God and the Philosophers
"I am a philosopher because I am a Christian," writes Brian Leftow. "To many intellectuals, this probably sounds like saying that I am a dog because I am a cat." Indeed, prejudice against religious belief runs deep in the academy;...
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"I am a philosopher because I am a Christian," writes Brian Leftow. "To many intellectuals, this probably sounds like saying that I am a dog because I am a cat." Indeed, prejudice against religious belief runs deep in the academy; in particular, many philosophers hold that faith is incompatible with their profession. But Thomas Morris has met that view head-on by asking a distinguished group of philosophers to write about the union of faith and reason in their lives.
God and the Philosophersoffers a series of highly personal, thoughtful essays by traditionally religious philosophers, revealing the power of belief in their intellectually rigorous lives and work. Figures such as William P. Alston, William J. Wainwright, Marilyn McCord Adams, Peter van Inwagen, and Morris himself, to name a few, speak of their own spiritual journeys, sharing their experiences as philosophically reflective individuals seeking to center themselves on God. We read of conversions from unbelief, struggles with doubts raised by the presence of evil in the world, and changing convictions shaped by constant questioning and communing with God. For example, Brian Leftow describes his acceptance of Christianity, after being raised in a secular Jewish home, and Laura Garcia writes about her conversion to Catholicism from her earlier Protestant stance. Along the way, the writers reveal religious philosophy at work--demonstrating, as Arthur F. Holmes writes, "the motivation to intellectual inquiry that Christian faith brings." Here we see how individuals with extraordinary intellectual training, discipline, and knowledge grapple with personal and existential problems, drawing on their faith as well as their finely honed reason to achieve new understanding.
Profoundly honest and deeply thoughtful, these essays reveal how highly educated philosophers--working in the halls of dispassionate analysis--come to grips with their faith in a skeptical world. Together, they make a profound statement on contemporary spirituality, and the quandaries facing today's religious individual.
Chairman of the Morris Institute for Human Values in Wilmington, North Carolina. He taught philosophy at the University of Notre Dame for fifteen years and was the recipient of numerous awards for teaching excellence. He is also the author of Philosophy for Dummies.