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Encountering the Secular

Philosophical Endeavors in Religion and Culture

J. Heath Atchley

In Encountering the Secular, J. Heath Atchley proposes an alternative to the understanding of the secular as that which opposes the religious, and he turns to American and Continental philosophy to support his critique. Drawing from thinkers as disparate as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Gilles Deleuze, and engaging with contemporary literature and film, Atchley shows how the division of experience (individual, cultural, political) into the distinct realms of the religious and the secular overlooks the subtle ways in which value can emerge. Far from arguing that the religious and the secular are the same, he means instead to suggest that the dogmatic separation between these two realms gets in the way of experiencing an immanent value, a kind of value tied neither to a transcendent reality (e.g., a god or an ideal) nor to a self-centered reality (e.g., pleasure or knowledge).

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Erasmus, Man of Letters

The Construction of Charisma in Print

Lisa Jardine

The name Erasmus of Rotterdam conjures up a golden age of scholarly integrity and the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, when learning could command public admiration without the need for authorial self-promotion. Lisa Jardine, however, shows that Erasmus self-consciously created his own reputation as the central figure of the European intellectual world. Erasmus himself—the historical as opposed to the figural individual—was a brilliant, maverick innovator, who achieved little formal academic recognition in his own lifetime. What Jardine offers here is not only a fascinating study of Erasmus but also a bold account of a key moment in Western history, a time when it first became possible to believe in the existence of something that could be designated "European thought."

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The Essential Caputo

Selected Writings

Edited by B. Keith Putt

This landmark collection features selected writings by John D. Caputo, one of the most creative and influential thinkers working in the philosophy of religion today. B Keith Putt presents 21 of Caputo’s most significant contributions from his distinguished 40-year career. Putt’s thoughtful editing and arrangement highlights how Caputo's multidimensional thought has evolved from radical hermeneutics to radical theology. A guiding introduction situates Caputo's corpus within the context of debates in the Continental philosophy of religion and exclusive interview with him adds valuable information about his own views of his work.

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The Essential Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard

This is the most comprehensive anthology of Søren Kierkegaard's works ever assembled in English. Drawn from the volumes of Princeton's authoritative Kierkegaard's Writings series by editors Howard and Edna Hong, the selections represent every major aspect of Kierkegaard's extraordinary career. They reveal the powerful mix of philosophy, psychology, theology, and literary criticism that made Kierkegaard one of the most compelling writers of the nineteenth century and a shaping force in the twentieth. With an introduction to Kierkegaard's writings as a whole and explanatory notes for each selection, this is the essential one-volume guide to a thinker who changed the course of modern intellectual history.

The anthology begins with Kierkegaard's early journal entries and traces the development of his work chronologically to the final The Changelessness of God. The book presents generous selections from all of Kierkegaard's landmark works, including Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, Works of Love, and The Sickness unto Death, and draws new attention to a host of such lesser-known writings as Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions and The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air. The selections are carefully chosen to reflect the unique character of Kierkegaard's work, with its shifting pseudonyms, its complex dialogues, and its potent combination of irony, satire, sermon, polemic, humor, and fiction. We see the esthetic, ethical, and ethical-religious ways of life initially presented as dialogue in two parallel series of pseudonymous and signed works and later in the "second authorship" as direct address. And we see the themes that bind the whole together, in particular Kierkegaard's overarching concern with, in his own words, "What it means to exist; . . . what it means to be a human being."

Together, the selections provide the best available introduction to Kierkegaard's writings and show more completely than any other book why his work, in all its creativity, variety, and power, continues to speak so directly today to so many readers around the world.

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Eternity and Eternal Life

Speculative Theology and Science in Discourse

The Newtonian concept of time has been changed by Einsteinian insight. Yet the Einsteinian world view might make it difficult to appreciate traditional concepts of eschatology, like heaven and hell, death and immortality, life after death and resurrection, last day and final judgments, because these expressions presuppose a pre-Einsteinian view of the universe. Since theology cannot remain unaffected by the new research in concepts of time, Eternity and Eternal Life tries to express the eschatological faith of the Church by using the time language of our age. To achieve this it provides an overview on the research in the nature of time done in geology, cosmology, physics, biology, psychology, sociology, history and philosophy and proposes a notion of time for “timely” Christology and for “timely” eschatology.

