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God and Other Spirits: Intimations of Transcendence in Christian Experience 1st Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195140125
ISBN-10: 0195140125
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Editorial Reviews


"Those who believe in spirits will be pleased with this book. Those who are convinced of their non-existence will not be persuaded by this bool. Most importantly, however, those who are open-minded about the possibility that there are such encounters will be given much to think about, and that alone makes it a worthwhile book, in my opinion."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"It is appropriate that shortly after the centennial celebration of William Jamess classic, The Varieties of Religious Experience, a book worthy to be called a sequel has been produced. In God and Other Spirits, Wiebe demonstrates that it is in the careful phenomenological study of seemingly anomalous experiences that researches will find the necessary empirical data to assess the ontological claims of religions. In a philosophical tour de force of alternative views, Wiebe defends an abductive methodology as the most appropriate method for the study of human spiritual experiences. This methodology allows believers and non-believers alike to transcend the limits of naturalistic explanation if only they will be open to the empirical data and to seeking the most adequate explanation for experiences that no longer can be dismissed out of hand nor explained away."--Ralph W. Hood, Jr., Past President, Division of Psychology of Religion, American Psychological Association

"Phillip H. Wiebe's God and Other Spirits is a model of scholarly excellence and a groundbreaking work in the philosophy of religion. Its unique, masterful, cutting-edge methodology combines aspects of classical philosophical sense realism, ordinary sense experience, and contemporary standards of scientific and critical reasonableness to establish beyond reasonable doubt the plausibility of the existence of metaphysical entities. It should become the benchmark for doing philosophy of religion well into the future."--Peter A. Redpath, Professor of Philosophy, St. John's University

About the Author

PHILLIP H. WIEBE has been a professor of philosophy since 1972, and has taught at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, since 1978. He has given lectures on visions of Jesus from Oxford to Harvard, Chicago to Toronto, and San Francisco to Lublin, Poland. He is the founding member of the Vancouver Shroud Association. Phillip and his wife Shirley have two children and four grandchildren.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195140125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195140125
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,869,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By unkleE on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is in a sense a follow up to his earlier book, Visions of Jesus (which I have also reviewed). In the earlier book, he interviewed about 30 people who had had what they felt was a vision of Jesus (sometimes it included healing). He then examined the various natural and supernatural explanations for these experiences, and concluded that no one explanation could satisfactorily explain them all.

Here, he examines some further strange and apparently supernatural experiences experienced by people he has interviewed (some of the experiences were certainly strange and difficult to explain), plus the visions from the earlier book, and some historical material, and tries to develop a philosophical approach to understanding them. He addresses several forms of naturalism, that would a priori reject any possibility of them being genuine experiences of the supernatural, and concludes that most of them beg the question or have loopholes. He considers how it may be possible that non-material spirits might truly exist, and how this theory might be tested.

Wiebe argues that "the theory of spirits" appears to explain many of the reported experiences better than naturalistic theories. But he also indicates that while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of supernatural experiences, they have not been sufficiently investigated and tested to form any strong conclusion. He suggests further investigation is warranted, and points to the relatively recent study of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) as an example of a field of study once viewed with suspicion, but now a respectable discipline (regardless of what view one eventually comes to about NDEs).

I am glad this book was written, but it is hard to say who should read it.
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