The papers in this collection are concerned with the epistemology of religious belief. The contributors disagree on such issues as whether philosophers have a role to play in determining the reasonableness or intelligibility of religious beliefs, or whether philosophy properly understood is a descriptive task. But all the papers are informed by the belief that philosophical discussion should proceed by giving attention to the character of the religious beliefs and practices under consideration.
D. Z. Phillips is a leading figure in advocating a Wittgensteinian approach to the philosophical study of religion. His writings exert an important influence on contemporary philosophy of religion, giving a new direction to the philosophical discussion of religious belief and practice. Although his work has prompted much - often critical - comment, a thorough investigation has not been forthcoming. Grammars of Faith fills that gap. The book pays close attention to Wittgenstein's own remarks on religious belief, arranging them against the background of his broader philosophical methodology, as well as to the efforts of the early Wittgensteinians at providing a more comprehensive Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion. Central to this study are Phillips's understanding of philosophical enquiry as a form of contemplation, and his descriptive accounts of religious belief. By means of a careful and methodical examination of Phillips's oeuvre, the study seeks to present a fair assessment of Phillips's position, showing not only its weaknesses, but also its strength.
This collection presents a critical discussion and exploration of the late D.Z. Phillips' contemplative approach in the philosophy of religion. What are the main characteristics of this ground-breaking approach, which is inspired by thinkers like Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein and meant as a serious, critical alternative to the mainstream way of doing philosophy of religion? What is its aim, if it is deliberately avoiding apology and defence of faith? How does Phillips' approach relate to systematic, historical and empirical theology and is it really as 'neutral' as he claims it to be? Or is he, perhaps, a certain kind of theologian? What are the implications of his contemplative philosophy for central issues of religious life today, such as petitionary prayer, the hope of 'eternal life' and radical religious diversity? The essays of six distinguished scholars from five different nations critically and sympathetically address these questions and are responded to by Phillips in essays of his own, written briefly before his sudden death in July 2006.
One of the most notable features of the current philosophical climate is the resurgence of interest, at school and university, in the Philosophy of Religion. With his extensive teaching experience at both these levels, Dr Michael Palmer has created another invaluable aid for all students and instructors working in this area. This two-volume anthology is the most comprehensive compilation of major writings now available to the public, while its user-friendly structure makes it particularly important for students at differing levels of attainment. The book includes comprehensive introductions to each topic, detailed analysis of each essay, biographical information about individual philosophers, wide-ranging bibliographies and examination questions. The result is the most important aid to study in this area now on the market, which will be an invaluable resource for students, teachers and the general reader alike.
Religion Within the Limits of Language Alone provides a critical examination of the Wittgensteinian philosophers of religion who claim that the word 'God' cannot be understood as referring to a metaphysical being who may or may not exist. McCutcheon traces the arguments offered by these philosophers of religion back to Wittgenstein's own criticisms of speculative metaphysics, arguing that in its religious usage the concept of God does not fall under Wittgenstein's anti-metaphysical gaze. In presenting a detailed account of Wittgenstein's own philosophical method, including his criticisms of metaphysics, McCutcheon shows that it is possible to accept Wittgenstein's criticisms of metaphysics whilst retaining the metaphysical content of religious language. This book offers a fresh understanding of Wittgenstein's philosophical method and a new critique of religious discourse for those studying philosophy and religious studies.
Interpreting religion poses a dilemma: realist interpretations of religion face the philosophical problem of religious diversity and irrealist interpretations of religion are revisionary. The author explores the implications of this dilemma and also clarifies the confusions caused by two abiding problems: those stemming from, first, the concern over which religious beliefs are true rather than attending to what it means for a belief to be true, and, second, the failure to acknowledge two fundamentally different forms of religious irrealism, anti-realism and non-realism. Providing critical assessment of the relevant works of John Hick, William Alston, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and Ludwig Wittgenstein and his followers, this book is appropriate for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of religion and religious theory.
