What is this thing called Philosophy of Religion? grapples with the core topics studied on philosophy of religion undergraduate courses including:
- the meaning of religious language, including 20th century developments
- the nature of the Divine, including divine power, wisdom and action
- arguments for the existence of the Divine
- challenges to belief in the Divine, including the problems of evil, divine hiddenness and religious diversity
- believing without arguments
- arguments for life after death, including reincarnation.
In addition to the in-depth coverage of the key themes within the subject area Elizabeth Burns explores the topics from the perspectives of the five main world religions, introducing students to the work of scholars from a variety of religious traditions and interpretations of belief.
What is this thing called Philosophy of Religion? is the ideal introduction for those approaching the philosophy of religion for the first time, containing many helpful student-friendly features, such as a glossary of important terms, study questions and further reading.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – What is philosophy of religion?
Chapter 2 – Ways with words: The meaning of religious language
Chapter 3 – Religious language: Twentieth-century developments
Chapter 4 – Personal and impersonal interpretations of the Divine
Chapter 5 – Divine Power
Chapter 6 – Divine wisdom
Chapter 7 – Divine action
Chapter 8 – Petitionary prayer
Chapter 9 – Arguments for the existence of the Divine: Cosmological arguments
Chapter 10 – Arguments for the existence of the Divine: Design arguments
Chapter 11 – Arguments for the existence of the Divine: Moral arguments
Chapter 12 – Arguments for the existence of the Divine: Arguments from religious experience
Chapter 13 – Arguments for the existence of the Divine: Ontological arguments
Chapter 14 – Arguments against belief in the Divine: The problem of evil
Chapter 15 – Arguments against belief in the Divine: The problem of divine hiddenness
Chapter 16 – Arguments against belief in the Divine: The problem of religious diversity
Chapter 17 – Voluntarist theories of religious belief
Chapter 18 – Reformed Epistemology
Chapter 19 – Life, death and hope
Appendix 1 – Defining the Divine
Appendix 2 – List of further reading on the varieties of religious belief
Appendix 3 – List of anthologies and their contents by topic
Appendix 4 - Glossary
Elizabeth Burns was a Reader at Heythrop College, University of London, UK where she taught philosophy of religion from 2000—2017 and was, for five years, Dean of Undergraduate Studies. She is now a Reader and Programme Director of the University of London International Programmes in Theology at the central University of London and Director of Taught Programmes at the Cambridge Theological Federation, UK.
"Writing in crystal clear language, Elizabeth Burns provides an insightful, concise, and classroom-ready treatment of every question central to philosophy of religion. Each chapter captures the classical ideas and the contemporary challenges to belief in God. A reliable guide."
Kevin Schilbrack, Appalachian State University, USA
"Burns has accomplished her goal in this book of defining, in graspable terms, what the philosophy of religion entails. (...) Burns’s slim volume provides a valuable synthesis of the philosophy of religion."
Nathan 'Jack' Read, Ryokan College