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Transforming Philosophy and Religion: Love's Wisdom (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion) Paperback

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Product Details

  • Series: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (April 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253219582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253219589
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,640,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The strength of this collection of essays, all sharing in their continental-philosophical bent, lies mainly in its extreme relevance and its apparent 'call to action' for thinkers of philosophical and religious thought." —Louvain Studies

(Louvain Studies)

"This collection is both beautiful and exciting in its scope, content, and direction. Summing Up: Essential." —Choice, January 2009


"... these essays in Transforming Philosophy and Religion offer a resounding affirmation of St. Paul's proclamations about the emptiness of knowledge without love (I Corinthians 13). Given its contributors (esp. Caputo and Wirzba) and the topics that they engage (e.g., Paul, Zizek, etc.), it will be of particular interest to the aspiring theologians of the emerging church." —Chris Smith, Editor, The Englewood Review of Books (Indy), Dec. 5, 2008

(Chris Smith, Editor The Englewood Review of Books (Indy))

Wirzba and Benson's astonishingly rich, scholarly compilation of essays from professors of philosophy and religion/religious studies brings a novel approach to the intersection of Christianity and Western philosophy. Rather than being a philosophy about love, this book shows that love provides the essential framework through which philosophy and theology both operate and manifest. If philosophy has as its goal an active understanding alongside of the world, then Christian agape love, understood as a deep concern for the Other as neighbor, is a necessary precondition. As John Caputo states: "... love is what being-commanded-by-the-law is all about." James Olthuis's compelling essay suggests that the Creation be understood not as an out-of-chaos ex nihilo creation, but instead as a seduc! tive, ebullient creation ex amore (cum amore et ad amorem). Amy Laura Hall argues that love needs to be the process by which one approaches bioethics; by being able to manipulate genetics, is one changing the definition of humanity? Contributors wrestle respectfully with Kierkegaard, St. Paul, Levinas, and Derrida from diverse vantage points, but the primacy of love as the source for wisdom (and not another instance of dry subject matter) is never lost. This collection is both beautiful and exciting in its scope, content, and direction. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. S. J. Shaw, Prairie View A&M University, Choice, January 2009

(S. J. Shaw, Prairie View A&M University Choice)

About the Author

Norman Wirzba is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown College. He is author of The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and editor (with Bruce Ellis Benson) of The Phenomenology of Prayer.

Bruce Ellis Benson is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Wheaton College. He is author of Pious Nietzsche (IUP, 2007). He is editor (with Kevin Vanhoozer and James K. A. Smith) of Hermeneutics at the Crossroads (IUP, 2006).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Jamison VINE VOICE on June 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
How does love affect philosophy? A common theme in this collection of essays is that in order to do philosophy one must already love, so how does that love transform the philosophy as a result?

Reflections on the first essay by Wirzba "The Primacy of Love": - strikes me from his reading of Paul that a difference between Buddhism and Christianity is the recognition that love in the western sense is necessary in order to know God - to love God as other. If so, then Pope Benedict XVI's point in "Truth and Tolerance" that Christianity is an advance over Buddhism fits the evolutionary model since Christianity is a more highly evolved understanding of Man's relationship to the Divine.
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