In a brilliant series of essays, the distinguished philosopher D. Z. Phillips explores the alternatives for faith after foundationalism. A significant exploration of post-foundationalist thought in its own right, Faith After Foundationalism is also an important evaluation and critique of the theological implications of the views of Alvin Plantinga, Richard Rorty, George Lindbeck, and Peter Berger.Phillips's own position is that one must resist the philosopher's tendency to turn religious mystery into epistemological mystery. To understand how religious concepts are formed is to understand that to speak of God as ?beyond mortal telling? is not to confess a failure of language. God's hiddenness is part of our concept of him?a reflection of the mystery of human life as it is lived.Faith After Foundationalism will be essential reading for philosophers of religion and theologians, as well as for students of contemporary epistemology.
Answering the question 'How is fruitful discussion possible?', this book addresses the central philosophical issue of how reason shall be understood and how it is limited. This study argues that the understanding of discussion according to which it necessarily starts from putative universal norms and rules for argumentation is problematic, among other reasons since such rules are unfruitful in contexts where there are vast disagreements such as religion. Inspired by Wittgensteinian ideas, Strandberg develops instead a new way of understanding discussion, truth and rationality which escapes these problems, and shows how this solution can be used to answer the accusation against Wittgensteinian philosophy for being conservative and resulting in fideism.
Arguing that a 'new atheism', driven largely by Darwinian objections to God's existence, has limited debate to a scientific framework, The Atheist's Primer reinstates the importance of philosophy in the debate about God's existence and in so doing recovers the distinguished philosophical tradition of atheism, which Dawkins and others have obscured. Beginning with the Ancient Greeks and culminating with Hume, Michael Palmer provides the philosophical framework on which scientific objections to theism are hung. He explicates and comments on the thinking behind atheism, discussing issues such as evil, morality, miracles, and the motivations for belief. Although delving deeply into epistemological concerns, emphasising the disheartening limitations of man's capacity for knowledge and our materialist dependencies, Palmer concludes on a positive note arguing - alongside Nietzsche, Marx and Freud and many others - that happiness and personal fulfilment are to be found in the very materialism that religious belief rejects. An eloquent abridgment of his previous work, The Atheist's Creed, which was aimed at the educational market, The Atheist's Primer is written in fluent and concise prose, making it an accessible introduction for the general reader.
When Gene Long, editor of Kluwer's Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion Series, first invited me to write the volume on Analytic Philosophy of Religion, I accepted with great enthusiasm. My only explanation for that enthusiasm now is that I was younger and more naive at the time. Soon after starting work on the volume, my enthusiasm was dampened by the daunting magnitude of the task. I began as a sprinter and quickly settled into the pace of a long-distance runner. Although I considered myself well read in the subject, I soon discovered that I had a great deal of research to do to be confident that I had considered all of the major contributions to the various discussions, issues, and of religion. As I read more and more problems found within analytic philosophy books and articles, I realized that I had rushed into a territory already well trodden by the angels. I am greatly impressed by the sophistication and subtlety of philosophical argument that characterize the different debates in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. This volume covers a vast amount of material. I have endeavored to provide the fairest possible reading of different authors, and, in cases where I include my own critical evaluations and develop my own positions, I have endeavored to provide the strongest possible interpretations of the positions I criticize.
Keith H. Lane examines Søren Kierkegaard's concept of religious authorship and argues for Kierkegaard's status as a religious author. He elucidates how such authorship may have similarities to philosophical authorship (particularly philosophy as envisioned by Ludwig Wittgenstein) and wherein the two differ. Starting with Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript and giving special attention to The Point of View and other later writings, Lane investigates aspects of thought and expression that may be unique to religious authorship and explores the particular constraints, challenges, and opportunities for one who writes from within a framework of religious belief and commitment-including such issues as protectionism, apologetics, persuasion, and the tension between certainty and uncertainty that attends religious authorship
A collection of essays which explores the significance of Wittgenstein for the Philosophy of Religion. Explorations of central notions in Wittgenstein's later philosophy are brought to bear on the clash between belief and atheism; understanding religious experience; language and ritual; evil and theodicies; miracles; and the possibility of a Christian philosophy.
Gale Researcher Guide for: Fideism and Wittgenstein's Influence on Religion is selected from Gale's academic platform Gale Researcher. These study guides provide peer-reviewed articles that allow students early success in finding scholarly materials and to gain the confidence and vocabulary needed to pursue deeper research.