Introducing Philosophy of Religion

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-04-06
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Does God exist? What about evil and suffering? How does faith relate to science? Is there life after death? These questions fascinate everyone and lie at the heart of philosophy of religion. Chad Meister offers an up-to-date introduction to the field, focussing not only on traditional debates but also on contemporary concepts such as the intelligent creator. Key topics, such as divine reality and the self and religious experience, are discussed in relation to different faiths. Introducing Philosophy of Religion: offers a lucid overview of contemporary philosophy of religion introduces the key figures in the history of philosophy of religion explores the impact of religious diversity and pluralism examines the main arguments for and against the existence of God and the nature of the divine looks at science and issues of faith and reason explores how the different religions approach the concept of life after death. The wealth of textbook features, including tables of essential information, questions for reflection, summaries, glossary and recommendations for further reading make the book ideal for student use. Along with its accompanying Reader, this is the perfect introductory package for undergraduate philosophy of religion courses. Visit the book's companion website at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415403276. Features include: an interactive glossary a timeline powerpoint slides on all the chapters chapter outlines lists of objectives for study.

Author Biography

Chad Meister is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program at Bethel College, Indiana.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. x
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Scope and structurep. 2
Pedagogical features and resources for further explorationp. 3
Religion and the philosophy of religionp. 5
Religion and the world religionsp. 6
Philosophy and the philosophy of religionp. 8
Philosophy of religion timelinep. 10
Religious beliefs and practicesp. 14
Summaryp. 19
Questions for review/discussionp. 20
Further readingp. 20
Websitesp. 21
Religious diversity and pluralismp. 23
The diversity of religionsp. 24
Religious inclusivism and exclusivismp. 26
Religious pluralismp. 31
Religious relativismp. 35
Evaluating religious systemsp. 37
Religious tolerancep. 41
Summaryp. 42
Questions for review/discussionp. 43
Further readingp. 43
Websitesp. 44
Conceptions of ultimate realityp. 45
Ultimate Reality: the Absolute and the Voidp. 46
Ultimate Reality: a personal Godp. 51
Summaryp. 60
Questions for review/discussionp. 61
Further Readingp. 61
Websitesp. 63
Cosmological arguments for God's existencep. 65
The argument from contingencyp. 66
The sufficient reason argumentp. 72
The Kalam argumentp. 76
A cosmological argument for atheismp. 84
Summaryp. 87
Questions for review/discussionp. 88
Further Readingp. 88
Websitesp. 89
Teleological arguments for God's existencep. 91
Paley's design argumentp. 92
A fine-tuning argumentp. 97
An intelligent design argumentp. 101
Summaryp. 107
Questions for review/discussionp. 108
Further readingp. 109
Websitesp. 109
Ontological arguments for God's existencep. 111
Anselm's ontological argumentp. 112
Plantinga's modal ontological argumentp. 118
Summaryp. 122
Questions for review/discussionp. 124
Further readingp. 124
Websitesp. 125
Problems of evilp. 127
Sketching the terrainp. 128
Theoretical problems of evilp. 132
The existential problem of evilp. 138
Three theodiciesp. 139
Summaryp. 144
Questions for review/discussionp. 145
Further Readingp. 145
Websitesp. 146
Science, faith, and reasonp. 147
Religion and sciencep. 148
Religious belief and justificationp. 153
Summaryp. 164
Questions for review/discussionp. 165
Further Readingp. 166
Websitesp. 167
Religious experiencep. 169
The nature and diversity of religious experiencep. 170
Religious experience and justificationp. 176
Challenges to religious experience as justification for religious beliefsp. 179
Scientific explanations of religious experiencep. 182
Summaryp. 184
Questions for review/discussionp. 185
Further Readingp. 186
Websitesp. 187
The self, death and the afterlifep. 189
Conceptions of the selfp. 190
Reincarnation and karmap. 196
Arguments for immortalityp. 198
Arguments against immortalityp. 201
Summaryp. 204
Questions for review/discussionp. 205
Further readingp. 206
Websitesp. 207
Glossaryp. 209
Notesp. 217
Indexp. 237
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