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Originally published in 1959, The Faith of a Heretic is the most personal statement of the beliefs of Nietzsche biographer and translator Walter Kaufmann. A first-rate philosopher in his own right, Kaufmann here provides the fullest account of his views on religion. Although he considered himself a heretic, he was not immune to the wellsprings and impulses from which religion originates, declaring it among the most vital and radical expressions of the human mind. Beginning with an autobiographical prologue that traces his evolution from religious believer to "heretic," the book touches on theology, organized religion, morality, suffering, and death--all examined from the perspective of a "quest for honesty." Kaufmann also subjects philosophy's faith in truth, reason, and absolute morality to the same heretical treatment. The resulting exploration of the faiths of a nonbeliever in a secular age is as fresh and challenging as when it was first published. In a new foreword, Stanley Corngold vividly describes the intellectual and biographical milieu of Kaufmann's provocative book.
What is a rule, if it appears to become confused with life? And
what is a human life, if, in every one of its gestures, of its
words, and of its silences, it cannot be distinguished from the
The legacies of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth remain influential for contemporary theologians, who have increasingly put them into conversation on debated questions over analogy and the knowledge of God. However, little explicit dialogue has occurred between their theologies of God. This book offers one of the first extended analyzes of this fundamental issue, asking how each theologian seeks to confess in fact and in thought God's qualitative distinctiveness in relation to creation. Wittman first examines how they understand the correspondence and distinction between God's being and external acts within an overarching concern to avoid idolatry. Second, he analyzes the kind of relation God bears to creation that follows from these respective understandings. Despite many common goals, Aquinas and Barth ultimately differ on the subject matter of theological reason with consequences for their ability to uphold God's distinctiveness consistently. These mutually informative issues offer some important lessons for contemporary theology.
Ranging from his early treatises, the Monologion (a work written to show his monks how to meditate on the divine essence) and the Proslogion (best known for its advancement of the so-called ontological argument for the existence of God), to his three philosophical dialogues on metaphysical topics such as the relationship between freedom and sin, and late treatises on the Incarnation and salvation, this collection of Anselm's essential writings will be a boon to students of the history of philosophy and theology as well as to anyone interested in examining what Anselm calls "the reason of faith."
November 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the massacre of the Jesuit community of the University of Central America in San Salvador and the death of the rector, Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria. This volume, drawing on a team of international scholars, focuses on the work of Ellacuria and its relevance for the future. As the editors note, Ellacuria has achieved an international reputation not only in Latin America but throughout the world as one of the most brilliant contributors to Latin American liberation theology and one of the most important Jesuits in the post-conciliar Society and Church. The title refers to Cardinal Newman s grammar of assent, his argument for the role of faith in countering the debilitating rationalism of his age. In a similar way, Ellacuria envisions a grammar of justice as a response to the postmodern apathy of today."
Some philosophers have thought that life could only be meaningful if there is no God. For Sartre and Nagel, for example, a God of the traditional classical theistic sort would constrain our powers of self-creative autonomy in ways that would severely detract from the meaning of our lives, possibly even evacuate our lives of all meaning. Some philosophers, by contrast, have thought that life could only be meaningful if there is a God. God and the Meanings of Life is interested in exploring the truth in both these schools of thought, seeking to discover what God could and couldn't do to make life meaningful (as well as what he would and wouldn't do). Mawson espouses a version of the `amalgam' or `pluralism' thesis about the issue of life's meaning - in essence, that there are a number of different legitimate meanings of `meaning' (and indeed `life') in the question of life's meaning. According to Mawson, God, were he to exist, would help make life meaningful in some of these senses and hinder in some others. He argues that whilst there could be meaning in a Godless universe, there could be other sorts of meaning in a Godly one and that these would be deeper.
