Chapter

Analytic Philosophy of Religion

William Hasker

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195138092
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835348 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195138090.003.0018

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Analytic Philosophy of Religion

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Analytic philosophy of religion was gestated in the nineteen forties, born in the early fifties, spent its childhood in the sixties, and its adolescence in the seventies and early eighties. Since then it has grown into adulthood, and it reached the turn of the millennium in a state of vigorous maturity, with decline and senile degeneration nowhere in sight. This chapter unpacks this metaphor by tracing the main stages in the development of this discipline, beginning with the preoccupation with religious language, moving on to focus on the pros and cons of theism, and leading to the much wider range of topics which are currently of interest to analytic philosophers of religion. Topics discussed in some detail include positivism and the later philosophy of Wittgenstein in their relation to religious language, the current state of the debates concerning the theistic arguments and the problem of evil, as well as Reformed epistemology, the debate concerning the nature of divine providence, and the important but under-explored topic of the nature of necessary truth. The chapter closes by situating analytic philosophy of religion in relation to other important contemporary movements in the philosophy of religion.

Keywords: analytic philosophy of relgion; divine providence; necessary truth; positivism; problem of evil; Reformed epistemology; religious language; theism; theistic arguments; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  12367 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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