A deep and precise introduction to the philosophy of religion that is also remarkably clear and insightful. The author has a conversation with the student and uses concrete examples to explain often abstract concepts and issues.
The problem of evil -- Aquinas, philosophy, and theology -- What there is -- Goodness and badness -- God the creator -- God's perfection and goodness -- The creator and evil -- Providence and grace -- The trinity and Christ -- Aquinas on god and evil.
Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest Western philosphers and one of the greatest theologians of the Christian church. In this book we at last have a modern, comprehensive presentation of the total thought of Aquinas. Books on Aquinas invariably deal with either his philosophy or his theology. But Aquinas himself made no arbitrary division between his philosophical and his theological thought, and this book allows readers to see him as a whole. It introduces the full range of Aquinas' thinking; (...) and it relates his thinking to writers both earlier and later than Aquinas himself. (shrink)
The Summa Contra Gentiles, one of Aquinas's best known works after the Summa Theologiae, is a philosophical and theological synthesis that examines what can be known of God both by reason and by divine revelation. A detailed expository account of and commentary on this famous work, Davies's book aims to help readers think about the value of the Summa Contra Gentiles for themselves, relating the contents and teachings found in the SCG to those of other works and other thinkers both (...) theological and philosophical. Following a scholarly account of Aquinas's life and his likely intentions in writing the SCG, the volume works systematically through all four books of the text. (shrink)
`For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. For I believe this also, that unless I believe, I shall not understand.' Does God exist? Can we know anything about God's nature? Have we any reason to think that the Christian religion is true? What is truth, anyway? Do human beings have freedom of choice? Can they have such freedom in a world created by God? These questions, and others, (...) were ones which Anselm of Canterbury took very seriously. He was utterly convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, but he was also determined to try to make sense of his Christian faith. Recognizing that the Christian God is incomprehensible, he also believed that Christianity is not simply something to be swallowed with mouth open and eyes shut. For Anselm, the doctrines of Christianity are an invitation to question, to think, and to learn. Anselm is studied today because his rigour of thought and clarity of writing place him among the greatest of theologians and philosophers. This translation provides readers with their first opportunity to read all of his most important works within the covers of a single volume. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
This paper notes and discusses some key arguments in Part One of The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God by D. Z. Phillips. With an eye on some texts of Thomas Aquinas, I reject Phillips's view that belief in divine omnipotence leads to absurd claims concerning God, but I defend his rejection of anthropomorphism when it comes to talk of God, and, with qualifications, I defend and elaborate on his suggestion that God is not a moral agent. I (...) also commend his critique of certain well-known theodicies (e.g. that provided by Richard Swinburne), although I challenge his appeal to what he calls “the grammar of God.”. (shrink)
In this paper I try briefly to say why I think that what D.Z. Phillips had to say about belief in God can be defended against certain familiar criticisms, and why I think that his treatment could have been improved. I note passages in his writings which might be thought not to reflect what belief in God amounts to, but I argue that these passages can be read as reflecting belief in God as we find it in biblical authors and (...) in writers like Thomas Aquinas. Having noted that Phillips rejects attempts to do natural theology on largely Humean grounds, I argue against these grounds as echoed by Phillips and draw attention to a tradition of natural theology not subject to Humean objections, a tradition to which Phillips might have paid more attention than he did. (shrink)
Following a scholarly account of Thomas Aquinas's life, Davies explores his purposes in writing the Summa Theologiae and works systematically through each of its three Parts. He also relates their contents and Aquinas's teachings to those of other works and other thinkers both theological and philosophical. The concluding chapter considers the impact Aquinas's best-known work has exerted since its first appearance, and why it is still studied today. Intended for students and general readers interested in medieval philosophy and theology, Davies's (...) study is a solid and reflective introduction both to the Summa Theologiae and to Aquinas in general. (shrink)
Herbert McCabe, OP , was a significant theological figure in England in the last century. A scholar of Aquinas, he was also influenced by Wittgenstein and Marx, his reading of whom helped him articulate a distinctive Thomistic account of human embodiment that serves as a critique of other dominant approaches in ethics. This article shows McCabe's contribution to moral theology by placing his work in conversation with other important approaches, namely, situation ethics, proportionalism, and the New Natural Law Theory.
