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Tayloring Reformed Epistemology: Charles Taylor, Alvin Plantinga and the de jure challenge to Christian belief (Veritas) Hardcover – February 9, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Veritas
  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press (February 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334041538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334041535
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 15.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,109,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This] is an exemplary work of creative collaboration. Transgressing traditional divides between Continental and Analytic philosophy and Reformed and Catholic traditions, Baker places previously segregated schools of thought in conversation with one another, resulting in a remarkably original and compelling contribution to Christian philosophy.
(Johnny Walker, freedominorthodoxy.blogspot.co.uk)

"The Reformed epistemologists and Charles Taylor have been like ships passing in the night; neither has paid explicit attention to the other. In this very interesting book, Tayloring Reformed Epistemology, Deane-Peter Baker not only points out obvious affinities between these two bodies of work, but shows in detail how each holds out the promise of filling a lacuna in the work of the other. A creative and important contribution; it genuinely advances the discussion." (Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus at Philosophical Theology, Yale University)

" In Tayloring Reformed Epistemology, Baker offers a carefully argued, nuanced epistemology of religious belief, linking the best of reformed epistemology with Charles Taylor's historical and phenomenological case for theism."
(Charles Taliaferro, Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College)

About the Author

Deane-Peter Baker is a Lecturer in the School of Philosophy and Ethics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Mullins on February 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Baker makes a move that most people never saw coming. He puts together the recent project in religious epistemology called "Reformed Epistemology" and the moral phenomenology of Charles Taylor. His hope is to further answer the de jure objection to theism--the claim that theistic belief is irrational. The first half of the book is an excellent overview of the main ideas in Reformed Epistemology which is an externalist theory of knowledge and human rationality. A few chapters are dedicated to examining the work of the Reformed Epistemologists Nicholas Wolterstorff, William Alston, and Alvin Plantinga.

In the second half of the book Baker expounds upon the work of Charles Taylor in moral phenomenology. Taylor's work is meant to capture the essence of human moral experience. Taylor goes on to argue that this moral experience makes the best sense if God exists.

The last section of the book is where Baker brings everything together to answer the de jure objection to theism. It is a brilliant move. I am interested to see what kind of reception Baker's work receives in the scholarly world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lee on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"The Reformed epistemologists and Charles Taylor have been like ships passing in the night; neither has paid explicit attention to the other. In this very interesting book, Tayloring Reformed Epistemology, Deane-Peter Baker not only points out obvious affinities between these two bodies of work, but shows in detail how each holds out the promise of filling a lacuna in the work of the other. A creative and important contribution; it genuinely advances the discussion." --Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University, and Senior Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia

"In Tayloring Reformed Epistemology, Baker offers a carefully argued, nuanced epistemology of religious belief, linking the best of reformed epistemology with Charles Taylor's historical and phenomenological case for theism. This is a refreshing, original contribution to the literature on theism and naturalism, the relationship of theism and morality, and the philosophical assessment of religious belief. While Baker develops detailed, critical analyses of the current epistemological debates, he never loses sight of the big picture, thus providing an excellent resource for those looking for a reliable introduction to the major recent arguments in the field." - Charles Taliaferro, Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Harder on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have already written a detailed review essay on this book, which should soon be published. I will only offer a precis here. In this remarkable book, Deane- Peter Baker accomplishes three interesting things. First, he brings two of the most extraordinary philosophers of our time into conversation with one another. Plantinga and Taylor are both both devout Christians and brilliant thinkers; there, the similarity ends. Plantinga is an analytic philosopher of religion, who concentrates on metaphysics, logic, the Philosophy of Religion,and epistemology. Taylor, in contrast is a polymath, who has made contributions to almost every branch of philosophy,and to a number of disciplines outside of philosophy as well.. In this Tour de Force, Baker shows that these very different philosophers share common concerns and a common aim.
This brings us to Peter-Baker's other two achievements. First, this book does much to bridge the gap between "analytic" ( Plantinga) and "continental" (Taylor) philosophy. Even more important, he shows how combining Taylor's and Plantinga's ideas can help us to fashion a powerful new argument for Christian Theism .
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Format: Paperback
Deane-Peter Baker's Tayloring Reformed Epistemology: Charles Taylor, Alvin Plantinga, and the de jure challenge to Christian belief is an exemplary work of creative collaboration. Transgressing traditional divides between Continental and Analytic philosophy and Reformed and Catholic traditions, Baker places previously segregated schools of thought in conversation with one another, resulting in a remarkably original and compelling contribution to Christian philosophy.

As an installment of the Radical Orthodoxy affiliated Centre of Theology and Philosophy's Veritas Series, it would not be unexpected to find this volume's writing opaque and near-inaccessible to non-specialists. Yet, fortunately, here we possess an exception. While still maintaining scholarly rigor and depth, Baker relays his case with clear, illuminating prose, devoid of unneccessary philosophical parlance. Thus, his book is suited to a wide audience, commending itself to students and scholars alike.

Baker's stated purpose is to provide a credible response to the de jure challenge to Christian belief. Namely, the critique that Christian belief is somehow irrational, or epistemically unjustified and perverse. Indeed, that it is morally deplorable. It is crucial to note that what is at stake here is quite different than the truth of Christian claims. That would be the de facto question of Christian belief. Rather, the de jure objection contends that Christian belief, whether true or not, is somehow epistemically unwarranted.

This distinction between the de jure and de facto challenges to Christian belief is introduced in the context of reformed epistemology - a recent Christian philosophical tradition claiming roots in the thought of John Calvin.
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