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Published: 12 October 2012

416 Pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780199946570

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)

Reason & Religious Belief

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Fifth Edition

Michael Peterson, William Hasker, Bruce Reichenbach, and David Basinger

New to this Edition:

  • Discussion of Buddhism added to chapters 2, 11, and 14, expands coverage beyond Christianity.
  • Chapter 2: Added a discussion of Dennett's Breaking the Spell. Added section on Buddhist non-realism. Updated and extended the discussion to other religions.
  • Chapter 3: Added section on Neuro-theology. Discusses a nonrealist, quasi-scientific approach to religious experience.
  • Chapter 11: Added discussion of Mark Johnston's Surviving Death; enhances the discussion of both dualist and the monist views of life after death. Added new section on No Persisting Self (including discussion of Parfit and Buddhism). Both updated the discussion and expanded it to other world religions.
  • Chapters 8 and 10: More clearly identify the implications of certain assumptions about God's power and knowledge for important theological concepts such as prayer, miracle and divine guidance. Helps the reader better see the interconnectedness of various religious beliefs.
  • Chapter 6: Updated discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of evidentialism - the claim that the rationality of religious belief is based on evidence open to all. To better reflect the current philosophical discussion of this issue.
  • Chapter 8: Updated discussion of the seeming incompatibility between maintaining that humans make free choices and that God foreknows what these choices will be. This better reflects the current philosophical discussion of the issue.
  • Chapter 9 includes a new section on Skeptical Theism as a growing response to the problem of evil. It also adds some modest few lines showing the connection of the problem of evil to divine hiddenness. Students gain exposure to an important and rapidly growing discussion of the problem of evil along lines of skeptical theism.
  • Chapter 13 adds new material on the New Atheism in the science-religion discussion-e.g., Stephen Hawking's argument for how the universe created itself and therefore is not dependent on God. Material added on the Intelligent Design Movement and the Theistic Evolution position. It also covers the recent Plantinga-Dennett debate over science and religion. Discusses atheist Michael Ruse's argument that evolution and philosophical naturalism make the most adequate total worldview in tension with John Polkinghorne's argument that Christian theism and evolution make the more adequate worldview. This will keep up with the rapidly growing literature reflecting the unfolding science-religion discussion on a variety of fronts. Will also keep up with the rapidly growing literature reflecting the unfolding discussion, representing recent important contributions from thinkers on both sides and providing fair analysis and classification of the positions.
  • Chapter 14: Added discussion of Buddhism. This is part of a total upgrade in treatment of nonwestern religions.
  • Chapter 12: Augmented discussion of apophatic and cataphatic theology related to issues in religious language. This treats an important debate over whether we can speak positively about what God is vs. speak only negatively about what god is not.

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