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The Image in Mind: Theism, Naturalism, and the Imagination (Continuum Studies in Philosophy of Religion) Hardcover – 10 Jan 2011


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"Charles Taliaferro and Jil Evans see the age old battle between theism and naturalism as a battle between contrasting images, of nature, of freedom, of the self, of good and evil, of beauty, and of reality itself. Drawing on a host of thinkers, ancient and modern, and with a wealth of illustrative detail, including some evocative images of their own, they track the course of the battle fairly and comprehensively right up to the present day; at the same time they develop their own persuasive account of the world as a book written by the finger of God, open to minds attuned to its meanings." Anthony O'Hear, Garfield Weston Professor of Philosophy, University of Buckingham, Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, UK, and Editor of Philosophy.

"Man is made in the 'Image of God' and the work of humanity's reconciliation with the Divine is through images, as 'in a glass darkly.' This timely and remarkable book, the collaborative work of a leading philosopher of religion and a distinguished contemporary artist, explores and defends the aboriginal bond between aesthetics and theology with great power, verve and ingenuity." Douglas Hedley, Reader in the Philosophy of Religion and Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK

"Were it not for the inflationary use of the word, I would describe this contribution as 'inspirational'; but inspirational in more than the usual sense. The authors liberate the reader's imagination by arguing for its centrality. They present the aesthetic realm as one in which life's more authentic moments are lived. Due respect is paid to science but sustained criticism is directed toward those who would render it the last word on matters of consequence to creatures such as ourselves. The balance in these pages between poetry and philosophy, art and science, faith and reason is exemplary." Daniel N. Robinson, Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, UK, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Georgetown University, USA.

"This book argues that worldviews are answerable to aesthetic criteria, and it admirably displays the intellectual virtues that are implied in this stance: it brings into constructive synthesis the perspectives of a philosopher and of an artist, it is sensitive to the felt quality of human experience, and throughout it is accessibly and engagingly written. It makes a telling case for a worldview in which values, including aesthetic values, are at the bedrock of reality." Mark Wynn, Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion, University of Exeter, UK.

About the Author

Jil Evans (MA, University of Iowa; MFA Stanford University) has exhibited her paintings and prints in Minnesota, Chicago, New York City, Michigan, Memphis, Washington D.C., California, Paris, and Rome. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Halle Ford Museum of Art, Stanford University, Valparaiso University Museum of Art, Steensland Art Museum, Harry and Margaret Anderson Collection of Art, Healthmarc, Inc., Minnetonka Corporation, Piper Jaffray and Hopwood, Central Lakes Colleges, Winthrop and Weinstein, and Coca Cola, Inc. She has received two grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, in addition a Pew Grant to study and paint in Italy, and residencies at the American Academy in Rome and Atlantic Center for the Arts. Finally, the Jerome Foundation and Arts Midwest/ National Endowment for the Arts have extended support for her work. Since 1985 she has taught regularly in the Art Department at St. Olaf College. Charles Taliaferro is Professor of Philosophy at St. Olaf College, USA, and is the author of Consciousness and the Mind of God (Cambridge University Press), Evidence and Faith: Philosophy and religion since the seventeenth century (Cambridge University Press), Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell), Dialogues About God (Rowman and Littlefield), Philosophy of Religion: A Beginners Guide (OneWorld Press) and the co-author of Naturalism (Eerdmans). He is the co-editor of A Companion to Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell), Cambridge Platonist Spirituality (Paulist Press), and the Cambridge Companion to Christian Philosophical Theology (Cambridge University Press). He was the philosophy of religion area editor of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, second edition (MacMillan) and is on the editorial board of Religious Studies, Sophia, Blackwell's Philosophy Compass, American Philosophical Quarterly, and Ars Disputandi. Taliaferro has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, NYU, Columbia, Princeton, and St. Andrews University.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8acbcf0c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b8610cc) out of 5 stars Powerful! 1 Aug. 2011
By Marie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely refreshing! Rather than the antagonistic back and forth arguments between the new atheists and believers, this book presents a generous, fuller treatment of atheism and theism through an investigation of the role of imagination and the aesthetic qualities of scientific inquiry and philosophical argument.

I learned about the history of thinking about the imagination and its vital role in forming our world views. What makes this work unique is the fact that it was co-authored by a philosopher and an artist.

This is a book not just for experts, but for intelligent, curious, and tolerant readers. Unlike some other books, here there are no rants or lectures -- only readable, non-dogmatic writing that leaves you wanting more!

My only reservation was the price - though for me it was worth it!
HASH(0x8a8f7504) out of 5 stars A fantastic and much needed contribution to the theism and naturalism ... 4 Jan. 2015
By Jfarris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fantastic and much needed contribution to the theism and naturalism debate! The authors explore the role of conceivability and imagination in philosophy and science among other disciplines. As a philosopher and an artist, Evans and Taliaferro creatively show that the imaginative capacity is more at home in Theism rather than naturalism. Thoughtful and engaging, this is well worth a read by philosophers, scientists, and artists.
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