107: PHILOSOPHY OF REliGION READING liST (Hilary Term 2002)

Based on the philosophy faculty reading list (by R.G. Swinburne)
(see
http://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/sample_reading_lists/FHS/ )

Dr Daniel von Wachter, Oriel College

Introductions and Textbooks

Peterson, M. et al Reason and Religious Belief 2nd edition (OUP, 1998)

Yandell, Keith E. 1999. Philosophy of Religion: A Contemporary Introduction. London and New York: Routledge.

Taliaferro, C. Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell, 1998)

(I recommend to read as introduction an opinionated clear work like R. Swinburne, Is There a God?, OUP 1996.)

Books Advocating General Positions

Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism (Clarendon, 1982)

Swinburne, R. The Existence of God 2nd edition (OUP, 1991); see also the easier version of this: Is There a God? (OUP, 1996).

Plantinga, A. God, Freedom and Evil (George Allen & Unwin 1975 or reprint)

Plantinga, A. & Wolterstorff, N. eds Faith and Rationality (Univ. Notre Dame Press, 1983)

Collections

Stump, E. & Murray, M. Philosophy of Religion: the Big Questions (Blackwell, 1998)

Peterson, M. et al Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings (OUP, 1996)

Davies, B. ed. Philosophy of Religion. A guide and Anthology (OUP, 2000)

Pojman, L. ed Philosophy of Religion 3rd edition (Wadsworth, 1998)

Brody, B. ed Readings in the Philosophy of Religion 2nd edition (Prentice Hall, 1992)

(Most of these collections have selections on most of the topics listed below, and many of the readings given below are contained also in one or more of these collections)

TOPICS

1. Omniscience

Could there be an omniscient being?
If so would his existence be incompatible with his own free will or that of humans?

Swinburne, R, The Coherence of Theism, ch. 10.

Pike, N. ‘Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action’ in Philosophical Review, vol 74, (1965), pp 27-46 (partly reprinted in Peterson ed., 115-120, and in Davies ed., ch.45)

Hasker, W. God, Time and Knowledge (Cornell UP, 1989) chs 1-7 & 10.

Pike, N. ‘A Latter-day look at the Foreknowledge Problem’ in International Journal for Philosophy of Religion ,vol 33 (1993), pp 129-164

Alston, W.P. ‘Divine Foreknowledge and Alternative Conceptions of Human Freedom’ in International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, vol 18 (1985), pp 19-32

Grim, P. ‘Against Omniscience: the Case from Essential Indexicals’ in Noûs, vol 19 (1985), pp 151-180

Kretzmann, N. ‘Omniscience and Immutability’ in Journal of Philosophy, vol 63 (1966), pp 409-420

Casteneda, H-N. ‘Omniscience and Indexical Reference’ in Journal of Philosophy, vol 64 (1967), pp 203-209

(Some of these articles are reprinted in: Fischer, John Martin. 1989. God, foreknowledge, and freedom, Stanford series in philosophy. Stanford University Press.)

Sanders, J. ‘Why Simple Foreknowledge offers no more Providential Control than the Openness of God’ in Faith and Philosophy, vol 14 (1997), pp 26-40.

Plantinga, A., ‘On Ockham’s Way Out’, reprinted in: Stump ed., ch.3.

2. Perfect Goodness.

Is what is good independent of the will of God?
If so, could God be essentially perfectly good?

Swinburne, R. The Coherence of Theism 2nd edition (OUP, 1993) ch 11

Rachels, J ‘God and human attitudes’ in Helm, P. ed Divine Commands and Morality (OUP, 1981), pp 34-48

Adams, R.M. ‘A modified divine command theory of ethical wrongness’ in Helm, P. ed Divine Commands and Morality (OUP, 1981), pp. 83-108

Adams, R.M. ‘Divine command metaethics as necessary a posteriori’ wrongness’ in Helm, P. ed Divine Commands and Morality (OUP, 1981), pp. 109-119

Pike, N. ‘Omnipotence and God’s ability to sin’ in Helm, P. ed Divine Commands and Morality (OUP, 1981), pp. 67-82

Adams, R.M. ‘Must God create the best?’ in Morris, T.V. ed The Concept of God (OUP, 1987), pp. 91-106

Morris, T.V ‘Duty and divine goodness’ in ’ in Morris, T.V. ed The Concept of God (OUP, 1987), pp 107-121

Further:

Stump & Murray (ed.), part six.