'The consciousness of knowing little, need not beget a distrust of that which he does not know.' In Natural Theology William Paley set out to prove the existence of God from the evidence of the beauty and order of the natural world. Famously beginning by comparing the world to a watch, whose design is self-evident, he goes on to provide examples from biology, anatomy, and astronomy in order to demonstrate the intricacy and ingenuity of design that could only come from a wise and benevolent deity. Paley's legalistic approach and skilful use of metaphor and analogy were hugely successful, and equally controversial. Charles Darwin, whose investigations led to very different conclusions in the Origin of Species, was greatly influenced by the book's cumulative structure and accessible style. This edition reprints the original text of 1802, and sets the book in the context of the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates of the nineteenth century. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Might we be parts of a divine mind? Could anything like an afterlife make sense? Starting with a Platonic answer to why the world exists, "Immortality Defended" suggests we could well be immortal in all of three separate ways.
Tackles the fundamental questions posed by our very existence,
among them, "why does the cosmos exist?," "is there a divine mind
or God?," and "in what sense might we have afterlives?"
Philosophy of Religion provides an engaging analysis of the current state of play in philosophy of religion, focusing on several central issues in the field. It is inclusive in its approach and designed for students, but it will also be useful to scholars and others seeking such an evaluation and interpretation of this field.
Leading theologian Matthew Levering presents a thoroughgoing critical survey of the proofs of God's existence for readers interested in traditional Christian responses to the problem of atheism. Beginning with Tertullian and ending with Karl Barth, Levering covers twenty-one theologians and philosophers from the early church to the modern period, examining how they answered the critics of their day. He also shows the relevance of the classical arguments to contemporary debates and challenges to Christianity. In addition to students, this book will appeal to readers of apologetics.
One of the central arguments of post-metaphysical theology is that language is inherently 'metaphysical' and consequently that it shoehorns objects into predetermined categories. Because God is beyond such categories, it follows that language cannot apply to God. Drawing on recent work in theology and philosophy of language, Kevin Hector develops an alternative account of language and its relation to God, demonstrating that one need not choose between fitting God into a metaphysical framework, on the one hand, and keeping God at a distance from language, on the other. Hector thus elaborates a 'therapeutic' response to metaphysics: given the extent to which metaphysical presuppositions about language have become embedded in common sense, he argues that metaphysics can be fully overcome only by defending an alternative account of language and its application to God, so as to strip such presuppositions of their apparent self-evidence and release us from their grip.
'A History of Religious Ideas, volume 1 will arouse the interest of all historians of western religion, since it includes chapters on the religions of Canaan and Israel. However, the book must be read cover to cover if one wants to grasp the significance of its gigantic historical scope...Not only has the work unity through Eliade's authorship, but it lays the foundation of the history of religious' edifice of which he has been one of the principal architects.' -Kees W. Bolle, Church History.
Nothing has so radically transformed the world as the distinction
between true and false religion. In this nuanced consideration of
his own controversial "Moses the Egyptian," renowned Egyptologist
Jan Assmann answers his critics, extending and building upon ideas
from his previous book. Maintaining that it was indeed the Moses of
the Hebrew Bible who introduced the true-false distinction in a
permanent and revolutionary form, Assmann reiterates that the price
of this monotheistic revolution has been the exclusion, as paganism
and heresy, of everything deemed incompatible with the truth it
proclaims. This exclusion has exploded time and again into violence
and persecution, with no end in sight. Here, for the first time,
Assmann traces the repeated attempts that have been made to do away
with this distinction since the early modern period. He explores at
length the notions of primary versus secondary religions, of
"counter-religions," and of book religions versus cultic religions.
He also deals with the entry of ethics into religion's very core.
Informed by the debate his own work has generated, he presents a
compelling lesson in the fluidity of cultural identity and beliefs.
"Unlike Freud, I do not claim that religion is just an illusion and a source of neurosis. The time has come to recognize, without being afraid of 'frightening' either the faithful or the agnostics, that the history of Christianity prepared the world for humanism."
So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upends our entrenched ideas about religion, belief, and the thought and work of a renowned psychoanalyst and critic. With dialogue and essay, Kristeva analyzes our "incredible need to believe"--the inexorable push toward faith that, for Kristeva, lies at the heart of the psyche and the history of society. Examining the lives, theories, and convictions of Saint Teresa of Avila, Sigmund Freud, Donald Winnicott, Hannah Arendt, and other individuals, she investigates the intersection between the desire for God and the shadowy zone in which belief resides.
