Introducing Philosophy of Religion  book cover
1st Edition

Introducing Philosophy of Religion

ISBN 9780415403276
Published March 5, 2009 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

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 Features include:

  • an interactive glossary
  • a timeline
  • powerpoint slides on all the chapters
  • chapter outlines
  • lists of objectives for study.

Table of Contents

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 

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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.


'…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