Item description for Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers by Kelly James Clark...
Overview Kelly James Clark's 1995 Christianity Today Award winner---now in softcover! A recent issue of Time magazine reported, "In a quiet revolution in thought and arguments . . . God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening . . . in the crisp, intellectual circles of academic philosophers." Who are these Philosophers Who Believe, and why have they embraced Christian belief? This collection of their intellectual and spiritual autobiographies will be welcomed by students, professors, and anyone curious about the connections between philosophy and Christianity.
Publishers Description Voted one of Christianity Today's 1995 Books of the Year Time magazine reports on a remarkable renaissance of religious belief among philosophers: "In a quiet revolution in thought and arguments that hardly anyone could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening . . . in the crisp, intellectual circles of academic philosophers. . . . Now it is more respectable among philosophers than it has been for a generation to talk about the possibility of God's existence." Relying on boldness and rigorous thought, the movers and shakers of this "quiet revolution" have developed their theories against the rising tide of strict empiricism. Who are these tough-minded intellectuals, and why have they embraced Christian belief? In Philosophers Who Believe several key thinkers answer this question with unusual candor, warmth and brilliance. Contributors include: Alvin Plantinga University of Notre Dame, considered the world's leading Protestant philosopher of God. Basil Mitchell Oxford University, author of such groundbreaking books as The Justification of Religious Belief. Mortimer Adler Institute for Philosophical Research, renowned for his prolific writings and his work to revive an emphasis on the "Great Books" in higher education. Nicholas Wolterstorff Yale University, whose innovative work has led to invitations to deliver the distinguished Wilde Lectures at Oxford and Gifford Lectures in Scotland. Richard Swinburne Oxford University, the premier rational apologist of our age. Frederick Suppe University of Maryland at College Park, a premier philosopher of science. John Rist University of Toronto, expert on the late Ancient and early Medieval periods of philosophy. Linda Zagzebski Loyola Marymount University, recognized for her work on divine foreknowledge and human freedom. Stephen Davis Claremont McKenna College, author of books on topics ranging from the nature of God to the inspiration of Scripture. Terence Penelhum University of Calgary (professor emeritus), acclaimed for research on skepticism and religious belief in the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment eras. Nicholas Rescher University of Pittsburgh, prolific author and editor of prestigious scholarly journals. Winner of aChristianity Today book award for the original cloth edition, Philosophers Who Believe is now available in paperback. This collection of intellectual and spiritual autobiographies will be helpful--even inspirational--for students and teachers of philosophy as well as for readers who are simply curious about the connections between philosophy and Christian faith.
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Studio: IVP Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.01" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.83" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Nov 29, 1997
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830815430 ISBN13 9780830815432
Availability 0 units.
More About Kelly James Clark
Kelly James Clark is associate professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Kelly James Clark currently resides in the state of Michigan. Kelly James Clark was born in 1956.
Reviews - What do customers think about Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers?
Understand the Purpose of this Book Feb 4, 2006
Like _God and the Philosophers_, this book is *not* a book of apologetics. It is, rather, an insightful look into the personal lives and thoughts of some of the worlds top philosophers who are also Christians. It is very successful in that task. The contributors list is a veritable Who's Who of philosophy and it is not as provincial as the Library Journal review above would have you beleive:
Thomas Morris William P. Alston (Episcopal) Peter van Inwagen (Episcipal-Anglo-Catholic) Michael J. Murray William J. Wainwritght Merold Westphal C. Stephen Layman (Episcopal) Jerry Walls Robert C. Roberts Jeff Jordan Marilyn McCord Adams (Episcopal) Brian Leftow (Episcopal/Ango-Catholic) George Mavrodes Eleonore Stump (Catholic)
This book will challenge the discerning reader from both the rationalistic Christian perspective as well as the skeptic who is reading attentively. Very highly recommended.
Mortimer Adler Comes to Faith Dec 8, 2004
When I was in college I was introduced to Mortimer Adler's useful book aptly named,"How to Read a Book." I found Mr. Adler's thinking and writing very interesting and practical. The book opened up new worlds for me and in many ways I felt I was reading for the first time.
Consequently I became facinated with Mr. Adler thoughts on philosophy. I found a book in the library by him named "How to Think About God." If God did exist, Adler opined, here's what he would be like. Although he hadn't made the leap to faith in God (neither had I), he did open up the possibility that God existed and streched my thinking on the subject.
Years later after I had grown to know and love God and grown in my faith, I ran accross this book, "Philosophers Who Believe," which had a section on Mortimer Adler. I was pleased and astonished that he had come to faith much as I had. It seemed that we had shared a common journey through life and faith. Even though we never met personally, I will always be indebted to Adler for leading me in my personal development and my growth in my relationship with God.
The book outlines not just Adler's story but the story of other philosophers as well. If you are a searching soul, this book will show you how others with thoughtful lives have come to faith as well.
