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Evidence and Religious Belief

Overview

A fundamental question in philosophy of religion is whether religious belief must be based on evidence in order to be properly held. In recent years two prominent positions on this issue have been staked out: evidentialism, which claims that proper religious belief requires evidence; and Reformed epistemology, which claims that it does not. Evidence and Religious Belief contains eleven chapters by prominent philosophers which push the discussion in new directions. The volume has three parts. The first part ...

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Overview

A fundamental question in philosophy of religion is whether religious belief must be based on evidence in order to be properly held. In recent years two prominent positions on this issue have been staked out: evidentialism, which claims that proper religious belief requires evidence; and Reformed epistemology, which claims that it does not. Evidence and Religious Belief contains eleven chapters by prominent philosophers which push the discussion in new directions. The volume has three parts. The first part explores the demand for evidence: some chapters object to it while others seek to restate it or find space for compromise between Reformed epistemology and evidentialism. The second part explores ways in which beliefs are related to evidence; that is, ways in which the evidence for or against religious belief that is available to a person can depend on that person's background beliefs and other circumstances. The third part contains chapters that discuss actual evidence for and against religious belief. Evidence for belief in God includes the so-called common consent of the human race and the way that such belief makes sense of the moral life; evidence against it includes profound puzzles about divine freedom which suggest that it is impossible for a being to be morally perfect.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Elegance of argumentation gives this volume an interest beyond its presumptive chief audience—those who wish to track the progress of Plantinga-influenced inquiries into belief and evidence."—J. Churchill, CHOICE

"Elegeance of argumentation gives this volume an interest beyond its presumptive chief audience."—CHOICE

"Contributes greatly to the current discussion of evidence in general and its relationship to religious belief in particular."—American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199603718
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly James Clark is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author and editor of over fifty articles and fifteen books including The Story of Ethics (Prentice-Hall), Return to Reason (Eerdmans), and Children of Abraham (forthcoming).

Raymond J. VanArragon is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is author of Key Terms in Philosophy of Religion (Continuum), co-editor of Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell), and has published articles in philosophy of religion and epistemology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
I: Exploring the Demand for Evidence
1. Willing Belief and Rational Faith, James Ross
2. Epistemic Self-Trust and the Consensus Gentium Argument, Linda Zagzebski
3. Religious Experience and the Question of Whether Belief in God Requires Evidence, C. Stephen Evans
4. Phenomenal Conservatism and Evidentialism in Religious Epistemology, Chris Tucker
II: The Relation of Beliefs to Evidence
5. Theistic Proofs, Person Relativity, and the Rationality of Religious Belief, William Wainwright
6. Hiddenness, Evidence, and Idolatry, E. J. Coffman and Jeff Cervantez
7. An Evolutionary Objection to the Argument from Evil, Thomas M. Crisp
III: Evidence and Religious Belief
8. Consensus Gentium: Reflections on the 'Common Consent' Argument for the Existence of God, Thomas Kelly
9. Motivating Morality, Kelly James Clark and Andrew Samuel
10. Divine Perfection and Freedom, William Rowe
11. The Many Gods of Hick and Mavrodes, William Hasker
Response to Hasker, John Hick
Bibliography
Index

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