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Faith and Reason (Oxford Readers) Paperback – 25 Mar 1999
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an unusually rich collection ... a very helpful introduction to the history of the field and to the current state of the discussion on philosophy in religion (Eleonore Stump, St Loius University)
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Praise for Faith and Reason
'Paul Helms Faith and Reason distinguishes itself from other anthologies in the philosophy of religion in two ways. First, it attempts to locate the debates over the proper roles of faith and reason in the context of the history of western philosophy as a whole. Second, it focuses its material by concentrating on two types of selectionexplicit discussions of the nature and proper places of reason and faith, and arguments for and against the claim that the world is created ex nihilo that illustrate those discussions. Faith and Reasons well chosen selections have a coherence that is lacking in most anthologies in the philosophy of religion. It should attract not only students but the general reader.' William Wainwright, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
'These days there are many anthologies in the philosophy of religion but most are almost wholly predictable in content, re-presenting the same stock of items. Many also fail to take the trouble to extract the relevant core from the selected writings leaving the reader to plough through inessential material - or more likely to abandon the effort. The Faith and Reason Reader offers a wide selection including items rarely anthologised in such collections [(from Cicero, Plotinus, Philo, Origen, Petrarch, Galileo, Montaigne, Tindal, Newman as well as writings by emerging authors from the present generation)]. The extracts are of easily readable length and each section has an introduction. This is ideal for courses in philosophy of religion and theology and is a very useful work of reference.' John Haldane, University of St Andrews
'This Oxford Reader Faith and Reason contains brief excerpts from every significant work on this topic from Plato through to Plantinga. The hope is that this wine taster approach will be an enticement to go back and drink deeply from the whole bottle. It would be an interesting experiment to use this volume as a text for an undergraduate course to see if it has this inspiring effect, even on the TV- and video game-reared student of short attention span. Even if it does not, it will at least make for an extremely lively class, with much good give-and-take discussion. Paul Helm has done a masterful job in his introductory essays of structuring his smorgasbord of goodies by showing the underlying issues within each of its seven historical epochs concerning what was meant by faith and reason. The manner in which the earlier epochs influenced the later ones is brilliantly explored as well.' Richard Gale, University of Pittsburg
'Paul Helm has put together an unusually rich collection of authors discussing issues important in philosophy of religion. He has included not only standardly anthologized philosophers such as Anselm and Aquinas, but also authors who deserve much more attention than they generally receive, such as Saadia and Jeremy Taylor. Furthermore, Helm makes some effort to include material from medieval Judaism and Islam as well as Christianity, and his collection manages to span all of Western philosophy, from Plato to the present. Consequently, readers will find it a very helpful introduction to the history of the field and to the current state of the discussion in philosophy of religion.' Eleonore Stump, St Louis University
a very skilfully put together readervery distinctive from the usual run of anthologies on philosohy of religion, and with a very definite organizing concept in this reader something that stands out from the run of the mill readersof which there are manyin philosophy of religion. Nicholas Wolterstorff, YaleSee all Product description
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I needed the book for a class paper and in two days the book was on my front porch. It is a great book with a lot of great information on the study of Faith and Reason.
Many collections in the philosophy of religion focus on strictly philosophical writings. So while you might get an excerpt by Aquinas, you probably won't get any from Luther or Calvin. Prof. Helm's reader includes these theologians as well as Benjamin Warfield, Karl Barth, and others. He also includes social thinkers such as Freud, Marx and Durkheim.
This book also has the merit of anthologizing works not included in other collections. The only draw back is that the excerpts are relatively short. Given the selections are arranged chronologically (from the Bible to the present), it functions best as a historical introduction. If you want to study the key ideas in the philosophy of religion in more detail, you will want to supplement this with other anthologies.
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