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Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason (Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion) Hardcover – May 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0801427923 ISBN-10: 0801427924 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A tightly argued, superbly crafted and religiously sensitive book. . . . Nobody interested in philosophical issues pertaining to our relation to God can afford to miss it."―Mind

"This book deserves to be seen as the definitive study to date of its subject. That subject is the implications of the lack of clear cut evidence and argument for the existence of God."―Religious Studies

"J. L. Schellenberg has developed the argument from hiddenness against the existence of God in a more thorough way than has ever been done before. I consider this book one of the six or seven most important books on the philosophy of religion published in the last fifteen years."―Richard Swinburne, University of Oxford

"This book is a splendid, illuminating study of Divine hiddenness and its implications for the question of whether the God of traditional theism actually exists."―William L. Rowe, Department of Philosophy, Purdue University

"Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason is a carefully argued, deeply insightful, and richly rewarding book. J. L. Schellenberg singlehandedly turned the problem of divine hiddenness into a major issue in contemporary philosophy of religion."―Paul Draper, Purdue University

About the Author

J. L. Schellenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Vincent University and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason, Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion, The Wisdom to Doubt: A Justification of Religious Skepticism, and The Will to Imagine: A Justification of Skeptical Religion, all from Cornell.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion
  • Hardcover: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801427924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801427923
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,110,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By jlowder@infidels.org on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If there is a God, why is his existence not more obvious? The traditional answer is that God is hidden. However, as John L. Schellenberg (DPhil, Oxon) points out, an all-good or perfectly loving God would not remain hidden. Therefore, he argues, the fact that it is *reasonable* to not believe in God is *evidence* for the non-existence of God.
What makes Schellenberg's book so interesting is that Schellenberg was forced to embrace atheism as a result of his own argument, despite the fact that Schellenberg has said that he finds atheism quite unpalatable. In the conclusion of his book, Schellenberg encourages theists to find a flaw in his argument so that he can once again believe in God.
Schellenberg's book has created quite a stir in the philosophy of religion. Just over a year ago, I attended a conference of the Society of Christian Philosophers; one of the themes for that conference was the argument from divine hiddenness. Indeed, I was told that Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul Moser are editing a forthcoming analogy on the argument, in the spirit of Howard-Snyder's highly successful anthology, THE EVIDENTIAL ARGUMENT FROM EVIL.
If you are interested in arguments for and against the existence of God--whether you are a theist, atheist, or somewhere in between--this is one book you will want on your bookshelf. For more information, check out infidels.org.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PhD Philosophy Student (now graduated) on May 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
In the field of philosophy of religion, Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason hardly needs a review: it has already become a classic in the field, from a major figure. I thus write for those outside of professional philosophy. Here I should say that there is much to recommend this book. Most importantly, it (hereafter DHHR) develops what has since become one of the most important challenges to classical theistic belief, something that has often been acknowledged even by theistic philosophers. For instance, as Mike Rea of Notre Dame puts it, `Next to the problem of evil, the most important objection to belief in God is the problem of divine hiddenness.'

So what is the problem? As Schellenberg notes, the problem begins with a question: `Why, if a perfectly loving God exists, are there "reasonable nonbelievers?"; that is, why are there people who fail to believe in God but through no clear intellectual or moral fault of their own? (More recently, Schellenberg refers to reasonable nonbelief as nonresistant nonbelief and has reasons for doing so). Whatever one calls it, however, the problem stems from two basic considerations. The first has to do with the nature of divine love: an unsurpassably loving being will bring about divine-human relationship with non-resistant human persons just as soon as it is feasible for them. The second consideration has to do with the nature of a divine-human relationship: such a relationship presupposes some kind of belief and is frustrated by nonresistant nonbelief. These facts, when combined with evidence for nonresistant nonbelief, amount to a general argument for nonbelief in God. Although some will seek to explain away the problem in various ways, you won't likely think of an objection that Schellenberg hasn't already thought about and answered in detail.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on March 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
the best thing about this book, in my view, is that it is so extremely fair. from page to page, you can actually feel the author thinking, 'i wish there WAS a god, but...'. you won't find him falling towards atheistic fundamentalism (ie, bertrand russell's WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN), and his treatment of the issue is far better than theodore drange's NONBELIEF AND EVIL. i heartily recommend this book, both to atheists, theists, and the undecided.
that said, i don't think the book puts forth a very strong argument for the non-existence of God. the author himself anticipated this, and tells us that he expects his argument to have primary impact on the undecided and those who already have a strong inclination to doubt the existence of God. yet there are a few things that schellenberg really ought to have examined. first, that for most folks divine hiddeness is not a problem, that is, most people believe in God and think there is good reason to believe in God. and this seems to be a problem. for there either is a God, or there isn't; schellenberg argues that if divine hiddeness constitutes an obstacle to belief in God, then that fact constitutes in itself good reason to deny the existence of God. yet most folks don't have that problem, hence, if we look at the world at large and apply schellenberg's argument to it, we, if anything, end up with a good argument for theism of some sort or another.
next, the idea of God's (possible) holiness, and the implications therefrom, deserved more attention. so too did the (possibility) that man is in a fallen condition of some sort. furthermore, the natural theology evident in certain portions of Scripture (Romans 1:19-20; Wis Sol; Acts 17:27-28) takes quite a bit of the 'sting' out of the dreaded consequence of the hiddeness of God.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter in Maine on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book - that is, when I was able to wade through the 64-dollar vocabulary and ridiculously convoluted language and sentences. Seems at times like the author is trying as much to impress you with his vocabulary as much as convincing you of his argument. A little over-the-top for me.
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