3. Timelessness

Could God be outside time?

Davies, B., ed., Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology, 482-530. (This contains amongst other texts: Wolterstorff, N. ‘God Everlasting’ in Cahn, S. & Shatz, D. eds Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (OUP, 1982) (also in Peterson ed., where there is also a pice by Boethius); Stump, E. & Kretzmann, N. ‘Eternity’ in Journal of Philosophy vol 78 1981 pp 429-58 (also in Stump ed.))

Hasker, W. God, Time and Knowledge (Cornell, 1989) chs 8-9

Swinburne, R. ‘God and Time’ in Stump, E. ed Reasoned Faith (Cornell, 1993)

Further:

Philosophia Christi 2 (2000).

Leftow, Brian. 1991. Time and Eternity. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ Pr.

Helm, P. Eternal God (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988)

Pike, N. God and Timelessness (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970)

4. Incarnation

Could God have a body? Could God become man?

Wainwright, W. in Morris, T. ed The Concept of God (OUP, 1987)

Davis, S.T. Logic and the Nature of God (Macmillan, 1983) ch 8

Morris, T.V. Understanding Identity Statements (Aberdeen UP, 1984) ch 9

Morris, T.V. The Logic of God Incarnate (Cornell UP, 1986) esp. ch 1-6

5. Analogy

In talking about God, in what sense – if any – of analogy does Theology use words in analogical senses?

Copleston, F.C. Aquinas (Penguin, 1955 or reprint) pp 126-136

St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologiae (Blackfriars, 1964-81) Ia.13

Sherry, P. ‘Analogy Today’ in Philosophy vol 51 1976 pp 431-446

(NB this is not his paper ‘Analogy Reviewed’).

Alston, W.P. ‘Can we speak literally of God?’ and ‘Functionalism and Theological Language’ in his Divine Nature and Human Language (Cornell UP, 1989). The former is also in Peterson ed Philosophy of Religion (OUP, 1996); the latter is in Morris ed The Concept of God (OUP, 1987)

Alston, W.P. ‘Aquinas on Theological Predication’ in Stump, E. ed Reasoned Faith (Cornell UP, 1993)

Soskice, J. Metaphor and Religious Language (Clarendon, 1985) chs 6-8

6. Cosmological and Teleological Arguments

Does the existence of and the order in the world support theism?

Leibniz, G. On the Ultimate Origination of Things (found in Leibniz, Philosophical Writings ed Parkinson, G. (Everyman, 1973) or Leibniz, Philosophical Essays tr. Ariew, R. & Garber, D. (Hacker, 1989))

R.G. Swinburne, 1996, Is There a God, chs. 1-4; for a more rigorous treatment see his The Existence of God, chs. 1-3, 5-8, and Appendix B.

Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism (Clarendon, 1982) chs 5 & 8

Leslie, J. ‘Anthropic Principle. World Ensemble, Design’ in American Philosophical Quarterly vol 19 (1982), pp 141-152; or Leslie’s book Universes.

Hume, D. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Routledge, 1991 or reprint)

Or: 6a. Principles of Inductive Reasoning; The Cosmological Argument

Is the existence of the universe evidence for the existence of God?

R.G. Swinburne, Is There a God, chs. 1-4; for a more rigorous treatment see his The Existence of God, chs. 1, 2, 3, 5, 7.

G.W. Leibniz: On the Ultimate Origination of Things.

J.L. Mackie: The Miracle of Theism, ch. 5.

W. Rowe: "The Cosmological Argument", in Stump & Murray, eds, pp. 84-93.

D. Parfit: "The Puzzle of Reality: Why does the Universe Exist?", and Response by R Swinburne, in P. van Inwagen & D.W. Zimmerman, eds., Metaphysics: The Big Questions (Blackwell, 1998), pp. 418-430.

