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Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide Hardcover – March 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This important new book is a combined anthology and guide intended for use as a textbook in courses on philosophy of religion. It aims to bring to the student the very best of cutting-edge work on important topics in the field.

The anthology is comprised of six sections, each of which opens with a substantive introductory essay followed by a selection of influential writings by philosophers of religion: -Religious Epistemology (by Kevin Meeker, Department of Philosophy, University of South Alabama) deals with the rationality and warrant of theistic belief. -Existence of God (by William Lane Craig, Philosophy Department, Talbot School of Theology) presents the cosmological, teleological, axiological, noological, and ontological arguments for the existence of God. -Coherence of Theism (by William Lane Craig, Philosophy Department, Talbot School of Theology) covers the divine attributes of necessity, eternity, omnipotence, omniscience, and goodness. -Problem of Evil (by Timothy O'Connor, Department of Philosophy, Indiana University) treats both the internal and external challenge posed by evil to theistic belief. -Soul and Immortality (by J. P. Moreland, Department of Philosophy, Biola University) explores the substantiality and immateriality of the soul and the implications for life after death of the body. -Christian Theology (by Michael Murray, Department of Philosophy, Franklin and Marshall College) handles problems posed by the Trinity, incarnation, atonement, damnation, and prayer. Presenting a sympathetic view of the topics it treats, Philosophy of Religion provides an ideal resource for studying the central questions raised by religious belief. Features · A combined anthology of readings and guide to the subject · Focuses on contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion · Emphasis placed on the Christian tradition · High quality introductions to each section provide a survey of each topic · Cutting-edge readings chosen by specialists

About the Author

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous publications and articles including The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz and Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Q. Smith). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813531209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813531205
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,116,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
...way too advanced for an undergrad like me. This book is an excellent resource for intelligent Christians. Don't get me wrong, I eventually get what is being discussed in the essays, it just takes me a long time.
I don't really understand what the criticism of the earlier reviewer was with regard to Dr. Craig's opinions concerning morality. Dr. Craig has successfully defended his beliefs on morality against his foremost opponents. (I don't know how you can argue for an objective and non-arbitrary morality if you hold a naturalistic worldview.)
I recommend this book to anybody interested in current discussion of philosophy of religion topics. Just be warned if you are not already well versed in elite philosophical terminology: it may take you a while to make it through!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
William Lane Craig and his section editors (Kevin Meeker, J.P. Moreland, Michael Murray, and Timothy O'Connor) have assembled a truly excellent set of readings in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. The introductions to each section serve as overviews of main areas within philosophy of religion, and the readings represent some of the very best work being done in the field today. It would be a very valuable addition to the library of anyone who is interested in the subject--even if you already own some of its rivals (e.g. Pojman's Wadsworth anthology or the Oxford text edited by Basdinger, Hasker, Peterson, and Reichenbach).
Craig mentions in the introduction that he was more interested in choosing quality articles than in making sure to give the pro and con of every issue, and the result is that the selections are weighted in favor of (Christian) theism. Someone who is looking for a text that is perfectly balanced in its approach may be disappointed with the editors' choices. Insofar as this is the case, the book should be viewed by philosophically-inclined theists as an indespensible resource. And in spite of its mild bias, it would make an outstanding primary text for an upper division undergraduate or graduate course in philosophy of religion.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By cole houx on April 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
William Lane Craig does a masterful job in his section on Natural Theology. He presents a cumulative case for God's existence by including Alvin Plantinga's modal version of the Ontological Argument. ( Although some philosophers have corectly pointed out that his argument is really Cosmological in nature because it presupposes that something exists. One can only know that a poissible world exists on the background knowledge of an actual world.) Plantinga believes that if it is even possible that a maxamally great being exists, then it is true and necessarily true that he does exist. The only question is what warrant exists in thinking that there is a possible world in which a maxamally great being exists. Here is where Craig hammers the nails in the coffin. Based on the other arguments and evidential considerations one may come to the justified conclusion that it is at least possible that a maxamally great being exists. That there is a possible world in which an eternal necessary being exists. Since this being exists necessarily, then he must exist in every possible world. And since the real world is a possible world, then it follows that God exists.
For a more detailed and better treatment on this subject I would recommend Craig's section on Natural Theology in this text. See also Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by Craig and Moreland ( 2003 ).
The rest of the book is pretty good also. Although it is a little rough at times.
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By Charles E. Greer on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Philosophy of Religion present many different ideas and explanations of religion. A Reader and Guide is as it proclaims to be. Read this book. EG
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15 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
As the other reviewer mentioned, this text is quite "one sided." The editors are intentional in this move however: they say they would have liked a "pro"-theism and a "con"-theism article(s) for each section, but they only wanted the BEST articles as well, so the "con" articles--those critical of arguments for theism--had to go.
While this might be a bad thing, it could be useful for an instructor who is an agnostic or atheist since using this book could be a way to avoid students accusing the instructor of being "biased" or "one-sided."
For the price, this is a good collection but only for graduate students or VERY, VERY advanced undergraduates with quite a bit of logical and metaphysical sophistication. J.P. Moreland's introduction to his "Soul and Life Everlasting" section is just too difficult for anyone without a very strong background in philosophy of mind and metaphysics. Beginning to mid-level students will be lost quickly and a handful of other courses are needed to bring them back.
Tim O'Connor's introduction to the problem of evil is quite good and is highly recommended. He brings a fresh perspective to the issues. This is one of the best essays in the book.
The section on religious epistemology is a bit quirky in that 2 out of the 4 articles are on Pascal's wager. That seems a bit out of step with what's currently in epistemological fashion (it seems like a practical wager like Pascal's has little to do with epistemology anyway). The other 2 articles are the standard Plantinga-Quinn exchange on whether theistic belief is or can be "properly" basic for intellectually sophisticated adults. Newer stuff surely could have occupied this space.
Wiliam Lane Craig's section on natural theology is good, although one critical comment must be made.
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