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BOOK REVIEWS 125 important themes do not appear at all. This is understandable in a man who is deeply engaged with his subject, a subject on which he sheds a great deal of light. Therefore, I recommend the book very highly. AN~LO A. DE GENNARO Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles God and Reason: A Historical Approach to Philosophical Theology. By Ed. L. Miller. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1972. Pp. 244. $3.75) God and Reason is a clearly written, historically accurate introduction to basic thinkers and issues in philosophical theology. It is intended largely for use in the undergraduate classroom, and it would work well in that setting. Advanced readers may find it helpful too ---not so much because new ground is broken but rather because Miller raises, perhaps not always intentionally, difficult problems that currently need attention. Miller states that philosophical theology differs from the philosophy of religion. The latter is a "second-order" discipline characterized by "philosophizing in a more or less analytic manner about religion" (p. 20). Philosophical theology utilizes the analytic thrust of the philosophy of religion but turns out to be "more comprehensive" because it entails "actual theologizing" (p. 20). Miller regards the latter element as missing from the philosophy of religion. Ultimately, then, philosophical theology is "the attempt to attain knowledge of God through the lumen naturale, man's 'natural light', independently of special revelation" (p. 12). In their own ways, Miller believes, most persons are "committed to taking philosophical theology seriously" (p. v). Its main problems---God, evil, and immortality--are thrust upon us in daily experience. We come to terms with them in some way or other. Miller hopes to stimulate and refine our thinking about these issues. In doing so, he maintains that "there is only one really adequate approach to these problems, namely, the historical approach " (p. v). To begin without a sound historical orientation would be "presumptuous, if not ludicrous" (p. v). Moreover, at the outset he acknowledges that his book reflects the conviction "that God has disclosed himself and spoken to man in the Christian Revelation " (p. vi). Presentation and analysis of the traditional arguments for God's existence dominate about a third of the book. A chapter each is given to the ontological, cosmological, teleological , and moral arguments. Each approach is treated lucidly. The discussion is developed in terms of classical and contemporary thinkers and reflects well the diversity of opinion that emerges from efforts to "prove" God's reality. Other chapters deal with religious experience, faith and reason, evil, and immortality. Two concluding chapters focus on religious language (including a solid discussion of the verification and falsification debates ) and some "new theologies." The latter category includes Barth, Bultmann, Tillich, and Bonhoeffer and touches on the recent "death of God" and "theology of hope" movements as well. If the amount of material incorporated by Miller prevents analysis of individual thinkers in depth and detail, the result overall is still admirable. He illustrates well the multi-faceted dimensions of the problems selected. The reader obtains a broad-gauged understanding of the issues under consideration. On the other hand, the book would be more stimulating if it contained more of Miller's own position to supplement his exposition and analysis of other views. Although he starts by clarifying some of his assumptions, Miller is generally too reluctant to assert his own positions clearly and boldly. Perhaps the most pervasive instance of 126 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY this involves his repeated statements (for example, see pp. 2, 41, 79, 81,158, and 193) that subjective and non-rational (but not irrational) factors always play a part in influencing the philosophical ideas that people hold. In Miller's view, philosophical disagreements cannot always be settled "on purely rational, deductive, or scientific grounds" (p. 158). We react differently to claims and arguments because we bring to them different assumptions, emotions, feelings, and experiences. Miller describes the facts accurately. He neglects, however, to probe their philosophical significance adequately. Too often his description is used merely to conclude--with little movement toward any resolution--a discussion that displays major disagreements on issues such as the problem of evil or the validity of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 125-127
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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