Religions, Reasons and Gods: Essays in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Religion

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Cambridge University Press, 2006 M11 25
Traditional theistic proofs are often understood as evidence intended to compel belief in a divinity. John Clayton explores the surprisingly varied applications of such proofs in the work of philosophers and theologians from several periods and traditions, thinkers as varied as Ramanuja, al-Ghazali, Anselm, and Jefferson. He shows how the gradual disembedding of theistic proofs from their diverse and local religious contexts is concurrent with the development of natural theologies and atheism as social and intellectual options in early modern Europe and America. Clayton offers a fresh reading of the early modern history of philosophy and theology, arguing that awareness of such history, and the local uses of theistic argument, offer important ways of managing religious and cultural difference in the public sphere. He argues for the importance of historically grounded philosophy of religion to the field of religious studies and public debate on religious pluralism and cultural diversity.

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Contenido

Claims contexts and contestability
1
REASON AND RELIGIOUS PLURALISM
13
Thomas Jefferson and the study of religion
16
Common ground and defensible difference
58
Religions reasons and gods
80
THEISTIC ARGUMENTS IN PREMODERN CONTEXTS
99
Ramanuja Hume and comparativephilosophy remarks on the Sribhasya and the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion
101
Piety and the proofs
133
THEISTIC ARGUMENTS IN EARLYMODERN CONTEXTS
181
The debate about God in earlymodern French philosophy
184
The Enlightenment project and the debate about God in earlymodern German philosophy
222
The debate about God in earlymodern British philosophy
245
Beyond the Enlightenment project?
292
The 1997 Hulsean Sermon
310
Bibliography
318
Index
354

The otherness of Anselm
161

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Página 97 - Soon as the evening shades prevail, The moon takes up the wondrous tale, And nightly to the list'ning earth Repeats the story of her birth ; Whilst all the stars that round her burn, And all the planets in their turn, Confirm the tidings as they roll, And spread the truth from pole to pole.
Página 110 - When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
Página 96 - The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Página 116 - Look round the world : contemplate the whole and every part of it : You will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines, which again admit of subdivisions to a degree beyond what human senses and faculties can trace and explain. All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them.
Página 112 - Thus, suppose, all authors, in all languages, agree, that, from the first of January 1600, there was a total darkness over the whole earth for eight days: suppose that the tradition of this extraordinary event is still strong and lively among the people: that all travellers, who return from foreign countries, bring us accounts of the same tradition, without the least variation or...
Página 273 - THE spacious firmament on high, With all the blue ethereal sky, And spangled heav'ns a shining frame, Their great original proclaim: Th...
Página 97 - Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.
Página 273 - What though, in solemn silence, all Move round the dark terrestrial ball; What though no real voice nor sound Amid their radiant orbs be found; In reason's ear they all rejoice, And utter forth a glorious voice, For ever singing as they shine, The hand that made us is divine.
Página 22 - HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, Of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, And Father of the University of Virginia ; because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.
Página 62 - Religion is well supported; of various kinds indeed, but all good enough; all sufficient to preserve peace and order: or if a sect arises whose tenets would subvert morals, good sense has fair play, and reasons and laughs it out of doors, without suffering the state to be troubled 395 with it.

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