Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion / Edition 4

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More About This Textbook


What is the status of belief in God? Must a rational case be made or can such belief be properly basic? Is it possible to reconcile the concept of a good God with evil and suffering? In light of great differences among religions, can only one religion be true?

The most comprehensive work of its kind, Reason and Religious Belief, now in its fourth edition, explores these and other perennial questions in the philosophy of religion. Drawing from the best in both classical and contemporary discussions, the authors examine religious experience, faith and reason, the divine attributes, arguments for and against the existence of God, divine action (in various forms of theism), Reformed epistemology, religious language, religious diversity, religion and science, and much more.

Retaining the engaging style and thorough coverage of previous editions, the fourth edition adds a critical new chapter on the ontological status of religion and the nature of religious claims. It also features revised treatments of omnipotence, miracles, and providence and updated suggestions for further reading. A sophisticated yet accessible introduction, Reason and Religious Belief, Fourth Edition, is ideally suited for use with the authors' companion anthology, Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings, Third Edition (OUP, 2006).

About the Author:
Michael Peterson is Professor of Philosophy at Asbury College

About the Author:
William Hasker is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Huntington University

About the Author:
Bruce Reichenbach is Professor of Philosophy at Augsburg College

About the Author:
David Basinger is Professor of Philosophy andEthics and Chair of the Division of Religion and Humanities at Roberts Wesleyan College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195335996
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/29/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition     ix
Preface to the First Edition     xi
Introduction     1
Thinking About God: The Search for the Ultimate     5
Defining Religion     6
What Is Philosophy of Religion?     8
The God of Theism     9
The Religious Ambiguity of Life     10
Our Task     12
The Nature of Religion: What are Religious Beliefs About?     16
Nonrealism     17
Realism     21
Wittgenstein     22
Conclusion     24
Religious Experience: What Does it Mean to Encounter the Divine?     27
Types of Religious Experience     28
Religious Experience as Feeling     31
Religious Experience as Perceptual Experience     33
Religious Experience as Interpretation Based on Religious Beliefs     36
Can Religious Experience Justify Religious Belief?     38
The Principle of Credulity     40
Diversity of Religious Experiences     42
Is There a Common Core to Religious Experience?     44
Faith and Reason: How are They Related?     52
Can Reason Be Trusted?     53
Strong Rationalism     54
Fideism     58
Critical Rationalism     61
The Divine Attributes: What is God Like?     71
Perfect and Worthy of Worship     73
Necessary and Self-Existent     75
Personal and Free Creator     77
All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Perfectly Good     80
God Eternal-Timeless or Everlasting     83
Theistic Arguments: Is There Evidence for God's Existence?     90
Theistic Arguments as Proofs     90
The Ontological Argument     92
Contemporary Versions of the Ontological Argument     95
The Cosmological Argument     96
The Kalam Cosmological Argument     97
An Atheistic Argument from the Big Bang     100
The Atemporal Cosmological Argument     101
The Analogical Teleological Argument     104
The Anthropic Teleological Argument     106
The Intelligent Design Teleological Argument     108
The Moral Argument     112
Cumulative Case Arguments and God     115
The God of Religion and of Philosophy     116
Knowing God Without Arguments: Does Theism Need a Basis?     123
Evidentialism     124
Critique of Evidentialism      125
Plantinga on Properly Basic Beliefs     128
Alston on Perceiving God     134
Plantinga on Warrant and Knowledge     136
The Problem of Evil: The Case Against God's Existence     145
The Logical Problem of Evil     147
The Evidential Problem of Evil     150
Defense and Theodicy     154
Themes in Theodicy     157
Some Important Global Theodicies     161
Horrendous Evils and the Assessment of Theism     165
Divine Action: How Does God Relate to the World?     172
What Kind of Power Does God Exercise?     173
What Kind of Freedom Has God Given?     176
Does God Know What Would Have Happened?     178
Does God Know the Actual Future?     182
What If the Future Is Truly Open?     185
Miracles: Does God Intervene in Earthly Affairs?     192
Miracles Defined     192
Miracles as Historical Events     195
Miracles as Unexplainable Events     199
Miracles as Acts of God     201
Practical Considerations     205
Life After Death: Are There Reasons for Hope?     214
Terminology     215
Concepts of Life After Death      216
Personal Identity and the Soul     219
Immortality of the Soul     221
Criticism of the Soul-Concept     222
The Self as a Psychophysical Unity     224
Re-creation and Spatio-temporal Continuity     226
A Posteriori Arguments for Life After Death     230
A Priori Arguments for Life After Death     233
Prospects     235
Religious Language: How Can We Speak Meaningfully of God?     241
Human Language and the Infinite     242
The Classical Theory of Analogy     243
Verification and Falsification Issues     246
The Functions of Religious Discourse     250
Religious Language as Symbolic     253
Feminism and Masculine God-Talk     255
Can Talk of God Be Literal?     258
Religion and Science: Compatible or Incompatible?     268
Do Religion and Science Conflict?     270
Are Religion and Science Independent?     273
Is Dialogue Possible?     275
Attempts at Integration     282
Insights     284
Religious Diversity: How Can We Understand Differences Among Religions?     290
Religious Diversity     291
Exclusivism      292
Critique of Exlusivism     294
Exclusivism and Justified Belief     295
Pluralism     296
Critique of Pluralism     298
Pluralism as a Plurality of Salvations     301
Inclusivism     303
Critique of Inclusivism     305
Criteria for Assessing Religions     306
Religious Ethics: The Relation of God to Morality     313
The Source of Religious Ethical Truth     314
The Authoritative Basis of Religious Ethical Truth     317
The Acquisition of Religiously Based Ethical Truth     319
The Significance of Religiously Based Ethical Truth     323
Current Issues     327
The Continuing Quest: God and the Human Venture     335
The Intellectual Process     336
Philosophical Activity and Religious Faith     337
Where Do We Go from Here?     339
Name Index     343
Subject Index     347
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