Philosophy

September 18, 2008

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

Authors: Michael J. Murray and Michael Rea

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Pages: 304

Price: £45.00 and £15.99

ISBN 9780521853699 and 619554

This book aims to introduce philosophy of religion "as it has developed in English-speaking countries over the past 50 years". This involves a heavily monotheistic emphasis focusing on divine properties as well as theistic and antitheistic arguments. It does, however, make room for a chapter on trinity and incarnation and a brief discussion of intelligent design and its critics.

Who is it for? Those whose philosophy of religion courses go heavy on metaphysics.

Presentation: Unashamedly Anglophone.

Would you recommend it? While good at what it tackles, I find the approach somewhat too restrictive.

READINGS IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION: EAST MEETS WEST

Editor: Andrew Eshleman

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Pages: 512

Price: £65.00 and £22.99

ISBN 9781405147163 and 7170

An unusually wide-ranging reader including Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist and other "non-Western" perspectives as well as those from Judaism and Christianity. It allows for potentially intriguing cross-cultural connections on standard topics such as the rationality of religious belief, the problem of evil, immortality and so on. Islam is disappointingly underrepresented.

Who is it for? Anyone frustrated by the biases of many a standard anthology.

Presentation: Very wide range of readings, but grouped under recognisable topic headings.

Would you recommend it? Yes.

PROBLEM OF GOD AND EVIL: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES

Author: David O'Connor

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Pages: 240

Price: £45.00 and £16.99

ISBN 9781405157704 and 7711

This text aims to show the interconnections between two standard topics in the philosophy of religion: arguments from design and the problem of evil. It is aimed at the beginner, but is also of interest to more advanced readers.

Who is it for? Especially useful for students who haven't been encouraged to think about how these topics interrelate.

Presentation: Clear and genuinely introductory, with lots of examples.

Would you recommend it? Yes, including to teachers of Year 12 and 13 students.

EXPLORING PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION: AN INTRODUCTORY ANTHOLOGY

Editor: Steven M. Cahn

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Pages: 384

Price: £24.99

ISBN 9780195340853

Contains 52 classic and contemporary readings in seven main areas in the philosophy of religion.

Who is it for? Those looking for a reader covering standard topics in philosophy of religion.

Presentation: The brief, pithy editorial introductions are useful.

Would you recommend it? The "belief in God" section is especially valuable in an age in which Dawkins-style evidentialism is often taken for granted as the right approach to religious questions.

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