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Philosophy of Religion

A Guide and Anthology

Edited by Brian Davies

Publication Date - September 2000

ISBN: 9780198751946

784 pages

In Stock


Is it possible to be both a philosopher and a religious believer? Is philosophy a friend or foe to religious belief? Does talk of God make sense? Does God exist? What is God?
Essential for anyone pondering these and similar questions, Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology provides a comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible overview of the subject. Carefully edited by Brian Davies, it contains a wide-ranging selection of 65 of the best classical and contemporary writings on the philosophy of religion, together with substantial commentary, introductory material, discussion questions, and detailed guides to further reading. The editorial material sets the selections in context and guides students through the readings.
Part I of the book examines the relation between philosophy and religion; Parts II-IV consider the existence and nature of God; Part V addresses the "problem of evil" that has puzzled thinkers for centuries; and Parts VI and VII are devoted to the relationship between morality and religion and to the question of life after death. An extensive treatment of the major issues that Western philosophers have faced in thinking about religion, Philosophy of Religion is an exceptional text. No other book on the market offers this combination of introductory guide along with such a substantial anthology of readings.

About the Author(s)

Brian Davies is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University. He is a Catholic Priest and Dominican Friar, and is General Editor of the series "Outstanding Christian Thinkers" and the Oxford series "Medieval Minds."

Table of Contents

    Notes on Contributors
    General Introduction
    Advice on Further Reading
    1. Faith and Reason in Harmony, Thomas Aquinas
    2. The Ethics of Belief, W.K. Clifford
    3. The Presumption of Atheism, Antony Flew
    4. Religious Belief as 'Properly Basic', Alvin Plantinga
    5. Evidence and Religious Belief, Norman Kretzmann
    6. Grammar and Religious Belief, D.Z. Phillips
    7. The Groundlessness of Religious Belief, Norman Malcolm
    8. How Believers Find God-Talk Puzzling, Augustine of Hippo
    9. God-Talk is Evidently Nonsense, A.J. Ayer
    10. God-Talk is Not Evidently Nonsense, Richard Swinburne
    11. 'Death by a Thousand Qualifications', Antony Flew
    12. One Way of Understanding God-Talk, Thomas Aquinas
    Cosmological Arguments
    13. A Concise Cosmological Argument from the Eleventh Century, Anselm of Canterbury
    14. A Thirteenth-Century Cosmological Argument, Thomas Aquinas
    15. A Fourteenth-Century Cosmological Argument, John Duns Scotus
    16. A Seventeenth-Century Cosmological Argument, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
    17. A Modern Cosmological Argument, Herbert McCabe
    18. Objections to Cosmological Arguments, Paul Edwards
    19. More Objections to Cosmological Arguments, J.L. Mackie
    20. Why is a Cause Always Necessary?, David Hume
    21. 'Whatever Has a Beginning of Existence Must Have a Cause', G.E.M. Anscombe
    22. Can There be an Endless Regress of Causes?, James A. Sadowsky
    Design Arguments
    23. Is the World Ruled by Providence?, Thomas Aquinas
    24. An Especially Famous Design Argument, William Paley
    25. We Cannot Know that the World is Designed by God A David Hume
    26. The Limits of Design Arguments, Immanuel Kant
    27. God, Regularity, and David Hume, R.G. Swinburne
    28. Can Design Arguments be Defended Today?, Robert Hambourger
    Ontological Arguments
    29. Anselm Argues that God Cannot be Thought Not to Exist, Anselm of Canterbury
    30. Gaunilo Argues that Anselm is Wrong, Gaunilo of Marmoutiers
    31. Anselm Replies to Gaunilo, Anselm of Canterbury
    32. Descartes Defends an Ontological Argument, René Descartes
    33. Descartes Replies to Critics, Pierre Gassendi, Johannes Caterus, René Descartes
    34. A Classic Repudiation of Ontological Arguments, Immanuel Kant
    35. A Contemporary Defense of Ontological Arguments, Alvin Plantinga
    God and Human Experience
    36. Why 'Knowing God by Experience' is a Notion Open to Question, C.B. Martin
    37. Can We Know God by Experience?, Peter Donovan
    38. Why Should There Not Be Experience of God?, William P. Alston
    39. A Modern Discussion of Divine Omnipotence, Thomas V. Morris
    40. Why Think of God as Omnipotent?, Thomas Aquinas
    41. Miracles and Laws of Nature, Richard Swinburne
    42. Why We Should Disbelieve in Miracles, David Hume
    43. Why Ascribe Knowledge to God?, Thomas Aquinas
    44. Omniscience and Human Freedom: a Classic Discussion, Boethius
    45. Problems for the Notion of Divine Omniscience, Nelson Pike
    46. Why Call God 'Eternal'?, Thomas Aquinas
    47. God is 'Everlasting', not 'Eternal', Nicholas Wolterstorff
    48. A Modern Defence of Divine Eternity, Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann
    49. A Different Modern Defense of Divine Eternity, Paul Helm
    50. A Classic Defense of Divine Simplicity, Thomas Aquinas
    51. Problems with Divine Simplicity, Thomas V. Morris
    52. A Modern Defense of Divine Simplicity, Brian Davies
    53. Evil Shows that There is No God, J.L. Mackie
    54. What is Evil?, Augustine of Hippo
    55. Evil Does Not Show That There Is No God, Richard Swinburne
    56. God, Evil, and Divine Responsibility, Herbert McCabe
    57. God and Human Freedom, Thomas Aquinas
    58. God as a 'Postulate' of Sound Moral Thinking, Immanuel Kant
    59. Why Morality Implies the Existence of God, H.P. Owen
    60. Moral Thinking as Awareness of God, Illtyd Trethowan
    61. Morality Does Not Imply the Existence of God, Kai Nielsen
    62. Philosophy and Life After Death: The Questions and the Options, Stephen T. Davis
    63. Life After Death: An Ancient Greek View, Plato
    64. Belief in Life After Death Comes from Emotion, not Reason, Bertrand Russell
    65. What Must be True of Me if I Survive My Death?, Peter Geach
    Parts I-II and V-VII open with an Introduction and end with Questions for Discussion and Advice on Further Reading; Parts III and IV open with an Introduction and Advice on Further Reading; the sub-sections of Parts III and IV open with an Introduction and end with Questions for Discussion and Advice on Further Reading