See further:

Craig, William Lane. 1991. The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe. Available from http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html

Davies, ed., chs. 13-22 (pp. 179-241).

6b. Teleological Arguments

Does any form of the argument from design show that there is a God?

R.G. Swinburne, Is There a God, chs. 1-4; and his The Existence of God, ch. 8 and Appendix B.

J.L. Mackie: The Miracle of Theism, ch. 8.

Leslie, J. ‘Anthropic Principle. World Ensemble, Design’ in American Philosophical Quarterly vol 19 (1982), pp 141-152; or Leslie’s book Universes; or Leslie, John, 1995, The Prerequisites of Life in Our Universe, available from http://www.origins.org/truth/3truth12.html

D. Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

7. The Problem of Evil

Does the existence of evil in the world show that there is no God?

Rowe, W.L. ‘The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism’ in American Philosophical Quarterly vol 16 (1979), pp 335-341

Plantinga, A. God, Freedom and Evil (George Allen & Unwin, 1975) pp 7-64.

Swinburne, R., ‘Some Major Strands in Theodicy’, in Howard-Snyder, D., ed., The Evidential Argument from Evil (Indiana UP, 1996), 30-48. See also his Providence and the Problem of Evil (Clarendon, 1998)

Wykstra, S.J. ‘The Humean Objection to Evidential Arguments from Suffering: On Avoiding the Evils of Appearance’ in International Journal for Philosophy of Religion vol 16 (1984), pp 73-94

Tracy, T.M. ‘Victimization and the Problem of Evil’ in Faith and Philosophy vol 9 (1992), pp 301-324

Alston, W.P. ‘The Inductive Argument from Evil and the Human Cognitive Condition’ in Howard-Snyder, D. ed The Evidential Argument from Evil (Indiana UP, 1996)

See also: Howard-Snyder, D., The Evidential Argument from Evil; and Adams (ed.) The Problem of Evil.

8. The Evidential Value of Religious Experience.

Can religious experience support theism?

Rowe, W. & Wainwright, W. eds The Philosophy of Religion: selected readings (Harcourt, 1997 3rd edition): the papers in section 5 'Mysticism and Religious Experience' (section 4 of 1st edition, 1973), esp. Martin, C. 'Seeing God'.

Alston, William P., 1998, "Why should there not be experience of God?", in: Davies (ed.), ch. 38 (pp. 383-386). Or: Alston, William P., 1991, Perceiving God, Cornell UP, esp. ch. 8.

Swinburne, R. The Existence of God, ch. 13.

Draper, P. ‘God and Perceptual Evidence’ in International Journal for Philosophy of Religion vol 32 (1992), pp 149-165.

Further:

Wainwright, W. ‘Natural Explanations and Religious Experience’ in Ratio vol 15 (1973), pp 98-102 or his Mysticism: A Study of its Nature, Cognitive Value and Moral Implications (Harvester, 1981) ch 3.

Davis, C. F. The Evidential Force of Religious Experience (Clarendon, 1989) ch 7-8

9. The Ontological Argument and Divine Necessity.

In what sense –if any- of ‘necessary’ could God be a necessary being? (And: In what sense do God’s attributes belong to him necessarily?)

Findlay, J.N., 1948, ‘Can God’s Existence Be Disproved?’, Mind (reprinted in ed. A. Flew & A MacIntyre New Essays in Philosophical Theology)

Adams, R.M. ‘Has it been proved that all real existence is contingent?’ in American Philosophical Quarterly vol 8 (1971), pp 284-291

Adams,R.M. ‘Divine Necessity’ in Journal of Philosophy vol 80 (1983), pp 741-751

Hick, J.H. ‘Necessary Being’ in Donnelly, J. ed Logical Analysis and Contemporary Theism, (Fordham University Press, 1972). Also in Rowe, W. & Wainwright, W. Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings, 1st edition only (Harcourt, 1973)

Morris, T.V. ‘Necessary Beings’ in Mind vol 94 (1985), pp 263-272.

Hick, J.H. Arguments for the Existence of God (Macmillan, 1970) chs 5-6

Hick, J.H. ed The Existence of God (Macmillan, 1964) : extracts from Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant.

