The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology

The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology

The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology

The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology

Synopsis

With the help of in-depth essays from some of the world's leading philosophers, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology explores the nature and existence of God through human reason and evidence from the natural world.
  • Provides in-depth and cutting-edge treatment of natural theology's main arguments
  • Includes contributions from first-rate philosophers well known for their work on the relevant topics
  • Updates relevant arguments in light of the most current, state-of-the-art philosophical and scientific discussions
  • Stands in useful contrast and opposition to the arguments of the 'new atheists'

Excerpt

William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland

The collapse of positivism and its attendant verification principle of meaning was undoubtedly the most important philosophical event of the twentieth century. Their demise heralded a resurgence of metaphysics, along with other traditional problems of philosophy that verificationism had suppressed. Accompanying this resurgence has come something new and altogether unanticipated: a renaissance in Christian philosophy.

The face of Anglo-American philosophy has been transformed as a result. Theism is on the rise; atheism is on the decline. Atheism, although perhaps still the dominant viewpoint at the American university, is a philosophy in retreat. in a recent article in the secularist journal Philo, Quentin Smith laments what he calls “the desecularization of academia that evolved in philosophy departments since the late 1960s.” He complains that:

[n]aturalists passively watched as realist versions of theism… began to sweep through the
philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy profes
sors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians.… in philosophy, it became, almost
overnight, ‘academically respectable’ to argue for theism, making philosophy a favored field of
entry for the most intelligent and talented theists entering academia today.

Smith concludes, “God is not ‘dead’ in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments.”

The renaissance of Christian philosophy over the last half century has served to reinvigorate natural theology, that branch of theology that seeks to provide warrant for belief in God’s existence apart from the resources of authoritative, propositional revelation. Today, in contrast to just a generation ago, natural theology is a vibrant field of

1. Smith (2001). a sign of the times: Philo itself, unable to succeed as a secular organ, has now become a journal
for general philosophy of religion.

2. Smith (2001, p. 4).

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