21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2003
Davies has succeeded in producing a standard text for those engaged in undergraduate study of philosophy of religion. The book is divided into the main sections of inquiry that the philosophy of religion is concerned with: religious language, arguments for and against the existence of God, reason and religious belief and the nature of God, etc. Within each section Davies presents a neat introductory chapter, detailing the elements of the argument that the book records and demonstrating the historical and conceptual dialectic that they form. The remainder of the section then holds the appropriate primary texts pertaining to his introduction.
Not only does this introduction and expositiong method demonstrate to the uninitated the form that philosophical discussion takes, it also provides an easily referencable starting point for essays and further research into the topic. This is enhanced by the excellent 'Notes on Contributers' at the beginning of the book, the thorough index at the close, and the questions for consideration at the end of each section.
The selection of texts may not be as broad as some anthologies, but what Davies seems to be aiming to do is build the confidence of the beginner within the safe and well defined structure of his book and this he does well. Adequate stimulus for futher research is provided in the suggested reading.
Davies must be congratulated on producing an easily understandable, eminently quotable guide to philosophy of religion. If you must chose between this and his 'An Introduction to the Philosophy if Religion' don't be distracted by the other's slimness and comparative cheapness: this is the superior book.
on 26 June 2015
A pretty good anthology, inspiring readers to seek out more by the 'contributing' authors. I was very sorry to see no female voices included at all, though (no Julian of Norwich or Teresa of Avila?). Also while the subject is necessarily broad, this book is primarily Western/Christian; I hope a similar anthology is planned with religious philosophies from further geographically and culturally afield.