Plantinga, A. God, Freedom and Evil (George Allen & Unwin, 1975) pp 85-112

Wachter, D.v., 2001, ‘The Necessity of God’s Existence’,
http://www.gap-im-netz.de/gap4Konf/Proceedings4/pdf/6%20Rel2%20vonWachter.pdf

The two papers by Adams are reproduced in Adams, R. The Virtue of Faith (OUP, 1987)

10. Assess Plantinga’s Two different accounts of what it is for religions belief to be rational, justifies or warranted

(Or: Can theistic belief be properly basic?)

1st Account

Plantinga, A. & Wolterstorff, (eds.) N. Faith and Rationality (Univ. Notre-Dame, 1983) introduction and paper by Plantinga. Plantinga’s paper is reprinted in The Analytic Theist (ed. Sennett), and in Davies (ed.).

Alston, W.P. ‘Plantinga’s Epistemology of Religious Belief’ in Tomberlin, J. & Van Inwagen, P. ed Alvin Plantinga (Reidel, 1985).

Kenny, A. Faith and Reason (Columbia UP, 1983) chs 1-3 OR What is Faith? (OUP, 1992)

2nd Account

Plantinga, A. Warranted Christian Belief , (OUP, 2000) parts 2 and 3

11. Does the kind of faith which is required for the practice of religion involve belief that certain propositions are true; and if so, can someone rationally choose to acquire it?

Penelhum, T. ed Faith (Macmillan, 1989)

Pojman, Louis Religious Belief and the Will (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986)

Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism (Clarendon, 1982), ch 11

Adams, R.M. The Virtue of Faith (OUP, 1987) Part I.

12. The Nature of Miracles and Petitionary Prayer and their evidential force.

What is a miracle? And how can you know that one occurred?

Larmer, Robert, 1988, Water Into Wine?

Swinburne, R. ed Miracles (Macmillan, 1989), introduction, chs. 8, 13, etc. (For a short version of ch. 8 see Davies, ed, 422-430)

Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism (Clarendon, 1982) ch 1 (also in Swinburne, ed., ch. 9)

Keller, James A. `A Moral Argument Against Miracles’, Faith and Philosophy (1995) 12(1) pp.54-78

Stump, E. ‘Petitionary Prayer’ in American Philosophical Quarterly vol 16 (1979), pp 81-91 (also in Swinburne, ed., ch. 15, and Stump, ed., 353-366)

Brümmer, V. What are We Doing When We Pray: a philosophical enquiry? (SCM, 1984)

Forrest, P. ‘Answers to Prayer and Conditional Situations’ in Faith and Philosophy vol 15 (1998), pp 41-51

Further: Earman, John, 2000, Hume’s Abject Failure: The Argument against Miracles, OUP.

THEOLOGICAL TOPICS

13. Life after Death

Are there any philosophical difficulties in the Christian Doctrine of Life after Death?

Davis, S.T., in Davies (ed), pp. 691-707.

Swinburne, Churchland, Zimmerman, in Stump, ed., 367-386.

T. Penelhum Survival and Disembodied Existence.

R Swinburne, The Evolution of the Soul, partII and ch. 15.

P. Badham, Christian Beliefs about Life after Death, parts I and II.

14. Different religions

Does the existence of many different religions cast doubt on the claim of any one of them to be closer to the truth than any other one?

Yandell, Introduction..., ch. 6.

J. Hick, An Interpretation of Religion, parts IV and V.

K. Ward, "Truth and the Diversity of Religions", Religious Studies, 1990.

Articles by Hick, Mavrodes, Plantinga, and Clark in Faith and Philosophy, 1997.

R. Swinburne, Revelation, chs. 5 and 6.

 

 

An extensive bibliography on the Philosophy of Religion prepared by David Brown, is available from the Sub-Faculty of Philosophy (10, Merton St., Oxford)

 

Electronic texts

Many important philosophical texts are now available on-line. The Perseus Project offers many texts in ancient philosophy. Past Masters offers an expanding range of key philosophers. These can be accessed via the philosophy section in OXliP, see Philosophical texts On-line (http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/oxlip/index.html )