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Reading Philosophy of Religion offers a diverse collection of carefully chosen classical and contemporary texts in philosophy of religion accompanied by detailed and insightful commentaries as well as questions to stimulate further study. The readings reflect central topics of study: religious language; the existence of God; reason, argument and belief in God; divine properties; and religious pluralism. The twenty-three excerpts span the philosophical spectrum and include such thinkers as Alston, Anselm, Aquinas, Ayer, Berkeley, Boethius, Clifford, Hume, Paley, Pascal, Plantinga, Putnam and Rowe.

With its combination of thoughtfully chosen texts and illuminating analysis, Reading Philosophy of Religion is the ideal choice for an introductory textbook in philosophy of religion courses, or for any individual curious about the philosophical study of the nature of religion.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This is a brilliant set of readings with unique and student-friendly commentaries that makes it an ideal, vibrant resource for the study and practice of philosophy of religion today." Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College

“For those with a basic grounding in Philosophy, this book represents an ideal introduction to Philosophy of Religion in the Western tradition. Oppy and Scott are to be commended for encouraging and enabling detailed engagement with some of the most important primary texts in the field.” Dr Elizabeth Burns, Heythrop College, University of London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405170826
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/3/2010
  • Series: Reading Philosophy Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Oppy is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University, where he has recently been Head of the School of Philosophy and Bioethics, and Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Arts. His publications in philosophy of religion include Ontological Arguments and Belief in God (1996), Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity (2006), and Arguing about Gods (2006) and numerous journal articles.

Michael Scott is lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Manchester and editor of Ars Disputandi, an online journal in philosophy of religion. He has written several papers in philosophy of religion and perception and co-authored Realism and Religion (2007) with Andrew Moore.

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Table of Contents

Sources and Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

1 Religious Language 5

Introduction 5

Introduction to Ayer 8

A. J. Ayer, 'Critique of Theology' (selection from Language, Truth and Logic, ch. 6) 8

Commentary on Ayer 11

Introduction to Berkeley 19

George Berkeley, Alciphron (selection from the seventh dialogue) 20

Commentary on Berkeley 26

Introduction to Putnam 33

Hilary Putnam, 'Wittgenstein on Religious Language' (selection from Renewing Philosophy, chs 7-8) 34

Commentary on Putnam 44

Introduction to Alston 50

William Alston, 'Irreducible Metaphors in Theology' 51

Commentary on Alston 62

2 Arguments about the Existence of God 67

Introduction 67

Introduction to Anselm 70

Anselm, Proslogion, ch. II 70

Commentary on Anselm 71

Introduction to Aquinas 81

Aquinas, Summa theologica, The Second Way 82

Commentary on Aquinas 82

Introduction to Pascal 93

Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 'Pascal's Wager' 94

Commentary on Pascal 96

Introduction to Paley 103

William Paley, Natural Theology (selection) 104

Commentary on Paley 110

Introduction to Hume 116

David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (selection) 117

Commentary on Hume 122

Introduction to Everitt 126

Nicholas Everitt, The Non-existence of God, ch. 5 (selection) 127

Commentary on Everitt 132

Introduction to Mackie 138

John Leslie Mackie, 'Evil and Omnipotence' 139

Commentary on Mackie 146

Introduction to Rowe 151

William Leonard Rowe, 'The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism' 151

Commentary on Rowe 156

3 Evidence, Argument and Belief in God 161

Introduction 161

Introduction to New 163

Christopher New, 'Antitheism: A Reflection' 164

Commentary on New 170

Introduction to Clifford 175

William Clifford, 'The Ethics of Belief' 176

Commentary on Clifford 180

Introduction to James 187

William James, 'The Will to Believe' 187

Commentary on James 198

Introduction to Plantinga 204

Alvin Plantinga, 'Is Belief in God Properly Basic?' 204

Commentary on Plantinga 213

Introduction to Rey 221

Georges Rey, 'Meta-atheism: Religious Avowal as Self-deception' 222

Commentary on Rey 230

4 Divine Attributes 235

Introduction 235

Introduction to Savage 238

C. Wade Savage, 'The Paradox of the Stone' 238

Commentary on Savage 243

Introduction to Pike 248

Nelson Pike, 'Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action' 249

Commentary on Pike 251

Introduction to Kretzmann 257

Norman J. Kretzmann, 'Abraham, Isaac and Euthyphro: God and the Basis of Morality' 258

Commentary on Kretzmann 264

Introduction to Boethius 270

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy (selection) 271

Commentary on Boethius 274

5 Religious Diversity 280

Introduction 280

Introduction to Hick 282

John Hick, The Interpretation of Religion (selection) 283

Commentary on Hick 287

Introduction to Plantinga 293

Alvin Plantinga, 'Pluralism: A Defense of Religious Exclusivism' (selection) 294

Commentary on Plantinga 304

Index 310

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