Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept

Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept

by James W. Sire
     
 

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In this companion volume to The Universe Next Door, James W. Sire offers his refined definition of a worldview and addresses key questions about the history of worldview thinking, the existential and intellectual formation of worldviews, the public and private dimensions of worldviews and how worldview thinking can help us navigate an increasingly pluralistic universe

Overview

In this companion volume to The Universe Next Door, James W. Sire offers his refined definition of a worldview and addresses key questions about the history of worldview thinking, the existential and intellectual formation of worldviews, the public and private dimensions of worldviews and how worldview thinking can help us navigate an increasingly pluralistic universe.

Editorial Reviews

Cheryl Doss
"I highly recommend this book to others who seek to think in worldview terms."
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830840731
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
02/02/2015
Pages:
201
Sales rank:
417,259
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(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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