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God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason (Oxford Paperbacks) [Paperback]

By Thomas V. Morris (Editor)
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Item Number 160288  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   285
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.16" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   0.97 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 11, 1996
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0195101197  
EAN  9780195101195  

Availability  127 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 06:06.
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Item Description...
(PUBOxford University)"An engaging collection of essays 'from the heart' by 20 Christian and Jewish philosophers focusing on the relationship between faith and reason. Instead of barren abstractions, each engages in real-life problems. Highly recommended,"---Choice. 285 pages, softcover.

Publishers Description
"I am a philosopher because I am a Christian," writes Brian Leftow. "To many intellectuals, this probably sounds like saying that I am a dog because I am a cat." Indeed, prejudice against religious belief runs deep in the academy; in particular, many philosophers hold that faith is incompatible with their profession. But Thomas Morris has met that view head-on by asking a distinguished group of philosophers to write about the union of faith and reason in their lives.
God and the Philosophers offers a series of highly personal, thoughtful essays by traditionally religious philosophers, revealing the power of belief in their intellectually rigorous lives and work. Figures such as William P. Alston, William J. Wainwright, Marilyn McCord Adams, Peter van Inwagen, and Morris himself, to name a few, speak of their own spiritual journeys, sharing their experiences as philosophically reflective individuals seeking to center themselves on God. We read of conversions from unbelief, struggles with doubts raised by the presence of evil in the world, and changing convictions shaped by constant questioning and communing with God. For example, Brian Leftow describes his acceptance of Christianity, after being raised in a secular Jewish home, and Laura Garcia writes about her conversion to Catholicism from her earlier Protestant stance. Along the way, the writers reveal religious philosophy at work--demonstrating, as Arthur F. Holmes writes, "the motivation to intellectual inquiry that Christian faith brings." Here we see how individuals with extraordinary intellectual training, discipline, and knowledge grapple with personal and existential problems, drawing on their faith as well as their finely honed reason to achieve new understanding.
Profoundly honest and deeply thoughtful, these essays reveal how highly educated philosophers--working in the halls of dispassionate analysis--come to grips with their faith in a skeptical world. Together, they make a profound statement on contemporary spirituality, and the quandaries facing today's religious individual.

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More About Thomas V. Morris

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Thomas V. Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His books include The Logic of God Incarnate, Making Sense of it All, and True Success: A New Philosophy of Excellence.

Thomas V. Morris has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Notre Dame.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Understand the Purpose of this Book  Feb 5, 2006
This book is *not* a book of apologetics. It is, rather, an insightful look into the personal lives and thoughts of some of the worlds top philosophers who are also Christians. It is very successful in that task. The contributors list is a veritable Who's Who of philosophy:

Thomas Morris
William P. Alston
Peter van Inwagen
Michael J. Murray
William J. Wainwritght
Merold Westphal
C. Stephen Layman
Jerry Walls
Robert C. Roberts
Jeff Jordan
Marilyn McCord Adams
Brian Leftow
George Mavrodes
Eleonore Stump

This book will challenge the discerning reader from both the rationalistic Christian perspective as well as the skeptic who is reading attentively. Very highly recommended.
An awesome blend of philosophy of faith  Jul 2, 2004
"Most of the philosophers in the history of Western Civilization have believed in God" editor Tom Morris writes in the introduction of this book, and so many of the American academic world's leading professional philosophers come forward to share their exciting journeys of faith and life in this exciting collection. Readers come to realize how many of these writers have not only clung to their faith in a very secular world, but have continued to examine and strengthen it after finding truth and reason in Christian theism. Many of the philosophers briefly describe how they find their positions of faith to be the most reasonable to the other alternatives(I say briefly because I know each one could turn their essay into an entire book). They also strongly examine the weaknesses associated with their beliefs(such as the problem of evil) by carefully examining those weaknesses and giving strong arguments towards those weaknesses. The philosophers also show how religious and spiritual faith is not simply based on reason(like demonstrating a mathematical formula's truth or demonstrating the strongest chemical reaction) but also a great life commitment. Each demonstrates how their faith challenges them to become a better person physically, ethically, spiritually, as well as intellectually. I recommend this book to all who want to better understand how religious faith and spirituality are not only compatible with intellectual endeavors, but also greatly enhance them.
Somewhat Disappointing  Mar 24, 2004
I suppose I expected more from this book. After reading the introduction by editor Thomas Morris, I was expecting what he termed biographical essays "from the heart". Indeed there were several insightful essays from this slant discussing people's life experiences as they mingled reason and faith. Most of this book, however, was extremely disappointing to me. I found many authors drudging on regarding points that strayed very far from the stated "thesis" of the book and many of the essays were rehashings of the other essays in the book.

