This book tells the story of the philosophy of science from its inception in the aftermath of the first World War to its current stage, and relates this story to the status of theology. In doing so, it fills a remarkable gap in the literature. The unexpected resurgence of religious issues in often heated discussions since the beginning of the 21
century gave a new urgency to the question of the academic treatment of religion(s). Is it still adequate to allow for the academic study of religion only in a distanced and matter-of-fact way, without people’s own views of life being brought into play and confronted with each other? Or can we also have a viable form of theology that starts from a basic religious commitment, but nevertheless fully satisfies academic standards? There is a wide debate on topics like these – but seldom this debate is conducted in a way that is informed by the state of the art in the philosophy of science.
Gijsbert van den Brink
Marcel Sarot and Gijsbert van den Brink
In at least two respects the position of religion and Christianity in the Western world has changed in recent years. Firstly, there is a growing plurality of and pluriformity within religions. And secondly, religions tend to change and develop faster and on a larger scale than they used to. This gives rise to the questions of change and continuity of religious traditions addressed in this volume: What function does the conceptual system or 'language game' of religion fulfil within the context of human thought and life? In what ways and under what circumstances do such conceptual systems require innovative changes in order to remain adequate for fulfilling this function? How are the continuity and change within religious traditions related to these issues? What is the nature of this continuity and of such changes within traditions? What role can theology play in initiating and directing such changes? In answering these questions, most contributions to the present volume focus on the Christian tradition.
Gijsbert van den Brink and Marcel Sarot
In recent years, God's nature and attributes have been the centre of numerous attempts at conceptual clarification and critical reflection. This volume contains, besides an introduction to the method of philosophical theology, essays on God's love, immutability, omnipresence, omniscience, simplicity, (im)passibility and omnipotence. Understanding the Attributes of God is not only a highly readable survey of recent developments in philosophical theology, but also aims at making a distinctive contribution. The authors all belong to the so-called 'Utrecht school' in philosophical theology, whose approach is characterised by the cross-fertilization of Anglo-Saxon and continental, philosophical and theological, traditional and recent thinking. This volume offers a programmatic sample of their work.