Readings in Philosophy of Religion: Ancient to Contemporary / Edition 1

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Comprised of readings from ancient to modern times, this volume offers a comprehensive introduction to the central questions of the philosophy of religion.

  • Provides a history of the philosophy of religion, from antiquity up to the twentieth century
  • Each section is preceded by extensive commentary written by the editors, followed by readings that are arranged chronologically
  • Designed to be accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"What distinguishes this anthology from others is editors trained in modern philosophy and adept at its strategies, who have come to learn from classical traditions as well, to reflect that breadth and depth in their selections. Their ability to range from “ancient to contemporary” will enlighten current students, as will their adroit way of introducing the various topics in philosophical inquiry into questions of faith."
David Burrell, C.S.C, University of Notre Dame

"A well-crafted collection that admirably represents the central issues in Philosophy of religion. Zagzebski and Miller provide a deep, persuasive yet readable treatment of the subject. I enthusiastically recommend it."
J.P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405180924
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Zagzebski is the George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Philosophy and Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Divine Motivation Theory (2004), The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge (1991), Virtues of the Mind (1996), Philosophy of Religion: An Historical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), and On Epistemology (2008).

Timothy D. Miller is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.

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Table of Contents


General Introduction.

Part I: The Philosophical Treatment of Religion: Introduction.

1. The Nature of the Gods, Book 1: Cicero.

Part II: Classical Arguments for Theism: Introduction.

1.1. The Design Argument: Cicero.

1.2. The Fifth Way: Thomas Aquinas.

1.3. The Watch and the Watchmaker: William Paley.

1.4. Critique of the Design Argument: David Hume.

1.5. The Teleological Argument: Robin Collins.

1.6. The Argument from the Appearance of Design: J. J. C. Smart.

2.1. Plato’s Cosmological Argument: Plato.

2.2. The Eternality of Motion and the Unmoved Mover: Aristotle.

2.3. The Kalām Cosmological Argument: Al-Ghazali.

2.4. The Existence and Oneness of God: Moses Maimonides.

2.5. The First Three Ways: Thomas Aquinas.

2.6. The Argument from Dependent Beings: Samuel Clarke.

2.7. Critique of the Cosmological Argument: David Hume.

3.1. Anselm’s Ontological Argument: Anselm.

3.2. Descartes’s Ontological Argument: René Descartes.

3.3. Kant’s Critique of the Three Traditional Proofs: Immanuel Kant.

3.4. The Ontological Argument: Alvin Plantinga.

Part III: Other Approaches to Religious Belief: Introduction.

1.1. The Numinous: Rudolf Otto.

1.2. Mysticism and Religious Experience: William J. Wainwright.

1.3. The Existence of God and the Existence of Homer: Rethinking Theism and Revelatory Claims: Sandra Menssen and Thomas D. Sullivan.

2.1. Truth is Subjectivity: Søren Kierkegaard.

2.2. Kierkegaard’s Arguments against Objective Reasoning in Religion: Robert M. Adams.

2.3. Lectures on Religious Belief: Ludwig Wittgenstein.

3.1. Origin of Religion: David Hume.

3.2. The Essence of Religion in General: Ludwig Feuerbach.

3.3. The Future of an Illusion: Sigmund Freud.

Part IV: Who or What is God?: Introduction.

1. On Being: Melissus of Samos.

2. The Final Cause: Aristotle.

3. The Divine Darkness: Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.

4. Perfect Being: Anselm.

5. On the Trinity: Richard of St Victor.

6. Omnipotence: Peter Geach.

7. Omniscience and Immutability: Norman Kretzmann.

8. Atemporal Personhood: William L. Craig.

Part V: Fate, Freedom, and Foreknowledge: Introduction.

1. The Sea Battle Argument: Aristotle.

2. On Fate and On Divination: Cicero.

3. God’s Timeless Knowing: Boethius.

4. Ockham on God’s Foreknowledge, and Future Contingents: Marilyn Adams.

5. Middle Knowledge: William Hasker.

Part VI: Religion and Morality: Introduction.

1.1. God is the Measure of All Things: Plato.

1.2. The Moral Argument for the Existence of God: Immanuel Kant.

2.1. The Euthyphro Dilemma: Plato.

2.2. Questions on the Books of the Sentences: Pierre d’Ailly.

2.3. Lectures on Romans: Martin Luther.

2.4. Divine Commands: Robert M. Adams.

2.5. The Virtues of God and the Foundations of Ethics: Linda Zagzebski.

3.1. Selections from Treatise on Law: Thomas Aquinas.

Part VII: The Problem of Evil: Introduction.

1. God is Not the Author of Evil: Plato.

2. On the Anger of God: Lactantius.

3. That Which Is, Is Good: Augustine.

4. On the Free Choice of the Will: Augustine.

5. Formal Summary of the Theodicy: Gottfried Leibniz.

6. Myth of the Goddess Pallas: Gottfried Leibniz.

7. Evil and Omnipotence: J. L. Mackie.

8. The Free Will Defense: Alvin Plantinga.

9. Soul-making Theodicy: John Hick.

10. Friendly Atheism, Skeptical Theism, and the Problem of Evil: William L. Rowe.

11. Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God: Marilyn Adams.

Part VIII: Death and Immortality: Introduction.

1.1. Death is Nothing to Us: Epicurus.

1.2. Death: Thomas Nagel.

2.1. The Separation of the Soul from the Body: Plato.

2.2. The Future Life: Averroes (Ibn Rushd).

2.3. The Possibility of Immortality: René Descartes.

2.4. Personal Identity and Consciousness: John Locke.

2.5. Do We Survive Death?: Bertrand Russell.

2.6. Religious and Near-death Experience in Relation to Belief in a Future Life: Paul Badham.

Part IX: The Diversity of Religions: Introduction.

1. Religious Pluralism and Salvation: John Hick.

2. The Bodhgaya Interview (1981): The Dalai Lama.

3. Christianity and the Non-Christian Religions: Karl Rahner.

4. Self-trust and the Diversity of Religions: Linda Zagzebski.

Part X: Faith, Reason, and the Ethics of Belief: Introduction.

1.1. How Justin Found Philosophy: Justin Martyr.

1.2. Prescriptions against the Heretics: Tertullian.

1.3. In What Respect Philosophy Contributes to the Comprehension of Divine Truth: Clement of Alexandria.

1.4. The Decisive Treatise, Determining the Nature of the Connection between Religion and Philosophy: Averroes (Ibn Rushd).

1.5. Faith and Reason: Thomas Aquinas.

1.6. Belief in God is Natural: John Calvin.

1.7. Faith, Reason, and Enthusiasm: John Locke.

1.8. Return to Reason: The Irrationality of Evidentialism: Kelly James Clark.

2.1. The Wager: Blaise Pascal.

2.2. Pascalian Wagering: Thomas V. Morris.

2.3. The Ethics of Belief: W. K. Clifford.

2.4. The Will to Believe: William James.

Part XI: Science, Religion, and Naturalism: Introduction.

1.1. Miracles: Thomas Aquinas.

1.2. A Discourse of Miracles: John Locke.

1.3. Of Miracles: David Hume.

1.4. David Hume and the Probability of Miracles: George I. Mavrodes.

2.1. Letter to Castelli: Galileo Galilei.

2.2. Signs of Intelligence: William A. Dembski.

2.3. Atheism and Evolution: Daniel C. Dennett.

2.4. Darwin, Design, and Divine Providence: John F. Haught.

2.5. How Naturalism Implies Skepticism: Alvin Plantinga.

2.6. A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: Plantinga on the Self-defeat of Evolutionary Naturalism: Timothy O’Connor.

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