Item description for Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought by William L. Reese...
First published in 1980, and now substantially revised and enlarged, this panoramic survey of philosophic and religious thought, both ancient and modern, provides access to a wide array of ideas. More than just a dictionary, this well-designed reference work contains analytical commentary and historical accounts on a vast range of topics, select bibliographies attached to many of the entries, and considerable cross-referencing. The cross-references run from philosophic movements, to technical terms, to the positions of individual philosophers, thus encouraging a personal exploration of the themes, movements, and thinkers of any particular school of thought. The end result is a reasonably compact single volume with many of the features of a multivolume encyclopedia. Reese covers both analytic and Continental philosophy, and includes a good deal of the history of philosophy. There are biographical entries for more than 900 ancient, medieval, and modern philosophers, for a total number of entries of over 4000. This new edition expands on the original treatment of religion and Asian philosophy and includes enlarged perspectives on Continental philosophy. Named "Outstanding Reference Work" by the American Library Association, the first edition was a Book-of-the-Month science pick and a selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club. Authoritative, comprehensive, clear, and interesting, The Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion will benefit the nonspecialist and specialist alike.
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Studio: Prometheus Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1.75" Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 1996
Publisher Prometheus Books
ISBN 1573926213 ISBN13 9781573926218
Availability 2 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 19, 2017 10:59.
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More About William L. Reese
Charles Hartshorne had a long and distinguished career at the University of Chicago and was one of America's leading philosophers of religion, with dozens of books and hundreds of articles to his credit. William L. Reese, a student of Hartshorne's and the author or editor of a dozen books and scores of articles on philosophy and the philosophy of religion, is professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Albany.
William L. Reese currently resides in Slingerlands, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought?
Highly Readable and Useful Oct 6, 2006
This is one of the most readable books that I own, which seems out of character for a "Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion" but it is very true. I can sit down with this book for hours at any given time. I think a big part of that is the excellent cross-reference system, so you can start anywhere and then see the linkages between different thoughts; which means that every reading of the book is like a journey. Another great feature of the book is that it covers both ideas and the people who forwarded them in the linking system so you can start with a study on epistemology and then end up ranging over half the book because you link to the people with the ideas and then back to the other ideas that the particular philospher had.
The drawbacks to such an approach are clear. After all, the book has to have some limitation to its length and it is covering many authors who wrote many thousands of pages on their own ideas, so the articles have to do quite a bit of summing up. Since it is absurd to expect deeper coverage from such a book anyway, I feel just fine highly recommending it.
Indispensible Sep 29, 2005
I think this is a great reference book to have for anybody who is interested in the world of philosophy and religion. However its only shortcoming is there is more coverage on western civilization than others. It is understandable in any case because of the great difficulties involved in covering all civilizations. I hope the future expanded editions may remedy this to some extent. I am very glad to have a copy of it.
Timely delivery in good condition Sep 4, 2005
The ordered book arrived on time in good condition. Thanks.
A Cure for Boredom Dec 29, 2003
When I am bored with everything, this is one of the books I like to pick up and browse through. There's so much material here, I'm bound to find something interesting or even inspiring.
This has taught me a lot. Aug 24, 2002
I have been using this book for years, but I never had to learn anything that is in this book, being so amateur in philosophy that I don't have to trouble myself with the ideas for which most of the people in this book have become famous. I have usually expected things to be much simpler than the information which this book has to offer. It has nice definitions of some Greek and Latin words that I find meaningful, once I know what they are supposed to be about. On the Hebrew source of the word "Gehenna," the place used for "the city dump of Jerusalem" where fires burned constantly, the extra information, "according to tradition, [first-born] children had been sacrificed there to the god Moloch," provides a lot of insight into its use in The New Testament, where the King James Version often uses "hell."
For years, this book was my main source of information on Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). I suspect that it is right about "he was condemned to death, and burned alive in the Campo Dei Fiori on February 17, 1600." I have tried to make sense of a few of Bruno's books, like THE EXPULSION OF THE TRIUMPHANT BEAST, but I'm inclined to accept the list of main ideas in this dictionary as the sum of his accomplishments. Dying for the idea that "The universe is infinite" makes more sense than some of his monads, and "To consider reality in its multiplicity" is an achievement that I can appreciate.
On the other hand, the entry for Paul Tillich (1886-1965) illustrates a theologian's ability to distinguish "between three forms of reasoning~heteronymous, autonomous, and theonomous." I thought heteronymous would be pretty good, but Tillich thought that even "Autonomous reason takes its principles from within, but thereby reveals itself as vacuous and tautological." Being able to accept that Tillich would say that is part of being able to appreciate what this book is all about. I'm not saying that these guys are always right about anything.