- Series: Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion
- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (October 12, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801473462
- ISBN-13: 978-0801473463
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,680,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason (Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion) 1st Edition
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"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.
Top customer reviews
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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.
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. The result, once again, is a powerful challenge to classical theism -- one, I might add, that is far more powerful than anything Dawkins or the other new atheists have managed to put forth. In fact, even after 20 years, Schellenberg's challenge is still being wrestled with in the philosophical literature.
Two final points. First, don't be put off by the other reviewers' uncharitable comments (below) about the writing. DHHR is in reality a very well written and very well structured work. (I sometimes wonder whether those steeped in popular literature on theism/atheism have gotten used to writing that isn't so careful; such persons might have to work harder to grasp Schellenberg's important distinctions, but the end reward will be greater understanding). Second, it's worth noting that while DHHR is a very important and highly recommended work of philosophy, it's really just the beginning of Schellenberg's overall project in religion. See his more recent Trilogy for the details. Here you'll find further developments in the case for atheism, in addition to limitations in the case for naturalism, and much much more besides -- including the possibility of a kind of religious faith for religious skeptics.