A Reasonable Belief
"Insofar as the essence of this philosophical spirituality is continuous with the essence of Christian spirituality, I am able to specify how ... we can be utterly confident that it is wholly reasonable and good to affirm, give thanks for,...
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"Insofar as the essence of this philosophical spirituality is continuous with the essence of Christian spirituality, I am able to specify how ... we can be utterly confident that it is wholly reasonable and good to affirm, give thanks for, live, and testify to faith in God."< br />-from the preface
While it's clear that a lot of people believe in God, whether they should is a matter of loud debate. Since the Enlightenment, and especially in the last 150 years, a consensus has been building in Western philosophy that belief in a transcendent order-and especially in a supreme being-is unreasonable and should be abandoned. The result of this trend has been to delegitimize religious belief, to claim that those who believe do so against scientific evidence and rational thought.
In this confident and sensitive book, William Greenway carefully guides the reader through the developments in Western intellectual life that have led us to assume that belief is irrational. He starts by demonstrating that, along with belief in God, modern definitions of human rationality have also rejected free will and moral agency. He then questions the Cartesian assumption that it is our ability to think that makes us most human and most real. Instead, Greenway explains, it is our capacity to be grasped by the lives and needs of others that forms the heart of who we are. From that vantage point we can see that faith is not a choice we make in spite of evidence to the contrary; it is, rather, wholly rational and in keeping with that which makes us most human. Every person who either has faith or is contemplating faith can be assured that belief in God is both reasonable and good. Greenway embraces both contemporary philosophy and science, inviting readers into a more confident experience of their faith.
William Greenway's collection, Everywhere at Once (2008), won the Ohioana Poetry Book of the Year Award, as did his Ascending Order (2003), both from the University of Akron Press. He has published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner, and has won the Helen and Laura Krout Memorial Poetry Award, the Larry Levis Editors' Prize from Missouri Review, the Open Voice Poetry Award from The Writer's Voice, the State Street Press Chapbook Competition, an Ohio Arts Council Grant, and was 1994 Georgia Author of the Year. H