Is it possible to be both a philosopher and a religious believer? Is philosophy a friend or foe to religious belief? Does talk of God make sense? Does God exist? What is God? Ideal for anyone pondering these and similar questions, Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology provides a comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible overview of the subject. Carefully edited by Brian Davies, it contains a wide-ranging selection of 65 of the best classical and contemporary writings on the philosophy of (...) religion, together with substantial commentary, introductory material, discussion questions, and detailed guides to further reading. The editorial material sets the selections in context and guides students through the readings. Part I of the book examines the relation between philosophy and religion; Parts II-IV consider the existence and nature of God; Part V addresses the "problem of evil" that has puzzled thinkers for centuries; and Parts VI and VII are devoted to the relationship between morality and religion and to the question of life after death. An extensive treatment of the major issues that Western philosophers have faced in thinking about religion, Philosophy of Religion is an exceptional text. No other book on the market offers this combination of an introductory guide along with such a substantial anthology of readings. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest of the medieval philosophers. His Summa Theologiae is his most important contribution to Christian theology, and one of the main sources for his philosophy. This volume offers most of the Summa's first 26 questions, including all of those on the existence and nature of God. Based on the 1960 Blackfriars translation, this version has been extensively revised by Brian Davies and also includes an introduction by Brian Leftow which places the questions in their (...) philosophical and historical context. The result is an accessible and up-to-date edition of Aquinas' thoughts on the nature and existence of God, both of which have continuing relevance for the philosophy of religion and Christian theology. (shrink)
The work of Thomas Aquinas has always enjoyed a privileged position as a pillar of Catholic theology, but for centuries his standing among western philosophers was less sure. Today, Aquinas's work is recognized as a cornerstone of the western philosophical tradition. This book offers a full-scale introduction to Aquinas's philosophy. Brian Davies has collected in one volume the best recent essays on Aquinas by some of the world's foremost scholars of medieval philosophy. Taken together, they illuminate the entire spectrum of (...) Aquinas's thought: philosophy of nature, logic, metaphysics, natural theology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, and ethics. The essays are philosophically solid, readable, informative, critical, and evaluative of the texts of Aquinas. Davies frames the essays with a detailed introduction that provides an account of Aquinas's life and works, as well as of his major philosophical conclusions. (shrink)
The question of why there is anything at all is perhaps the deepest and most profound of all philosophical mysteries. Here, Brian Davies investigates whether it is reasonable to suppose the universe was created by God.
Is debate on issues related to faith and reason still possible when dialogue between believers and non-believers has collapsed? Taking God Seriously not only proves that it is possible, but also demonstrates that such dialogue produces fruitful results. Here, Brian Davies, a Dominican priest and leading scholar of Thomas Aquinas, and Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science and well-known non-believer, offer an extended discussion on the nature and plausibility of belief in God and Christianity. They explore key topics in the (...) study of religion, notably the nature of faith, the place of reason in discussions about religion, proofs for the existence of God, the problem of evil, and the problem of multiple competing religious systems, as well as the core concepts of Christian belief including the Trinity and the justification of morality. Written in a jargon-free manner, avoiding the extremes of evangelical literalism and New Atheism prejudice, Taking God Seriously does not compromise integrity or shy from discussing important or difficult issues. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas was one of the most significant Christian thinkers of the middle ages and ranks among the greatest philosophers and theologians of all time. In the mid-thirteenth century, as a teacher at the University of Paris, Aquinas presided over public university-wide debates on questions that could be put forward by anyone about anything. The Quodlibetal Questions are Aquinas's edited records of these debates. Unlike his other disputed questions, which are limited to a few specific topics such as evil or (...) divine power, Aquinas's Quodlibetal Questions contain his treatment of hundreds of questions on a wide range of topics—from ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion to dogmatic theology, sacramental theology, moral theology, eschatology, and much more. And, unlike his other disputed questions, none of the questions treated in his Quodlibetal Questions were of Aquinas's own choosing—they were all posed for him to answer by those who attended the public debates. As such, this volume provides a window onto the concerns of students, teachers, and other interested parties in and around the university at that time. For the same reason it contains some of Aquinas's fullest, and in certain cases his only, treatments of philosophical and theological questions that have maintained their interest throughout the centuries. (shrink)
The De Malo represents some of Aquinas' most mature thinking on goodness, badness, and human agency. In it he examines the full range of questions associated with evil: its origin, its nature, its relation to good, and its compatability with the existence of an omnipotent, benevolent God. This edition offers Richard Regan's new, clear readable English translation, based on the Leonine Commission's authoritative edition of the Latin text. Brian Davies has provided an extensive introduction and notes..