Kristeva suggests that human beings are formed by their need to believe, beginning with our first attempts at speech and following through to our adolescent search for identity and meaning. Kristeva then applies her insight to contemporary religious clashes and the plight of immigrant populations, especially those of Islamic origin. Even if we no longer have faith in God, Kristeva argues, we must believe in human destiny and creative possibility. Reclaiming Christianity's openness to self-questioning and the search for knowledge, Kristeva urges a "new kind of politics," one that restores the integrity of the human community.
Why Faith Matters is an articulate defense of religion in America. It makes the case for faith and shows its relationship to history and science. Refuting the cold reason of atheists and the hatred of fanatics with a vision of religion informed by faith, love, and understanding, Rabbi David J. Wolpe follows in a literary tradition that stretches from Cardinal Newman to C. S. Lewis to Thomas Merton--individuals of faith who brought religion and culture together in their own works. Wolpe takes readers through the origins and nature of faith, the role of the Bible in modern life, and the compatibility of God and science, concluding with a powerful argument for the place of God, faith, and religion in today's world.
Brian Leftow makes an important contribution to the longstanding debate among philosophers and theologians about the nature of God's eternity. The author develops a powerful and original defense of the notion that God is eternal in that he exists timelessly; that is, that though God exists, he does not exist at any time. Leftow defends the claim that a timeless God can be an object of human experience, and he attempts to delineate the extent of such a God's omniscience. Finally, the author pays special attention to the relation between the claim that God is timeless and the claim that God is metaphysically simple.
Following the extraordinary success of the New York Times bestseller Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas's latest book offers inspirational and intellectually rigorous thought about the great questions surrounding us all today.
The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that "the unexamined life is not worth living." Taking this as a starting point, Eric Metaxas founded a speaking series that encouraged busy and successful professionals to attend forums and think actively about the bigger questions in life. Thus Socrates in the City: Conversations on "Life, God, and Other Small Topics" was born.
This book is for the seeker in all of us, the collector of wisdom, and the person who asks "What if?" Within this collection of original essays that were first given to standing-room-only crowds in New York City are serious thinkers taking on Life, God, Evil, Redemption, and other small topics.
Luminaries such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, Charles Colson, N.T. Wright, Os Guinness, Peter Kreeft, and Jean Bethke Elshatin have written about extraordinary topics vital to both secular and Christian thinking, such as "Making Sense Out of Suffering," "How Good Confronts Evil," and "Belief in God in an Age of Science." No question is too big-in fact, the bigger, the harder, the more complex, the better.
These essays are both thought-provoking and entertaining, because nowhere is it written that finding answers to life's biggest questions shouldn't be exciting and even, perhaps, fun.
When first published, "Evil and the God of Love" instantly became recognized as a modern theological classic, widely viewed as the most important work on the problem of evil to appear in English for more than a generation. It has continued to be at the center of discussions ever since. This reissue of the work includes a new preface by the author.
""Erring "is a thoughtful, often brilliant attempt to describe and
enact what remains of (and for) theology in the wake of
deconstruction. Drawing on Hegel, Nietzsche, Derrida, and others,
Mark Taylor extends--and goes well beyond--pioneering efforts. . .
. The result is a major book, comprehensive and well-informed."--G.
