tse-tung. Fully one third of the translations are new, and each reading is preceded by an introduction that explains its importance and salient features. Complete with a helpful chronology of dynasties and list of possible video sources, this remarkable volume collects under one cover the most significant and influential works of China's dynamic spiritual tradition, making a fundamental contribution to courses in Chinese religion, literature, and history. (shrink)