Introducing Philosophy of Religion
By Chad Meister
Routledge – 2008 – 246 pages
Does God exist? What about evil and suffering? How does faith relate to science? Is there life after death? These questions fascinate everyone and lie at the heart of philosophy of religion. Chad Meister offers an up-to-date introduction to the field, focussing not only on traditional debates but also on contemporary concepts such as the intelligent creator. Key topics, such as divine reality and the self and religious experience, are discussed in relation to different faiths.
Introducing Philosophy of Religion:
• offers a lucid overview of contemporary philosophy of religion
• introduces the key figures in the history of philosophy of religion
• explores the impact of religious diversity and pluralism
• examines the main arguments for and against the existence of God and the nature of the divine
• looks at science and issues of faith and reason
• explores how the different religions approach the concept of life after death.
The wealth of textbook features, including tables of essential information, questions for reflection, summaries, glossary and recommendations for further reading make the book ideal for student use. Along with its accompanying Reader, this is the perfect introductory package for undergraduate philosophy of religion courses.
Visit the book's companion website at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415403276. Features include:
'…I’ve never seen anything as good as this: pitch perfect, well-structured, coherent, cross-cultural.' - Chris Fleming, University of Western Sydney, Australia
'A clear, systematic, engaging introduction to philosophy of religion. There is no better single volume that covers the contemporary and classical themes and arguments with greater skill, fairness, comprehensiveness and efficiency. This is a brilliant book for newcomers as well as advanced scholars who want to take a fresh look at philosophy of religion today.' – Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College, USA
Part One: Religion and the Philosophy of Religion 1. Religion and the World Religions 2. Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion 3. Philosophy of Religion Timeline 4. Religious Beliefs and Practices Summary Part Two: Religious Diversity and Pluralism 5. The Diversity of Religions 6. Religious Inclusivism and Exclusivism 7. Religious Pluralism 8. Religious Relativism 9. Evaluating Religious Systems 10. Religious Tolerance Summary Part Three: Conceptions of Ultimate Reality 11. Ultimate Reality: The Absolute and the Void 12. Ultimate Reality: A Personal God Summary Part Four: Arguments for God's Existence: Cosmological 13. The Argument from Contingency 14. The Sufficient Reason Argument 15. The Kalam Argument 16. A Cosmological Argument for Atheism Summary Part Five: Arguments for God's Existence: Teleological 17. Paley's Design Argument 18. A Fine-Tuning Argument 19. An Intelligent Design Argument Summary Part Six: Arguments for God's Existence: Ontological 20. Anselm's Ontological Argument 21. Plantinga's Modal Ontological Argument Summary Part Seven: Problems of Evil 22. Sketching the Terrain 23. Theoretical Problems of Evil 24. The Existential Problem of Evil 25. Three Theodicies Summary Part Eight: Science, Faith and Reason 26. Religion and Science 27. Religious Belief and Justification Summary Part Nine: Religious Experience 28. The Nature and Diversity of Religious Experience 29. Religious Experience and Justification 30. Scientific Explanations of Religious Experience Summary Part Ten: The Self, Death and the Afterlife 31. Conceptions of the Self 32. Reincarnation and Karma 33. Arguments for Immortality 34. Arguments against Immortality
Chad Meister is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program at Bethel College, Indiana. He has substantial experience of teaching in USA philosophy departments, and has a good knowledge of student needs.