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The Reason and Religion series was created to introduce students and educated general readers to the different rational approaches used by believers both in the past and in the contemporary world. This book explores some of faith's most challenging philosophical questions.
Beginning with Augustine, philosophers and theologians have felt it necessary not only to cogently articulate the content of the Christian faith but also to defend philosophically the reasonableness of faith itself. Faith and Understanding is the first book-length study of the "faith seeking understanding" program and the central issues that arise from it-the relation between faith and reason, the claims of natural theology, and the pursuit of the vision of God.In Part One Paul Helm provides a general discussion of these themes, seeking both to contextualize the debate and to engage with contemporary philosophical discussion of the relation between faith, reason, and understanding.Part Two contains five case studies that illustrate the work of seminal figures in the tradition. They include treatments of Augustine on time and creation, Anselm on the ontological argument and the necessity of the atonement, Jonathan Edwards on the nature of personal identity, and John Calvin and the sensus divinitatis, focusing on the way in which Calvin has been appealed to by contemporary Reformed epistemology.Providing a modern treatment of an abiding theme in the philosophy of religion, this book is a clearly written introduction to the subject.