1st Edition

Philosophy of Religion: The Basics

By Samuel Lebens Copyright 2023
    214 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book introduces students and other interested readers to the philosophy of religion—a vibrant and growing field of academic philosophy. Readers will be guided through an exploration of classic and contemporary arguments for and against theism. In addition to this crucial, but standard fare, this book looks to probe deeper into the nature and value (or dis-value) of religion itself. Philosophy of religion is becoming more diverse, both in terms of the religious traditions it examines, and the issues that it addresses. This book reflects that fact, engaging with religious traditions from Quakerism to Jainism. Questions and topics covered include:

    • What is religion?
    • What philosophical problems arise for the practices of prayer, worship, and meditation?
    • How might multiple religions co-exist in peace?
    • If there’s a God, would it be the sort of thing that language could describe?
    • When and how might it be rational to wager that a particular religion is true?

    With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, Philosophy of Religion: The Basics is an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a lively and accessible foray into the study of religion or philosophy.


    1. What is Religion?
    2. Religious Language
    3. Arguments for the Existence of God (or something Godlike)
    4. Arguments for Specific Religions
    5. Arguments Against God and Religious Belief
    6. On Religion and Ethics
    7. Religious Rituals and practices
    8. Religion, Pluralism, and the State


    Samuel Lebens teaches philosophy at the University of Haifa. His previous books are Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions (Routledge, 2017) and The Principles of Judaism (Oxford UP, 2020). His research interests span metaphysics, philosophy of fiction, philosophy of religion, and more. He is also an Orthodox Rabbi. His website is www.samlebens.com .

    "This work serves as an excellent introduction to the philosophy of religion in the twenty-first century. Samuel Lebens masterfully presents a highly accessible discussion of emerging topics in the field, such as religious diversity and religious practices, as well as surveying classical topics, such as the problem of evil and the existence and nature of God. Readers of this book will discover how intriguing and thought-provoking the philosophy of religion is."
    Yujin Nagasawa, University of Birmingham

    "Lebens’ sophisticated yet informal treatment of his theme – both challenging and inviting – helps his audience to appreciate how disputed topics can be addressed rigorously and our understanding of them significantly clarified and improved. It also provides a fine example of how to proceed with mutual benefit even in the face of significant disagreement. That unfortunate and all-too-common assumption – that we just can’t make significant headway in thinking or arguing about matters religious – would be a nearly impossible lesson to take away after a careful reading of this book."
    Hud Hudson, Western Washington University