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Contents | Rationale for Exam 2 | Reading List for Exam 2

Exam 2: Philosophy of Religion

Contents

Rationale for Exam 2: Philosophy of Religion

Reading List for Exam 2: Philosophy of Religion

Concepts and theories of religion
Modernity, Post-Modernity
Textuality and Interpretation
Religious Pluralism
Language, Symbol, Performance, Ritual
Epistemology and Belief
Authority, Evidence, and Argument
Mysticism and Religious Experience
Religion and the Possibility of Metaphysics
Existence of God
Revelation and Miracles
Evil and Suffering
Death and Destiny, Reincarnation, Immortality, Transmigration
Self, Community and Politics
Law, Morality and Human Values

Rationale for Exam 2: Philosophy of Religion

The aim of the exam is to allow us to assess a candidate’s competence in the philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. By this we mean to include both knowledge of philosophical ideas about religious topics (basically factual and historical knowledge) and the ability to state and defend arguments on behalf of particular philosophical theories about religious topics (in local terminology, normative theology, unconstrained by the confessional interests of any one religious tradition).

The reading list for this examination is below. It is a topical list with some sensitivity to cross-cultural issues. Though there is a strong need for SPR students to be familiar with the history of especially western philosophy, the topical arrangement naturally supports our interest in blending constructive and factual modes of thought. It may also be easier to constrain a topical list than a more historically oriented list.

Relevant courses: Boston University has excellent resources in philosophy of religion that will enable our students to prepare for a challenging examination. The list of courses available to help students master this material is very long. The general principle here is worthy of note: making use of existing resources strengthens and stabilizes a doctoral program.

Reading List for Exam 2: Philosophy of Religion

The appropriate attitude here is “Read judiciously.”

Concepts and theories of religion

Andresen, Jensine ed. Religion in Mind: Cognitive Perspectives on Religious Belief, Ritual, and Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Asad, Talal. “The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category,” Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.

Bataille, George. Theory of Religion. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Zone Books, 1989.

Bellah, Robert, et al. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Berger, Peter. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, 1969.

Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. Trans. Joseph Ward Swain. New York: The Free Press, 1965.

Feuerbach, Ludwig. The Essence of Christianity. Trans. George Elliot. New York: Harper, 1957.

Freud, Sigmund. The Future of an Illusion. Trans. and ed. James Strachey. New York: Norton, 1961.

_____. Moses and Monotheism. Trans. Katherine Jones. New York: Vintage Book, 1955.

Geertz, Clifford. “Religion as a Culture System,” The Interpretation of Cultures. London: Hutchinson, 1975.

Hume, David. The Natural History of Religion. Ed. H. E. Root. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1956.

Marx, Karl. “Remarks on Religion as the ‘Opium of the People,’” in Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Trans. Annette Jolin and Joseph O’Malley. Ed Joseph O’Malley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970.

Smart, Ninian. Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World’s Beliefs. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Smith, Jonathan Z. Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.

_____. Map is Not Territory: Studies in the History of Religions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Smith, Wilfred Cantwell. The Meaning and End of Religion. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991.

Tylor, Edward Burnett. Religion in Primitive Culture. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1970.

Modernity, Post-Modernity

Daly, Mary. Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation. Boston: Beacon Press, 1985.

_____. Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. Boston: Fortress Press, 1978.

Habermas, Jürgen. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures. Trans. Frederick G. Lawrence. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

Milbank, John. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.

Schmidt, James, ed. What is Enlightenment?: Eighteenth-century Answers and Twenty-first Century Questions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Taylor, Mark. Erring: A Postmodern A/theology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Thistleton, Anthony C. Interpreting God and the Postmodern Self: On Meaning, Manipulation, and Promise. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.

Textuality and Interpretation

Derrida, Jacques. Of Grammatology. Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976.

Hart, Ray. Unfinished Man and the Imagination: Toward an Ontology and a Rhetoric of Revelation. New York: Herder and Herder, 1968.

Mueller-Vollmer, Kurt, ed. The Hermeneutics Reader: Texts of the German Tradition from the Enlightenment to the Present. New York: Continuum, 1985.

Ricoeur, Paul. The Conflict of Interpretations: Essays in Hermeneutics. Ed. Don Ihde. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1974 .

