Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept by James W. Sire, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept

Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept

by James W. Sire
     
 

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For more than thirty years James W. Sire has grappled with this issue. In this book he offers readers his most mature thought on the concept of a worldview, addressing such questions as: What is the history of the concept itself? What is the first question we should ask in formulating a worldview: What is the really real? or How do we know anything at all? How are

Overview

For more than thirty years James W. Sire has grappled with this issue. In this book he offers readers his most mature thought on the concept of a worldview, addressing such questions as: What is the history of the concept itself? What is the first question we should ask in formulating a worldview: What is the really real? or How do we know anything at all? How are worldviews formed existentially as well as intellectually? Is a worldview primarily an intellectual system, a way of life or a story? What are the public and private dimensions of a worldview? What role can worldview thinking play in assessing our own worldview and those of others, especially in light of the pluralism within which we live?

In his widely used textbook The Universe Next Door, first published in 1976, Sire offered a succinct definition of a worldview and cataloged in summary fashion seven basic worldview alternatives. Students, critics, new literature and continued reflection have led him to reexamine and refine his definition of a worldview. This companion volume to The Universe Next Door is the fruit of that effort. Here is an excellent resource for all who want to explore more deeply how and why worldview thinking can aid us in navigating our pluralistic universe.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sire, who as an InterVarsity Press editor and author of The Universe Next Door helped introduce Christian college students to "worldview," revisits the subject with a more technical approach that sacrifices the essential simplicity of the earlier work. The title refers to the story of a father asked to explain what holds up the world. Eventually he chooses "the biggest animal he could think of and put a capital on it... `It's an Elephant... it's Elephant all the way down.' " Like the Elephant, a worldview is expected to answer big questions about "the basic makeup of our world," and is likely "brought to mind only when we are challenged by a foreigner from another ideological universe." Sire notes that such challenges are mounting in our increasingly pluralistic world, even though the basic menu of worldview options remains mostly unchanged from a generation ago, with the (grudgingly acknowledged) addition of postmodernism. In defining the concept of worldview, Sire goes beyond his earlier treatment of worldviews as "answers to a systematic set of questions" to consider other possibilities. A worldview can also take the form of a story, a way of life, a pre-theoretical intuition or a pattern of actions. Such alternatives promote a nuanced appreciation of worldviews, and of the serious difficulty in communicating across worldview frontiers. But for all these refinements, Sire's message remains basically the same: Christians tend to have Christian beliefs, and others tend not to. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Cheryl Doss
"I highly recommend this book to others who seek to think in worldview terms."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830827794
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Pages:
170
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.39(d)

Meet the Author

James W. Sire (PhD, University of Missouri), formerly a senior editor at InterVarsity Press, is an active speaker and writer. He has taught English, philosophy, theology, and short courses at many universities and seminaries. He continues to be a frequent guest lecturer in the United States and Europe.

His InterVarsity Press books and Bible studies include The Universe Next Door (a worldviews textbook), Scripture Twisting, Discipleship of the Mind, Chris Chrisman Goes to College, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept, Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, Why Good Arguments Often Fail and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics.

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