1st Edition

William L. Rowe on Philosophy of Religion Selected Writings

By William L. Rowe, Nick Trakakis Copyright 2007
    464 Pages
    by Routledge

    462 Pages
    by Routledge

    William Rowe is one of the leading thinkers in contemporary philosophy of religion. Although he is best known for his contributions to the problem of evil, he has produced innovative and influential work across a wide array of subjects at the interface between philosophy and religion. He has, for example, written extensively on the existentialist theologian, Paul Tillich, on the challenging problem of divine freedom, and on the traditional arguments in support of the existence of God. His work in these areas is distinguished by its clarity, rigour, originality, and sensitivity towards the claims of his theistic opponents. Indeed, Rowe's work has played a pivotal role in the remarkable revival of analytic philosophy of religion since the 1970s. The present collection brings together for the first time Rowe's most significant contributions to the philosophy of religion. This diverse but representative selection of Rowe's writings will provide students, professional scholars as well as general readers with stimulating and accessible discussions on such topics as the philosophical theology of Paul Tillich, the problem of evil, divine freedom, arguments for the existence of God, religious experience, life after death, and religious pluralism.

    Contents: Introduction. Part I The Philosophical Theology of Paul Tillich: Tillich’s concept of God; Religious symbols. Part II The Problem of Evil: The problem of evil and some varieties of atheism; The empirical argument from evil; Evil and theodicy; Paradox and promise: Hick’s solution to the problem of evil; Ruminations about evil; William Alston on the problem of evil; The evidential argument from evil: a second look; In defense of ’The Free Will Defense’; Grounds for belief aside, does evil make atheism more reasonable than theism?; Friendly atheism, skeptical theism, and the problem of evil. Part III Replies to Critics on the Evidential Problem of Evil: Evil and the theistic hypothesis: a response to Wykstra; Response to Linda Zagzebski; Reply to Plantinga; Skeptical theism: a response to Bergmann; Reply to Howard-Snyder and Bergmann. Part IV Divine Freedom: The problem of divine perfection and freedom; Evil and God’s freedom in creation; Can God be free? Part V The Cosmological Argument: Two criticisms of the cosmological argument; The cosmological argument; Cosmological arguments. Part VI The Ontological Argument: The ontological argument; Modal versions of the ontological argument. Part VII Other Writings in the Philosophy of Religion: Augustine on foreknowledge and free will; Religious experience and the principle of credulity; The rationality of religious belief; Religion within the bounds of naturalism: Dewey and Wieman; Religious pluralism. William L. Rowe: a bibliography. Index.


    William L. Rowe is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University, USA. Nick Trakakis is Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy and Bioethics at Monash University, Australia.

    ’...bound to be an oft-checked out addition to university libraries. Philosophers of Religion are indebted to Trakakis for his editorial work and to Rowe for his invaluable contributions to the field.’ Theological Book Review ’... one must [...] welcome the appearance in a single volume of so many papers by one of the world’s leading philosophers of religion.’ Ars Disputandi ’... a new compilation, collecting 30 papers of Rowe's work in the philosophy of religion, is noteworthy. ... With this collection, Trakakis has done a real service to those interested in the philosophy of religion.’ Sophia