Very worthwhile, but not exactly what I was expecting Jan 3, 2003
I found this to be generally interesting, but not exactly what the title had led me to expect. I was expecting a more philosophical/intellectual discussion of belief - i.e., why these scholars find Christian theology convincing notwithstanding their training in philosophy. Instead, this might just as easily be "Lawyers Who Believe" or "Accountants Who Believe." In other words, the contributors' descriptions of how they came to their beliefs and how they maintain them in an academic environment generally struck me as no more (or less) profound or well-thought-out than you might get from any group of reasonably intelligent Christians. The essays are well-written, candid and diverse, but overall the book seemed to convey no deeper message than: "See, not all academics regard Christianity as nonsense." I thus had the feeling that the book might be aimed primarily at college-age readers rather than those of us who have struggled with our beliefs at least as much as these folks and were hoping for something meatier. Too often, I was left wondering: "So precisely why, having been steeped in philosophy, are you a Christian? Can you explain it a little more deeply?" I give this four stars because I did enjoy all of the essays and found them to be generally worthwhile, albeit not what I was expecting from "11 leading thinkers." I also appreciated the fact that the book has no particular agenda, except to demonstrate that belief isn't incompatible with a high level of intelligence and academic training; the contributors' beliefs seem to range across a wide spectrum of Christianity. (Be forewarned that some of these essays are VERY candid: One contributor discusses his promiscuous homosexuality and struggles with masturbation at greater length than we perhaps needed in order to get the picture. On the other hand, it's admirable of him and the others that they were willing to be this honest, because a dishonest spiritual autobiography would be pretty useless.)
Interesting Testimonies and Topics Sep 28, 2002
This is a very interesting book if for no other reason than reading the testimonies of how these thinkers embraced Christianity. Moreover, these thinkers also discuss the moving trends in philosophy, especially the philosophy of religion, toward a more theistic based system (i.e. the possibility of God's existence being more readily embraced).
While I do not necessarily agree with all that is espoused in these pages, it made for quite interesting reading, nonetheless. Spiritual journeys of thinkers such as Mortimer Adler, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne and others are included. The biggest surprise, for me anyway, was Humean scholar Terence Penelhum - I enjoyed his chapter the most. Several of these men give their histories (e.g. upbringings, influences, philosophical changes which occurred in their lives, etc.) which also made for quite interesting reading.
This book has many different elements present - for example, this book is biographical, philosophical, theological, spiritual, religious, and contains diverse Christian beliefs, which allows it to speak to a wide audience. Another interesting element of this book is the issues which are discussed. There were a few men, though, that I thought could have been added to the text - William Lane Craig for instance (though he may not have the teaching reputation in a major university that these other men have, he certainly has the writing reputation in the arena of philosophy of religion). Overall, this was a pretty good text and covered some interesting topics.
Humans do philosophy, too! Dec 14, 2001
I have to admit a bias against, and consequent ignorance of, academic philosophy. I tend to think all human beings are philosophers by nature, but suspect professional philosophers may forget they are human beings. One measure of my ignorance is that, even though I've written a couple rather philosophical books on the truth of Christianity in relation to other religions, I had never heard of the authors of this book, aside from Plantinga, Adler, and Wolterstorff.
This book seems an ideal introduction to them for someone like me. (Or, yes, the intellectual but down-to-earth uncle you're looking for a present for.) Most of the autobios are genial and human, written with sometimes surprising honesty. Reason is not discarded as irrelevent to the spiritual quest, nor given a naive carte blanche, but seems to integrate naturally into the whollist ic engagement with reality that our spiritual lives, with their sometimes ambivalent attitude towards truth, tend to be.
Some of the stories are pretty far out; one or two a bit dull. Frederick Suppe seems to have lived his life on the edge, and made a wild story even more dramatic by his matter-of-fact style and repressed passion -- a lonely thrill-seeker spending a life trying to choose between God and sin, apparently doing top-notch philosophy (as both vocation and avocation) all the while. Wolterstorff's warmth and unabashed affirmation of his roots makes a good read. I noticed a lot of parallel's between Basil Mitchell's story and C. S. Lewis' growth, as described in Surprised by Joy, and enjoyed the story. I could also relate to Richard Swinburne's honest confession that he tended to be rather glad Christianity was a minority religion, "The more clever people there were to argue against, the better!" (It reminded me of the French general who, when reminded that his unit was surrounded, replied, "Great! Then we can attack in any direction!")
A book is a meeting of minds. An anthology arranging a common medium for that meeting to take place. At its best, this book takes on something of the atmosphere of a campfire on the last day of camp, with the stars overhead, darkness all around, a blaze before us, lending not only light, but warmth as well, as campers of the most thoughtful possible kind through pine cones on the fire and share what they learned over the weekend.