Current Controversies in Philosophy of Religion: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Current Controversies in Philosophy of Religion

1st Edition

Edited by Paul Draper


192 pages

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pub: 2019-05-08
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While orthodox religion by its very nature is conservative, philosophy at its best is inherently radical. It challenges authority, tradition, and the whole idea of "dogma." For this reason, philosophy of religion can be explosively controversial. It is bound to disturb those who peddle incontrovertible truth and fascinate those who seek spiritual truth and are willing to follow the argument wherever it leads. This volume is designed for such seekers. It brings together an international team of leading philosophers of religion to explore and debate radical new ideas about religion, God, and ultimate reality. Four related questions are addressed:

  • How might religion make progress?
  • Is life after death a real possibility?
  • Must a perfect God be motivated by our well-being?
  • What alternatives are there to traditional theism and materialist atheism?

The book begins with a vision for the field of philosophy of religion and ends with a capstone chapter that touches on all of the topics debated in the other chapters. The addition of chapter overviews, annotated suggestions for further reading, and annotated guides to three additional controversies make it an ideal textbook in addition to being an important source for scholars and seekers of all kinds.

Table of Contents



Notes on Contributors

1 Philosophy of Religion: A Vision for the Field

Paul Draper

PART I: Future Progress in Religion

2 The Future of Religion: How Might Religion Make Progress?

J. L. Schellenberg

3 On Making Religious Progress

Robert McKim

Suggestions for further reading

PART II: Life After Death

4 Is Hope for Another Life Rational?

Mark Johnston

5 Jewels in the Ontological Trash Heap: Mark Johnston's Metaphysics of Persons

Dean Zimmerman

Suggestions for further reading

PART III: Divine Motivation and the Problem of Evil

6 Is an Absolutely Perfect Being Morally Perfect?

Mark C. Murphy

7 The Practical Life of God

Laura W. Ekstrom

Suggestions for further reading

PART IV: Alternative Concepts of God

8 Alternatives to Benevolent Theism: Ananthropocentric Theism and Axiarchism

Tim Mulgan

9 Between Orthodox Theism and Materialist Atheism

Fiona Ellis

10 Panpsychotheism

Paul Draper

Suggestions for further reading

Supplemental Guide to Further Controversies




About the Editor

Paul Draper is Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University, USA. He is the co-editor of Renewing Philosophy of Religion: Exploratory Essays (2017, with J. L. Schellenberg) and the editor of God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence (2008). His articles on the problem of evil, fine-tuning, atheism and agnosticism, and confirmation theory have appeared in such journals as American Philosophical Quarterly, Faith and Philosophy, Noûs, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Religious Studies, and The Monist.

About the Series

Current Controversies in Philosophy

In venerable Socratic fashion, philosophy proceeds best through reasoned conversation. Current Controversies in Philosophy provides short, accessible volumes that cast a spotlight on ongoing central philosophical conversations. In each book, pairs of experts debate four or five key issues of contemporary concern, setting the stage for students, teachers and researchers to join the discussion. Short chapter descriptions precede each chapter, and an annotated bibliography and study questions conclude each debate. In addition, each volume includes both a general introduction and a supplemental guide to further controversies. Combining timely debates with useful pedagogical aids allows the volumes to serve as clear and detailed snapshots, for all levels of readers, of some the most exciting work happening in philosophy today. 

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