Readings in the Philosophy of Religion – Second Edition
  • Publication Date: February 14, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551118031 / 1551118033
  • 528 pages; 7" x 9"
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Readings in the Philosophy of Religion – Second Edition

  • Publication Date: February 14, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551118031 / 1551118033
  • 528 pages; 7" x 9"

A new edition of this book is forthcoming in July 2017

Like the first edition, the second edition of Readings in the Philosophy of Religion covers topics in a point-counterpoint manner, specifically designed to foster deep reflection. Unique to this collection is the section on the divine attributes. The book’s focus is on issues of fundamental human concern—God’s suffering, hell, prayer, feminist theology, and religious pluralism. All of these are shown, in a lengthy introduction, to relate to the standard issues in philosophical theology—omnipotence, omniscience, immutability, goodness, and eternity.

For this second edition, each major section ends with an extended reflection by a philosopher who shows how to think through the issues raised in the preceding essays. Also included are a new section on the ontological argument with classical discussions by Anselm and Gaunilo, along with a new essay by Laura Garcia; a new section on religious language; new essays on the free will defense, theodicies, and feminist theology; and a new version of the cosmological argument that does not rely on the principle of sufficient reason.


“This is an excellent collection, combining the best of the classical treatments of these venerable topics with fine contemporary readings (some of them unique to this volume). It also contains a judicious mixture of arguments in favor of theism and arguments against. Finally, the book is to be commended for including a larger number of pieces by women than these volumes usually do.” — John Hare, Yale University

“Kelly Clark’s impressive anthology was surely one of the very best available; in its second edition it is even better. Clark’s judicious selections are accessible to undergraduates; nevertheless, the anthology thoroughly covers the important topics and covers them in professionally fine style.” — Alvin Plantinga, University of Notre Dame

“Philosophy of religion anthologies struggle to present students with a collection that is both representative of the field and informative about the crucial history of its central topics. Clark’s superbly crafted collection strikes exactly the right balance. Each section contains central classical texts alongside representative contemporary selections that provide students with access to cutting edge scholarship. This text is an ideal choice both for introductory and upper level courses in philosophy of religion.” — Michael J. Murray, Franklin and Marshall College


Part One
Introduction: Arguments for the Existence of God

Chapter 1:The Ontological Argument
St. Anselm and Gaunilo, “The Ontological Argument”
Laura Garcia, “Ontological Arguments for God’s Existence”

Chapter 2:The Cosmological Argument
Thomas Aquinas, “The Five Ways”
Gottfried Willhelm Leibniz, “On the Ultimate Origination of Things”
J.L. Mackie, “Cosmological Arguments”
William Lane Craig, “The Kalaam Version of the Cosmological
Andrew Cortens, “The Cosmological Argument and the Principle of Necessary Reason”

Chapter 3:The Argument from Design

William Paley, “The Watch and the Watchmaker”
David Hume, “Critique of the Argument from Design”
Richard Dawkins, “The Blind Watchmaker”
Michael Denton, “The Puzzle of Perfection”
Robin Collins, “The Fine-Tuning Argument”

Chapter 4: Moral Arguments

Plato, “Euthyphro”
Robert Merrihew Adams, “Moral Arguments for Theistic Belief”
Linda Zagzebski, “Does Ethics Need God?”

Chapter 5: Religious Experience

C.B. Martin, “A Religious Way of Knowing”
William P. Alston, “The Experiential Basis of Theism”

Chapter 6: Naturalism Refuted?

“A Humanist Manifesto”
Alvin Plantinga, “The Self-Refutation of Naturalism”

Chapter 7:The Balance of Probabilities

Richard Swinburne, “A Cumulative Case for the Existence of God”
J.L. Mackie, “The Balance of Probabilities”

Chapter 8: Reflections on Arguments for the Existence of God

Alvin Plantinga, “Arguing for God”
William J.Wainwright, “The Nature of Reason”

Suggestions for Further Study

Part Two
Introduction: Reason and Belief in God

Chapter 9:The Need for Evidence
W.K. Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”
Antony Flew, “The Presumption of Atheism”

Chapter 10: Reformed Epistemology

Kelly James Clark, “Without Evidence or Argument”
Philip L. Quinn, “On Finding the Foundations of Theism”

Chapter 11:Wittgensteinian Fideism

Norman Malcolm, “The Groundlessness of Belief”
Kai Nielsen, “Religion and Groundless Believing”

Chapter 12: Pragmatic Justification of Religious Belief

Blaise Pascal, “The Wager”
William James, “The Will to Believe”

Chapter 13: Reflections on Reason and Belief in God

Raymond J.VanArragon, “Reconciling Reason and Religious Belief”

Suggestions for Further Study

Part Three
Introduction: Critiques of God

Chapter 14:The Hermeneutics of Suspicion

Karl Marx, “The Opium of the Masses”
Friedrich Nietzsche, “Religion as Resentment”
Sigmund Freud, “The Future of an Illusion”

Chapter 15: Reflections on the Hermeneutics of Suspicion

Merold Westphal, “Taking Suspicion Seriously: The Religious Uses of Modern Atheism”

Suggestions for Further Study

Part Four
Introduction: God and Human Suffering

Chapter 16:The Problem Stated
David Hume, “God and Evil”

Chapter 17: Plantinga’s Free Will Defense
Paul Tidman, “The Free Will Defense”

Chapter 18:Theodicy
John Hick, “The Soul-Making Theodicy”
Marilyn McCord Adams, “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God”
Daniel Howard-Snyder, “Theodicy”

Chapter 19:The Evidential Problem of Evil

William Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism”
Daniel Howard-Snyder, “Rowe’s Argument from Particular Horrors”

Chapter 20: Reflections on God and Human Suffering

Nicholas Wolterstorff, “The Silence of the God Who Speaks”
Suggestions for Further Study

Part Five
Introduction: Divine Language and Attributes

Chapter 21: Speaking of God

Thomas Aquinas, “Speaking of God”
Dan R. Stiver, “‘The Greatest Thing by Far’: Metaphor as the Hermeneutical Key to Hermeneutics”

Chapter 22: Does God Suffer?

Johannes Scotus Eriugena, “Divine Impassibility”
Nicholas Wolterstorff, “Suffering Love”

Chapter 23: Prayer

Thomas Aquinas, “Whether It Is Becoming to Pray”
Eleonore Stump, “Petitionary Prayer”

Chapter 24: Is There a Hell?

Stephen T. Davis, “Universalism, Hell, and the Fate of the Ignorant”
Marilyn McCord Adams, “The Problem of Hell: A Problem of Evil for Christians”

Chapter 25: Religious Pluralism

John Hick, “The Philosophy of Religious Pluralism”
Peter van Inwagen, “Non Est Hick”

Chapter 26: Feminist Theology

Patricia Altenbernd Johnson, “Feminist Christian Philosophy?”
Christina Van Dyke, “Eating as a Gendered Act: Christianity, Feminism, and Reclaiming the Body”

Chapter 27: Reflections on Divine Language & Attributes

Stephen T. Davis, “Three Conceptions of God in Contemporary Christian Philosophy”

Suggestions for Further Study

Kelly James Clark is Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of When Faith Is Not Enough (Eerdmans Publishing Comany, 1997), the co-author of The Story of Ethics: Fulfilling Our Human Nature (Prentice Hall, 2002), and the editor of Philosophers Who Believe (InterVarsity Press, 1997).