_____. Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1976.

Stump, Eleonore, and Thomas Flint, eds. Hermes and Athena: Biblical Exegesis and Philosophical Theology. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1993.

Religious Pluralism

Dallmayr, Fred. Beyond Orientalism: Essays on Cross-Cultural Encounter. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.

Hick, John, and Knitter, Paul F, eds. The Myth of Christian Uniqueness: Toward a Pluralistic Theology of Religions. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.

Sharma, Arvind. Our Religions. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

Sharpe, Eric J. Comparative Religion: A History, 2d ed. Chicago: Open Court, 1986.

Tillich, Paul. Christianity and the Encounter of the World Religions. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963.

Language, Symbol, Performance, Ritual

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952.

Bell, Catherine. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Douglas, Mary. “The Abominations of Leviticus,” Purity and Danger. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966.

Eliade, Mircea. The Myth of the Eternal Return. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Revised and enlarged. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965.

Geertz, Clifford. “Religion as a Culture System,” The Interpretation of Cultures. London: Hutchinson, 1975.

Levi-Strauss, Claude. “The Effectiveness of Symbols,” Structural Anthropology. New York: ? 1976.

_____. The Naked Man. Trans. John and Doreen Weightman. New York: Harper and Row, 1981.

McFague, Sallie. Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language. London: SCM, 1983.

Ricoeur, Paul. The Symbolism of Evil. New York: Harper and Row, 1967.

Turner, Victor. “Betwixt and Between,” The Forest of Symbols. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967.

_____. “Liminality and Communitas,” The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co, 1969.

Segal, Robert. Myth and Ritual School. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.

Epistemology and Belief

Augustine, Aurelius. The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Trans. Edward B. Pusey, D. D. New York: Pocket Books, 1951. Book 10.

Burrell, David. Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, and Aquinas. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1986.

Evans, C. Stephen, and Merold Westphal, eds. Christian Perspectives on Religious Knowledge. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Hester, Marcus, ed. Faith, Reason, and Skepticism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.

Hick, John, ed. Faith and the Philosophers. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1964.

Hintikka, Jaako. Knowledge and Belief: An Introduction to the Logic of the Two Notions. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1962.

Russell, Bertrand. Why I am not a Christian, and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957.

Trigg, Roger. Rationality and Religion: Does Faith Need Reason?. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty (1951). Ed. G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright. Trans. Denis Paul and G. E. M. Anscombe. New York: Harper and Row, 1972.

Dignaga. Dignaga, on Perception. Trans. Masaaki Hattori. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968.

Authority, Evidence, and Argument

Ferre, Frederick. Language, Logic, and God. New York: Harper, 1961.

Flew, Antony, and Maclntyre, Alisdair, eds. New Essays in Philosophical Theology. New York: Macmillan, 1955.

Hoitenga, Dewey, J, Jr. Faith and Reason from Plato to Plantinga: An Introduction to Reformed Epistemology. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991.

Plantinga, Alvine, and Nicholas Wolterstorff, eds. Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.

Swinburne, Richard. The Coherence of Theism. Revised edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.

Wisdom, John. Paradox and Discovery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Reason within the Limits of Religion Alone. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984.

Mysticism and Religious Experience

Alston, William. Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992.

Andresen, Jensine, and Robert K. C. Forman, eds. Cognitive Models and Spiritual Maps: Interdisciplinary Explorations of Religious Experience. Devon: Imprint Academic, 2000.

Furman, Robert, ed. The Innate Capacity: Mysticism, Psychology, and Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

James, William. Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). New York: Collier Books, 1961.

Niebuhr, H. Richard. Christ and Culture. New York: Harper and Row, 1951.

Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1938.

Proudfoot, Wayne. Religious Experience Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Religion and the Possibility of Metaphysics

Derrida, Jacques. Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Desmond, William. Being and the Between. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995.

Findlay, J.N. The Discipline of the Cave. London: Allen and Unwin, 1966.

_____. The Transcendence of the Cave. London: Allen and Unwin, 1967.

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Werner S. Pluhar. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co, 1996.

_____. Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783). Trans. James W. Ellington. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1977.

Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1962. Introduction.