I really struggled to find the motivation to finish this book and that is quite a strong statement coming from me.

Mixed Bag  Feb 4, 2004
This collection of essays is a mixed bag of good and not so good. Several of the authors obviously cling to Christianity because they grew up in it, have had a favourable experience with it and enjoy the sense of community that it brings. But these kinds of reasons could apply to any number of social organizations created by man.
I agree that one of the better essays is by Peter van Inwagen. I am troubled somewhat by his remark on p.37 "Nowadays I would say that I don't expect that the New Testament always gives an exact account of Jesus' words.......". (This comment was in reference to the Parousia (the second coming of Jesus)). So how exactly are we to know which words attributed to Jesus are authentic? If, on major points like this Sciprture is not demonstrably reliable then why believe any of it?
Rationality of Belief in God  Jul 22, 2003
Is it rational to believe in God? Do faith and reason go together? Can philosophers believe in God? This collection of autobiographical essays answers these questions in the affirmative. The main collective argument of this book is that it is rational to believe in God. Philosophers need not fear belief in God. Indeed this book shows in contemporary form how philosophers have historically believed in God.

These essays are personal journeys as to how twenty modern philosophers have handled their religious beliefs in their field of study. There is a diversity of Evangelical, Catholic, Episcopalian, and Jewish philosophers. The essays are of varying degree in quality and content.

Here are a few highlights: Peter van Inwagen's essay entitled "Quam Dilecta" is probably one of the best in this collection. He argues that in recent times the deck is stacked against religious belief in academic circles. It has been commonly accepted that religion and philosophy do not mix and that they must be compartmentalized. However he proves this to be a false disjunction. They cannot and should not be separated. In fact they should be wed together.

Brian Leftow's "From Jerusalem to Athens" is probably the second best essay in the collection. He argues that he is a philosopher because he is first a Christian. Christian belief is a help to the intellectual life and it was Christianity, which brought him to philosophy. He shows that historically it has been commonplace for philosophers to base their philosophy on theistic belief. He seeks to return philosophy to its rightful place as being rooted in the Christian religion.

Given the diversity of contributors it makes for a mixed bag of essays. I believe the worst one (biblically speaking) was that of Marilyn McCord Adams. This significantly highlights the biblical injunction to be careful of hollow and deceptive philosophy (Colossians 2:8). Adams' essay is a negative warning to not acquiesce one's theology for the sake of philosophy. All too often as evidenced in this volume one has to give up key elements of the faith to be seen as respectable in the eyes of the university philosophy department (cf. Garcia giving up justification by faith alone and the doctrine of Scripture alone). For Adams emotion and feeling is often placed over God's divine revelation as disclosed in the Bible. She has faulted to the worldly wisdom, which God has made foolish (1 Corinthians 1:20).

One will be both encouraged and depressed as one reads through this volume. It is encouraging that many philosophers believe in God. Belief in God has become respectable and it is now seen as rational. Yet it is discouraging in that many are giving up central elements of the faith to make their beliefs respectable in the philosophy department. The God who is being believed in is not always the God of the Bible in his entire splendor and majesty. May we pray for more philosophers who are strongly committed to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. And may God be glorified in our philosophy.


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