John Hick, Influential Philosopher of Religion

By Dart, John | The Christian Century, March 21, 2012 | Go to article overview

John Hick, Influential Philosopher of Religion


Dart, John, The Christian Century


JOHN H. HICK, a prolific author renowned on British and U.S. campuses for his forthright approach to major questions in Christology and interfaith relations, died at age 90 on February 9 in Birmingham in his native Great Britain.

It was at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he taught from 1959 to 1963, that Hick published his introductory college textbook, The Philosophy of Religion, which went through four editions to sell 600,000 copies. In all, Hick wrote or edited more than 20 books.

Hick organized a conference of philosophers and theologians during Princeton Seminary's 150th anniversary, then edited its proceedings with the title Faith and the Philosophers. That book "influenced the intellectual agenda in the philosophy of religion for many years to come," said PTS professor of philosophy Gordon Graham.

Theologian John Cobb, emeritus professor at Claremont Graduate University in California, said Hick was preeminent in opening the philosophy of religion field "from being narrowly a reflection about Western and primarily Christian theological tradition to taking fully into account the pluralistic religious world in which we live."

Hick taught at Claremont Graduate University from 1979 to 1992--first part-time, then holding an endowed chair and heading the university's program in religion from 1985 to 1990. From the responses at Claremont to Hick's death, CGU President Deborah Freund said it was apparent that "Professor Hick touched as many people with his kind heart as with his intellect."

His research and writings generated conflicts with church authorities in the U.S. when in the early 1960s he sought recognition as a Presbyterian minister, his affiliation back in England. While teaching at Princeton, he told presbytery officials that he was "agnostic" on the historical truth of the virgin birth and did not consider the tenet an essential matter in Christian faith. He was eventually allowed to become a member of the Presbytery of New Brunswick.

A similar church battle ensued in the mid-1980s at Claremont when some local ministers in the Presbytery of San Gabriel objected to Hick's application for ministerial acceptance. Told that his application would be divisive, Hick withdrew it.

As a young man, Hick had become deeply interested in ministry under the influence of evangelistic teachings, and when England entered World War II in 1939, he registered as a conscientious objector. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

John Hick, Influential Philosopher of Religion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.