Neville, Robert Cummings. God the Creator: On the Transcendence and Presence of God. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Nishitani, Keiji. Religion and Nothingness. Trans. Jan van Bragt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.

Trusted, Jennifer. Physics and Metaphysics: Theories of Space and Time (New York: Routledge, 1991).

Existence of God

Anselm. Proslogion (1078). Trans. M. J. Charlesworth. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1965.

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952. I, 2.

Barth, Karl. Fides Quarum Intellectum: Anselms Beweis der existenz Gottes im Zusammenhang seines theologischen Programms. Zollikon: Evangelischer Verlag, 1958.

Flew, Antony. God and Philosophy. London: Hutchinson, 1966.

Hartshorne, Charles. Anselm’s Discovery: A Re-examination of the Ontological Proof for God’s Existence. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1965.

_____. The Divine Relativity: A Social Conception of God. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948.

Hick, John, ed. The Existence of God. New York: Macmillan, 1964.

Hume, David. (1776) Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Ed. Richard H. Popkin. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1980.

Locke, John. Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Ed. Peter H. Nidditch. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975. Book iv, chapter 10.

Morris, Thomas, ed. God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Plantinga, Alvin. God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967.

Swinburne, Richard. The Existence of God. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979.

Revelation and Miracles

Davis, Stephen T. Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Ed Antony Flew. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1988.

_____. Of Miracles (1748). LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1985.

Paley, William. “Hume on Miracles,” in Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature. Houston: St. Thomas Press, 1972.

Polkinghorne, John. Science and Providence: God’s Interaction with the World. Boston: Shambhala, 1989.

Stump, Eleonore, and Thomas Flint, eds. Hermes and Athena: Biblical Exegesis and Philosophical Theology. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1993.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim that God Speaks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Evil and Suffering

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952. I, 49.

Augustine, Aurelius. The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Trans. Edward B. Pusey, D. D. New York: Pocket Books, 1951. Book 7.

Hick, John. Evil and the God of Love. Revised Edition. New York: Harper and Row, 1978.

Polkinghorne, John. Science and Providence: God’s Interaction with the World. Boston: Shambhala, 1989.

Ricoeur, Paul. The Symbolism of Evil. New York: ? 1967.

Rolston, Holmes. Genes, Genesis and God: Values and Their Origins in Natural and Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Chapter 6.

Death and Destiny, Reincarnation, Immortality, Transmigration

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Werner S. Pluhar. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co, 1996.

Feuerbach, Ludwig. Thoughts on Death and Immortality. Trans. James A. Massey. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

Hick, John. Disputed Questions in Theology and the Philosophy of Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

Hume, David. “Of the Immortality of the Soul,” in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Ed. Richard H. Popkin. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1980.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology, and Religious Belief. Ed. Cyril Barrett. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.

Self, Community and Politics

Arendt, Hannah. On Violence. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1970.

_____. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Revised and enlarged. New York: Viking Press, 1964.

Benhabib, Sheyla. Situating the Self: Gender, Community, and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Durkheim, Emile. The Division of Labor in Society. Trans. W. D. Halls. New York: Free Press, 1984.

Eisenstadt, S. N, ed. Max Weber on Charisma and Institution Building. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.

Mauss, Marcell. “A Category of the Human Mind: The Notion of Person; The Notion of Self,” in The Category of the Person. Ed. Michael Carrithers, et al. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Taylor, Charles. Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Parsons, Talcott. The Structure of Social Action. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co, Inc, 1937.

Ricoeur, Paul. Oneself as Another. Trans. Kathleen Blamey. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Shils, Edward. “Charisma, Order and Status,” Center and Periphery: Essays in Macro Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975.

Weber, Max. Economy and Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.

Law, Morality and Human Values

Bellah, Robert N, et al. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. New York: Harper and Row, 1985.

Kant, Immanuel. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. Trans. by Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1960.

MacIntyre, Alisdair. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 2d ed. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984.

_____. Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry: Encyclopaedia, Geneology, and Tradition. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990.

Niebuhr, H. Richard. The Responsible Self. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1963.

Watson, Alan, ed. Law, Morality and Religion: Global Perspectives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Contents | Rationale for Exam 2 | Reading List for Exam 2

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