Book

The Predicament of Belief

Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695270
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731945 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695270.001.0001
The Predicament of Belief

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Can those who appreciate the explanatory power of modern science still believe in traditional religious accounts of the nature and purpose of the universe? This book is intended for those who care about that question and are dissatisfied with the rigid dichotomies that dominate the contemporary debate. The extremists won’t be interested – those who assume that science answers all the questions that matter, and those so certain of their religious faith that dialogue with science, philosophy, or other faith traditions seems unnecessary. But far more people today recognize that matters of faith are complex, that doubt is endemic to belief, and that dialogue is indispensable in our day. In eight probing chapters, the authors of The Predicament of Belief consider the most urgent reasons for doubting that religious claims – in particular, those embedded in the Christian tradition – are likely to be true. They develop a version of Christian faith that preserves the tradition’s core insights but also gauges the varying degrees of certainty with which those insights can still be affirmed. Along the way, they address such questions as the ultimate origin of the universe, the existence of innocent suffering, the challenge of religious plurality, and how to understand the extraordinary claim that an ancient teacher rose from the dead. They end with a discussion of what their conclusions imply about the present state and future structure of churches and other communities in which Christian affirmations are made.

Keywords: theology; philosophy of science; cosmology; metaphysics; faith reason debate; problem of evil; Jesus; resurrection; Trinity; ecclesiology

Book.  200 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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Table of Contents

Reasons for doubt in The Predicament of Belief

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The ultimate reality in The Predicament of Belief

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The plurality of religions in The Predicament of Belief

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The scandal of particularity, Part I in The Predicament of Belief

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The scandal of particularity, Part II in The Predicament of Belief

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Doubt and belief in The Predicament of Belief

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