By using the singularity event as literary form, Horvath scrutinizes how Christ’s time can lead to the times of all existing realities, through death to “eternity.” This is a pioneering work, one that needs to be tested in the community of interested readers. It is a communal search for an understanding of life, death and eternal life, not only in the light of abstract ideas and cultural linguistic doctrines in the world of religions, but also in the light of science and especially of a person as the horizon of understanding for both time and eternity. Christ as the eschatological union of time and eternity becomes the work’s unifying focus and its paradigm, which solves recognized problems and opens our minds to new ones.

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Ethical Method of John Duns Scotus

A Contribution to Roman Catholic Moral Theology

The four papers in this volume were presented at a symposium celebrating the anticipated beatification of John Duns Scotus, summer 1992. They address Scotus’s perspective on The Nature of the Human Person, Free Will, and Decision-making in the private and public spheres.

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Ethics and the Problem of Evil

Edited by James P. Sterba

The problem of evil has been an extremely active area of study in the philosophy of religion for many years. Until now, most sources have focused on logical, metaphysical, and epistemological issues, leaving moral questions as open territory. James P. Sterba and the contributors to this volume focus on the yet untapped resources of ethical theory. These essays consider topics such as Kantian moral philosophy, Thomistic virtue theory, and the Pauline Principle—the doctrine of double effect, and God’s actions in permitting evil. These new reflections shift from assessing the world’s particular and particularly horrendous evils to discussion of how ethical theory undergirds the evaluation of the problem of evil. With the resources of ethical theory firmly in hand, this volume provides lively insight into this ageless philosophical issue.

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Ethics, Love, and Faith in Kierkegaard

Philosophical Engagements

Edited by Edward F. Mooney

Ethics, Love, and Faith in Kierkegaard collects essays from 13 leading scholars that center on key themes that characterize Kierkegaard's philosophy of religion. With their unique focus on notions of the self, views on the command to love one's neighbor, thoughts on melancholy and despair, and the articulation of religious vision, the essays in this volume cover the breadth and depth of Kierkegaard's philosophical and religious writings. Poised at the intersection of Kierkegaard's moral psychology and its religious significance, they offer vivid testimony to the ongoing power of his unique and fervent religious spirit. Students and scholars alike will find new light shed on questions that define Kierkegaard's philosophy and religion today.

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The Ethics of Death

Religious and Philosophical Perspectives in Dialogue

by Lloyd Steffen and Dennis R. Cooley

For the living, death has a moral dimension. When we confront death and dying in our own lives and in the lives of others, we ask questions about the good, right, and fitting as they relate to our experiences of human mortality. When others die, the living are left with moral questions—questions that often generate personal inquiry as to whether a particular death was “good” or whether it was tragic, terrifying, or peaceful.

In The Ethics of Death, the authors, one a philosopher and one a religious studies scholar, undertake an examination of the deaths that we experience as members of a larger moral community. Their respectful and engaging dialogue highlights the complex and challenging issues that surround many deaths in our modern world and helps readers frame thoughtful responses.

Unafraid of difficult topics, Steffen and Cooley fully engage suicide, physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, and war as areas of life where death poses moral challenges.

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Evidence and Transcendence

Religious Epistemology and the God-World Relationship

Anne E. Inman

In Evidence and Transcendence, Anne Inman critiques modern attempts to explain the knowability of God and points the way toward a religious epistemology that avoids their pitfalls. Christian apologetics faces two major challenges: the classic Enlightenment insistence on the need to provide evidence for anything that is put forward for belief; and the argument that all human knowledge is mediated by finite reality and thus no “knowledge” of a being interpreted as completely other than finite reality is possible. Modern Christian apologists have tended to understand their task primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of one of these challenges. As examples of contemporary rationalist and postliberal approaches, Inman analyzes in depth the religious epistemologies of philosopher Richard Swinburne and theologians George Lindbeck and Ronald Theimann. She concludes that none of their positions is satisfactory, because none can uphold the notion of God’s transcendence while at the same time preserving a sound account of our claims to freedom and knowledge. The root cause of such failures, Inman argues, is an inadequate philosophy of God and of the relation of God and the finite world. Her exploration of the theologies of Karl Rahner and Friedrich Schleiermacher provides the material for the constructive work in this book. Against rationalist and postliberal epistemologies, Inman calls for an austere grounding of Christian faith in the claim that God is known in human conscious activity as such, as the “other” that grounds the finite.

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