Chapter

The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Natural Theology

Herman Philipse

in God in the Age of Science?

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697533
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738470 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697533.003.0002
The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Natural Theology

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Chapter 2 offers a structured synopsis of the history of natural theology from Xenophanes to Richard Swinburne. It is argued, for example, that the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas are outdated, and that the decline of natural theology in the nineteenth century was due largely to Kant’s and Hume’s philosophies of science. However, since these philosophies of science have turned out to be problematic, there is no reason for religious believers to stick to some blend of religious irrationalism à la Kierkegaard or William James, or to hold that natural theology must be meaningless. In principle, natural theology can be a perfectly decent intellectual enterprise.

Keywords: Aquinas’ Five Ways; reformation; Spinoza; Kant; Hume; Thomas Paine; Kierkegaard; William Paley; William James; Nietzsche; Ayer; Braithwaite; D. Z. Phillips; William Alston; Alvin Plantinga; Richard Swinburne; Nicholas Wolterstorff; Karl Barth; John Hick

Chapter.  6061 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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