Religion and Morality: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Religion and Morality

1st Edition

By William J. Wainwright


264 pages

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Paperback: 9780754616320
pub: 2005-04-19
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Religion and Morality addresses central issues arising from religion's relation to morality. Part I offers a sympathetic but critical appraisal of the claim that features of morality provide evidence for the truth of religious belief. Part II examines divine command theories, objections to them, and positive arguments in their support. Part III explores tensions between human morality, as ordinarily understood, and religious requirements by discussing such issues as the conflict between Buddhist and Christian pacifism and requirements of justice, whether 'virtue' without a love of God is really a vice, whether the God of the Abrahamic religions could require us to do something that seems clearly immoral, and the ambiguous relations between religious mysticism and moral behavior. Covering a broad range of topics, this book draws on both historical and contemporary literature, and explores afresh central issues of morality and religion offering new insights for students, academics and the general reader interested in philosophy and religion.


’This book is careful and lucid in its presentation and assessment of arguments on religion and morality. It is also well organized…Highly recommended.’ Choice 'Insofar as the book critically presents the views of important thinkers within traditions familiar to the author, it is a rich source of insight… a scholarly appraisal… Philosophers of religion, ethicists, academics in this field and readers of general philosophy will all find this book to be valuable reading.' Science and Theology News 'Wainwright writes critically yet sympathetically about the relation between morality and religious belief and brings an admirable nuance and judiciousness to some hotly debated issues.' Conversations in Religion and Theology 'Bill Wainwright has written a penetrating and well-organized examination of the relation between religion and morality. It is a work that will be especially appreciated by analytic philosophers of religion because of the careful parsing of various positions, objections to those, and possible replies to objections. The writing is clear, and the arguments stack up higher and higher.' International Journal for Philosophy of Religion ’All-in-all, Wainwright is to be commended for producing such a lucid, comprehensive, and philosophically sohisticated book. It should be on the 'must-read' list of anyone with a serious interest in the philosophy of religion.’ Philosophy in Review-Comptes rendus philosophiques ’In the entanglement of possible relationships obtaining between religion and morality, Wainwright's work remains both a tour d'history of positions on offer and a tour d' force of philosophical acumen with analytical methodology. As such, conceptually speaking, Wainwright's work is must-reading for philosophers trying to tackle crucial dimensions which have far too long been neglected or underdeveloped.’ Philsophical Investigations ’Wainwright is to be commended for producing such a lucid, comprehensive and philosophica

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I: Moral Arguments for the Existence of God: The 19th-century background; Kant, God, and immortality; Newman and the argument from conscience; The argument from the objectivity of value. Part II: Divine Command Theory and its Critics: The Euthyphro problem; Two recent divine command theories; Objections to divine command theory; The case for divine command theory. Part III: Human Morality And Religious Requirements: Religious ethics and rational morality; Abraham and the binding of Isaac; Mysticism and morality. Index.

About the Author

William Wainwright, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Philosophy of Religion Series

The Routledge Philosophy of Religion Series spans many critical debates, and presents new directions and new perspectives in contemporary research and study within the philosophy of religion. This series presents books by leading international scholars in the field, providing a platform for their own particular research focus to be presented within a wider contextual framework. Offering accessible, stimulating new contributions to each topic, this series will prove of particular value and interest to academics, graduate, postgraduate and upper-level undergraduate readers world-wide focusing on philosophy, religious studies and theology, sociology or other related fields.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General