Reason and Religious Belief An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-05-29
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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What is the status of belief in God? Must a rational case be made or cansuch belief be properly basic? Is it possible to reconcile the concept of a goodGod with evil and suffering? In light of great differences among religions, canonly one religion be true? The most comprehensive work of its kind, Reason and Religious Belief, nowin its fourth edition, explores these and other perennial questions in thephilosophy of religion. Drawing from the best in both classical and contemporarydiscussions, the authors examine religious experience, faith and reason, thedivine 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 ofreligion and religious claims. It also features revised treatments ofomnipotence, miracles, and providence and updated suggestions for furtherreading. A sophisticated yet accessible introduction, Reason and ReligiousBelief, Fourth Edition, is ideally suited for use with the authors' companionanthology, Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings, Third Edition (OUP,2006).

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Editionp. ix
Preface to the First Editionp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Thinking About God: The Search for the Ultimatep. 5
Defining Religionp. 6
What Is Philosophy of Religion?p. 8
The God of Theismp. 9
The Religious Ambiguity of Lifep. 10
Our Taskp. 12
The Nature of Religion: What are Religious Beliefs About?p. 16
Nonrealismp. 17
Realismp. 21
Wittgensteinp. 22
Conclusionp. 24
Religious Experience: What Does it Mean to Encounter the Divine?p. 27
Types of Religious Experiencep. 28
Religious Experience as Feelingp. 31
Religious Experience as Perceptual Experiencep. 33
Religious Experience as Interpretation Based on Religious Beliefsp. 36
Can Religious Experience Justify Religious Belief?p. 38
The Principle of Credulityp. 40
Diversity of Religious Experiencesp. 42
Is There a Common Core to Religious Experience?p. 44
Faith and Reason: How are They Related?p. 52
Can Reason Be Trusted?p. 53
Strong Rationalismp. 54
Fideismp. 58
Critical Rationalismp. 61
The Divine Attributes: What is God Like?p. 71
Perfect and Worthy of Worshipp. 73
Necessary and Self-Existentp. 75
Personal and Free Creatorp. 77
All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Perfectly Goodp. 80
God Eternal-Timeless or Everlastingp. 83
Theistic Arguments: Is There Evidence for God's Existence?p. 90
Theistic Arguments as Proofsp. 90
The Ontological Argumentp. 92
Contemporary Versions of the Ontological Argumentp. 95
The Cosmological Argumentp. 96
The Kalam Cosmological Argumentp. 97
An Atheistic Argument from the Big Bangp. 100
The Atemporal Cosmological Argumentp. 101
The Analogical Teleological Argumentp. 104
The Anthropic Teleological Argumentp. 106
The Intelligent Design Teleological Argumentp. 108
The Moral Argumentp. 112
Cumulative Case Arguments and Godp. 115
The God of Religion and of Philosophyp. 116
Knowing God Without Arguments: Does Theism Need a Basis?p. 123
Evidentialismp. 124
Critique of Evidentialismp. 125
Plantinga on Properly Basic Beliefsp. 128
Alston on Perceiving Godp. 134
Plantinga on Warrant and Knowledgep. 136
The Problem of Evil: The Case Against God's Existencep. 145
The Logical Problem of Evilp. 147
The Evidential Problem of Evilp. 150
Defense and Theodicyp. 154
Themes in Theodicyp. 157
Some Important Global Theodiciesp. 161
Horrendous Evils and the Assessment of Theismp. 165
Divine Action: How Does God Relate to the World?p. 172
What Kind of Power Does God Exercise?p. 173
What Kind of Freedom Has God Given?p. 176
Does God Know What Would Have Happened?p. 178
Does God Know the Actual Future?p. 182
What If the Future Is Truly Open?p. 185
Miracles: Does God Intervene in Earthly Affairs?p. 192
Miracles Definedp. 192
Miracles as Historical Eventsp. 195
Miracles as Unexplainable Eventsp. 199
Miracles as Acts of Godp. 201
Practical Considerationsp. 205
Life After Death: Are There Reasons for Hope?p. 214
Terminologyp. 215
Concepts of Life After Deathp. 216
Personal Identity and the Soulp. 219
Immortality of the Soulp. 221
Criticism of the Soul-Conceptp. 222
The Self as a Psychophysical Unityp. 224
Re-creation and Spatio-temporal Continuityp. 226
A Posteriori Arguments for Life After Deathp. 230
A Priori Arguments for Life After Deathp. 233
Prospectsp. 235
Religious Language: How Can We Speak Meaningfully of God?p. 241
Human Language and the Infinitep. 242
The Classical Theory of Analogyp. 243
Verification and Falsification Issuesp. 246
The Functions of Religious Discoursep. 250
Religious Language as Symbolicp. 253
Feminism and Masculine God-Talkp. 255
Can Talk of God Be Literal?p. 258
Religion and Science: Compatible or Incompatible?p. 268
Do Religion and Science Conflict?p. 270
Are Religion and Science Independent?p. 273
Is Dialogue Possible?p. 275
Attempts at Integrationp. 282
Insightsp. 284
Religious Diversity: How Can We Understand Differences Among Religions?p. 290
Religious Diversityp. 291
Exclusivismp. 292
Critique of Exlusivismp. 294
Exclusivism and Justified Beliefp. 295
Pluralismp. 296
Critique of Pluralismp. 298
Pluralism as a Plurality of Salvationsp. 301
Inclusivismp. 303
Critique of Inclusivismp. 305
Criteria for Assessing Religionsp. 306
Religious Ethics: The Relation of God to Moralityp. 313
The Source of Religious Ethical Truthp. 314
The Authoritative Basis of Religious Ethical Truthp. 317
The Acquisition of Religiously Based Ethical Truthp. 319
The Significance of Religiously Based Ethical Truthp. 323
Current Issuesp. 327
The Continuing Quest: God and the Human Venturep. 335
The Intellectual Processp. 336
Philosophical Activity and Religious Faithp. 337
Where Do We Go from Here?p. 339
Name Indexp. 343
Subject Indexp. 347
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