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Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion

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In Praise of Heteronomy

Making Room for Revelation

Merold Westphal

Recognizing the essential heteronomy of postmodern philosophy of religion, Merold Westphal argues against the assumption that human reason is universal, neutral, and devoid of presupposition. Instead, Westphal contends that any philosophy is a matter of faith and the philosophical encounter with theology arises from the very act of thinking. Relying on the work of Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel, Westphal discovers that their theologies render them mutually incompatible and their claims to be the voice of autonomous and universal reason look dubious. Westphal grapples with this plural nature of human thought in the philosophy of religion and he forwards the idea that any appeal to the divine must rest on a historical and phenomenological analysis.

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The Insistence of God

A Theology of Perhaps

John D. Caputo

The Insistence of God presents the provocative idea that God does not exist, God insists, while God’s existence is a human responsibility, which may or may not happen. For John D. Caputo, God’s existence is haunted by "perhaps," which does not signify indecisiveness but an openness to risk, to the unforeseeable. Perhaps constitutes a theology of what is to come and what we cannot see coming. Responding to current critics of continental philosophy, Caputo explores the materiality of perhaps and the promise of the world. He shows how perhaps can become a new theology of the gaps God opens.

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Kant and the New Philosophy of Religion

Edited by Chris L. Firestone and Stephen R. Palmquist

While earlier work has emphasized Kant's philosophy of religion as thinly disguised morality, this timely and original reappraisal of Kant's philosophy of religion incorporates recent scholarship. In this volume, Chris L. Firestone, Stephen R. Palmquist, and the other contributors make a strong case for more specific focus on religious topics in the Kantian corpus. Main themes include the relationship between Kant's philosophy of religion and his philosophy as a whole, the contemporary relevance of specific issues arising out of Kant's philosophical theology, and the relationship of Kant's philosophy to Christian theology. As a whole, this book capitalizes on contemporary movements in Kant studies by looking at Kant not as an anti-metaphysician, but as a genuine seeker of spirituality in the human experience.

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Kierkegaard and Death

Edited by Patrick Stokes and Adam Buben

Few philosophers have devoted such sustained, almost obsessive attention to the topic of death as Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard and Death brings together new work on Kierkegaard's multifaceted discussions of death and provides a thorough guide to the development, in various texts and contexts, of Kierkegaard's ideas concerning death. Essays by an international group of scholars take up essential topics such as dying to the world, living death, immortality, suicide, mortality and subjectivity, death and the meaning of life, remembrance of the dead, and the question of the afterlife. While bringing Kierkegaard's philosophy of death into focus, this volume connects Kierkegaard with important debates in contemporary philosophy.

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Kierkegaard and Levinas

Ethics, Politics, and Religion

Edited by J. Aaron Simmons and David Wood

Recent discussions in the philosophy of religion, ethics, and personal political philosophy have been deeply marked by the influence of two philosophers who are often thought to be in opposition to each other, Søren Kierkegaard and Emmanuel Levinas. Devoted expressly to the relationship between Levinas and Kierkegaard, this volume sets forth a more rigorous comparison and sustained engagement between them. Established and newer scholars representing varied philosophical traditions bring these two thinkers into dialogue in 12 sparkling essays. They consider similarities and differences in how each elaborated a unique philosophy of religion, and they present themes such as time, obligation, love, politics, God, transcendence, and subjectivity. This conversation between neighbors is certain to inspire further inquiry and ignite philosophical debate.

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Kierkegaard and the Catholic Tradition

Conflict and Dialogue

Jack Mulder, Jr.

Although Søren Kierkegaard, considered one of the most passionate Christian writers of the modern age, was a Lutheran, he was deeply dissatisfied with the Lutheran establishment of his day. Some scholars have said that he pushed his faith toward Catholicism. Placing Kierkegaard in sustained dialogue with the Catholic tradition, Jack Mulder, Jr., does not simply review Catholic reactions to or interpretations of Kierkegaard, but rather provides an extended look into convergences and differences on issues such as natural theology, natural moral law, Christian love, apostolic authority, the doctrine of hell, contrition for sins, the doctrine of purgatory, and the communion of saints. Through his analysis of Kierkegaard's philosophy of religion, Mulder presents deeper possibilities for engagements between Protestantism and Catholicism.

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Kierkegaard and the Life of Faith

The Aesthetic, the Ethical, and the Religious in Fear and Trembling

Jeffrey Hanson

Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling is one of the most widely read works of Continental philosophy and the philosophy of religion. While several commentaries and critical editions exist, Jeffrey Hanson offers a distinctive approach to this crucial text. Hanson gives equal weight and attention to all three of Kierkegaard’s "problems," dealing with Fear and Trembling as part of the entire corpus of Kierkegaard's production and putting all parts into relation with each other. Additionally, he offers a distinctive analysis of the Abraham story and other biblical texts, giving particular attention to questions of poetics, language, and philosophy, especially as each relates to the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious. Presented in a thoughtful, well-informed, and fresh manner, Hanson’s claims are original and edifying. This new reading of Kierkegaard will stimulate fruitful dialogue on well-traveled philosophical ground.

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Kierkegaard and the Self before God

Anatomy of the Abyss

Simon D. Podmore

Simon D. Podmore claims that becoming a self before God is both a divine gift and an anxious obligation. Before we can know God, or ourselves, we must come to a moment of recognition. How this comes to be, as well as the terms of such acknowledgment, are worked out in Podmore's powerful new reading of Kierkegaard. As he gives full consideration to Kierkegaard's writings, Podmore explores themes such as despair, anxiety, melancholy, and spiritual trial, and how they are broken by the triumph of faith, forgiveness, and the love of God. He confronts the abyss between the self and the divine in order to understand how we can come to know ourselves in relation to a God who is apparently so wholly Other.

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Kierkegaard, Communication, and Virtue

Authorship as Edification

Mark A. Tietjen

In contrast to recent postmodern and deconstructionist readings, Mark A. Tietjen believes that the purpose behind Kierkegaard's writings is the moral and religious improvement of the reader. Tietjen defends Kierkegaard against claims that certain features of his works, such as pseudonymity, indirect communication, irony, and satire are self-deceived or deceitful. Kierkegaard, Communication, and Virtue reveals how they are directly related to the virtues or moral issues being discussed. In fact, Tietjen argues, the manner of presentation is a critical element of the philosophical message being conveyed. Reading broadly in Kierkegaard’s writings, he develops a hermeneutics of trust that fully illustrates Kierkegaard’s aim to evoke faith in his reader.

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Kierkegaard's God and the Good Life

Edited by Stephen Minister, J. Aaron Simmons, and Michael Strawser

Kierkegaard's God and the Good Life focuses on faith and love, two central topics in Kierkegaard's writings, to grapple with complex questions at the intersection of religion and ethics. Here, leading scholars reflect on Kierkegaard's understanding of God, the religious life, and what it means to exist ethically. The contributors then shift to psychology, hope, knowledge, and the emotions as they offer critical and constructive readings for contemporary philosophical debates in the philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, and epistemology. Together, they show how Kierkegaard continues to be an important resource for understandings of religious existence, public discourse, social life, and how to live virtuously.

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