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Exploring Philosophy of Religion

An Introductory Anthology

Second Edition

Steven M. Cahn

Publication Date - 15 December 2015

ISBN: 9780190461386

346 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most concise, accessible, and balanced collection in philosophy of religion, now with a large selection of readings by women


In this remarkably accessible, concise, and engaging introduction to the philosophy of religion, Steven M. Cahn brings together a rich and balanced collection of sixty-six classic and contemporary readings. This unique anthology features a clear, well-organized structure and careful editing of many articles in order to sharpen their focus and make them understandable to students with little or no background in philosophy. The book also reflects the importance of women's contributions to the field; 40% of the contemporary readings are by women. In addition, topics often minimized in other collections are covered in more depth here, including forgiveness and love; ritual, prayer, and worship; gender; speaking of God; and the afterlife.

New to this Edition

  • Expanded sections on The Divine Attributes, Avenues to the Divine, The Problem of Evil, The Afterlife, and Religious Pluralism
  • Essays on the essentials of deductive and inductive reasoning; forgiveness and love; ritual, prayer, and worship; and gender
  • Forty percent of the contemporary essays are authored or coauthored by women

About the Author(s)

Steven M. Cahn is Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books. Recently, he wrote From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor (2008) and coauthored Happiness and Goodness: Philosophical Reflections on Living Well (2015). Dr. Cahn is the editor of The World of Philosophy (OUP, 2015), Ethics, Sixth Edition (OUP, 2015), Exploring Philosophy, Fifth Edition (OUP, 2014), Political Philosophy, Third Edition (OUP, 2014), and Exploring Ethics, Third Edition (OUP, 2013).

Previous Publication Date(s)

February 2008


"Exploring Philosophy of Religion is a rich cornucopia of Western religious topics, traditions, and issues, both past and present. With an unusually high percentage of women contributors and thoughtful study questions, it is an outstanding text for use in introductory religion courses. It is seldom that one finds such breadth and depth in a single volume, especially with the added benefit that some of the lengthy essays have been revised for readability and focus."--Sallie McFague, Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Vancouver School of Theology

"This collection looks EXCELLENT! It covers all of the issues (including some uncommon but interesting and important ones), includes many writings by women, is a size where most of it can be assigned and read, and has a great price!"--Nathan Nobis, Morehouse College

"One of this book's strengths is its pluralism; it doesn't restrict itself to just one approach, and makes a good effort to include writers from a variety of traditions."--Richard Cross, University of Notre Dame

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition
    * What Is Religion? Beverly Clack and Brian R. Clack
    * What is Reason? Steven M. Cahn, Patricia Kitcher, and George Sher
    A. Goodness
    God and Goodness, James Rachels
    * A Modified Divine Command Theory, Robert M. Adams
    B. Omnipotence
    Some Puzzles Concerning Omnipotence, George Mavrodes
    * The Logic of Omnipotence, Harry G. Frankfurt
    C. Timelessness
    * The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius
    * God Everlasting, Nicholas Wolterstorff
    D. Omniscience
    * Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action, Nelson Pike
    * Power Over the Past, William L. Rowe
    E. Forgiveness and Love
    God and Forgiveness, Anne Minas
    * God as Lover, Sallie McFague
    A. The Ontological Argument
    The Ontological Argument, St. Anselm and Gaunilo
    The Ontological Argument: A Critique, Immanuel Kant
    * The Ontological Argument: A Reassessment, William L. Rowe
    B. The Cosmological Argument
    The Five Ways, St. Thomas Aquinas
    * The Cosmological Argument, Richard Taylor
    * The Cosmological Argument: A Critique, J. L. Mackie
    * The Kalam Cosmological Argument, William L. Rowe
    C. The Teleological Argument
    The Evidence of Design, William Paley
    Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (II, V-VII), David Hume
    * The Argument from Design, Robert Hambourger
    * Darwin and Design, Nicholas Everitt
    D. About the Arguments
    * What Question does a Theistic Argument Answer? Linda Trinkhaus Zagzebski
    * Theistic Arguments and Religious Commitment, Steven M. Cahn
    A. Religious Experience
    Mysticism, William James
    * Fallibilism and Faith, Susan Haack
    Perceiving God, William Alston
    Perceiving God: A Critique, William L. Rowe
    B. Miracles
    Of Miracles, David Hume
    On Miracles, Paul J. Dietl
    * Miracles as Evidence Against the Existence of God, Christine Overall
    * Do Miracles Occur? Monroe C. Beardsley and Elizabeth Lane Beardsley
    C. Ritual, Prayer, and Worship
    * Euthyphro, Plato
    * Petitionary Prayer, Eleonore Stump
    The Concept of Worship, James Rachels
    D. Speaking of God
    Experience and Metaphor, Janet Martin Soskice
    Metaphors Without Meaning, Paul Edwards
    * Speaking in Parables, Sallie McFague
    * Beyond God the Father, Mary Daly
    * Reimagining the Unimaginable, Judith Plaskow
    The Wager, Blaise Pascal
    Pascal's Wager: A Critique, Simon Blackburn
    * Pascal's Wager: An Assessment, Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski
    The Ethics of Belief, W. K. Clifford
    The Will to Believe, William James
    The Will to Believe: A Critique, Nicholas Everitt
    Belief Without Argument, Alvin Plantinga
    Belief Without Argument: A Critique, Michael Martin
    Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (X-XI), David Hume
    * Hume on Evil, Nelson Pike
    * The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism, William L. Rowe
    Why God Allows Evil, Richard Swinburne
    * Knowledge, Freedom, and the Problem of Evil, Eleonore Stump
    * Christianity and Horrendous Evils, Marilyn McCord Adams
    * Who is Causing Suffering, and to Whom? Grace M. Jantzen
    The Hiddenness of God, Robert McKim
    * Two Christian Concepts of Heaven, Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang
    * The Problem of Hell, Marilyn McCord Adams
    Resurrection, John H. Hick
    Do We Need Immortality? Grace M. Jantzen
    * A Naturalistic Case for Extinction, Linda Badham
    Religious Pluralism and Salvation, John H. Hick
    A Defense of Religious Exclusivism, Alvin Plantinga
    * The Problem of Religious Diversity, Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski
    Religion Without God, Steven M. Cahn