Douglas Atkins, "Philosophy and Literature"
This book is the first complete intellectual biography of Hermann Cohen (1842-1918) and the only work to cover all his major philosophical and Jewish writings. Frederick C. Beiser pays special attention to all phases of Cohen's intellectual development, its breaks and its continuities, throughout seven decades. The guiding goal behind Cohen's intellectual career, he argues, was the development of a radical rationalism, one committed to defending the rights of unending enquiry and unlimited criticism. Cohen's philosophy was therefore an attempt to defend and revive the Enlightenment belief in the authority of reason; his critical idealism an attempt to justify this belief and to establish a purely rational worldview. According to this interpretation, Cohen's thought is resolutely opposed to any form of irrationalism or mysticism because these would impose arbitrary and artificial limits on criticism and enquiry. It is therefore critical of those interpretations which see Cohen's philosophy as a species of proto-existentialism (Rosenzweig) or Jewish mysticism (Adelmann and Koehnke). Hermann Cohen: An Intellectual Biography attempts to unify the two sides of Cohen's thought, his philosophy and his Judaism. Maintaining that Cohen's Judaism was not a limit to his radical rationalism but a consistent development of it, Beiser contends that his religion was one of reason. He concludes that most critical interpretations have failed to appreciate the philosophical depth and sophistication of his Judaism, a religion which committed the believer to the unending search for truth and the striving to achieve the cosmopolitan ideals of reason.
Volume III of a tetralogy devoted to Divine Agency and Divine Action articulates a comprehensive vision of systematic theology focused on divine action from creation to eschatology. Volume I developed the foundational conceptual work by showing that the concept of action is a radically open concept that readily makes possible the appropriation of divine action for today. Volume II explained that in exploring divine action one needs to specify the actual divine actions under review and thus showed that there could be no progress with extensive soundings across the tradition from Paul to Molina. Work on divine action requires extended work in doctrinal criticism rooted in the history of theology as a prelude to normative work that communicates a normative vision of divine action for today. This vision is best explored by taking up the great themes of systematic theology from creation to eschatology yet treating them in a deflationary manner that sees systematic theology as university-level, postbaptismal, Christian instruction. Leading scholar William J. Abraham recognises that we live in a golden period of theological studies-the range and depth of material is extraordinary-yet we also live in a period of disorientation and confusion that calls for a fresh engagement with the demands of systematic theology. Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume III meets that demand by insisting that systematic theology has its own content and modes of inquiry; that it belongs intimately to the journey of faith; and that it requires authentic academic clarity and rigor. It reclaims the rightful place of systematic theology as the center of gravity for theological studies but does so in a manner that makes it available to both the church and to the academy.
Mixing fiction, history, psychoanalysis, and personal fantasy, Teresa, My Love turns a past world into a modern marvel, following Sylvia Leclercq, a French psychoanalyst, academic, and incurable insomniac, as she falls for the sixteenth-century Saint Teresa of Avila and becomes consumed with charting her life. Traveling to Spain, Leclercq, Julia Kristeva's probing alter ego, visits the sites and embodiments of the famous mystic and awakens to her own desire for faith, connection, and rebellion. One of Kristeva's most passionate and transporting works, Teresa, My Love interchanges biography, autobiography, analysis, dramatic dialogue, musical scores, and images of paintings and sculpture to engage the reader in Leclercq's-and Kristeva's-journey. Born in 1515, Teresa of Avila outwitted the Spanish Inquisition and was a key reformer of the Carmelite Order. Her experience of ecstasy, which she intimately described in her writings, released her from her body and led to a complete realization of her consciousness, a state Kristeva explores in relation to present-day political failures, religious fundamentalism, and cultural malaise. Incorporating notes from her own psychoanalytic practice, as well as literary and philosophical references, Kristeva builds a fascinating dual diagnosis of contemporary society and the individual psyche while sharing unprecedented insights into her own character.
Michael Ruse offers a new analysis of the often troubled relationship between science and religion. Arguing against both extremes - in one corner, the New Atheists; in the other, the Creationists and their offspring the Intelligent Designers - he asserts that science is the highest source of human inquiry. Yet, by its very nature and its deep reliance on metaphor, science restricts itself and is unable to answer basic, significant questions about the meaning of the universe and humankind's place within it: why is there something rather than nothing? What is the meaning of it all? Ruse shows that one can legitimately be a skeptic about these questions, and yet why it is open for a Christian, or member of any faith, to offer answers. Scientists, he concludes, should be proud of their achievements but modest about their scope. Christians should be confident of their mission but respectful of the successes of science.
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