There is a long tradition of the study of religion and religions in their own right, traditionally with a linguistic philological and textual methodology, and in recent decades with a phenomenological approach. More recently scholars have begun comparative work in which more than one tradition is studied; only very recently has philosophy of religion begun to be comparative.
Here, in SCM's Core Text series, The Philosophy of Religion, Gwen Griffith-Dickson examines the thinkers and ideas of different traditions and brings them together in the examination of philosophical questions such as the problem of evil, the existence of God and the concept of God.
The book begins with an overview of the fundamental issues and assumptions of contemporary philosophy or religion, rationality and reason, commitment and disbelief, and the possibilities for religious language. The second half of the book looks at the way different religious traditions have accounted for the fact of evil, suffering, what explanations are given for the origin of evil and so forth. The concept of God for a wide variety of faiths is also examined and brought together in a comparison of what the different religions say about God as Creator, Omniscience, the Divine. Griffith-Dickson asks the questions about what philosophers and theologians in many different faith traditions have had to recommend regarding these issues and shows explicitly where overlap and difference occur.
This is the only textbook of its kind to offer the reader such a wide and inclusive overview of contemporary philosophical study of religions.
The SCM Core Texts are a collection of textbooks designed to help undergraduates at level two and three navigate their way through a variety of subjects. Covering philosophy of religion, religious studies, biblical studies and theology, they aim to offer students an intelligent helping hand in their core areas of study. Each book is designed individually and places an emphasis on pedagogical tools to aid the learner. These tools vary according to suitability across the subjects covered, but include features such as questions for reflection at the end of chapters, textboxes to further explain concepts or provide examples, some web-based materials on companion web-sites which are freely accessible. The textbooks are intended to be used as core reading on undergraduate courses, and as companions to assist lecturers in their classrooms and are all available on the SCM inspection copy scheme. Spiritual encounters and the problems raised by evil and suffering are the experiences that affect our religious beliefs most powerfully. In this far-reaching textbook on the philosophical study of religion Gwen Griffith-Dickson fills a gap in the market by considering these questions in the context of the world's many religions and philosophical traditions, giving attention to Continental European and Eastern philosophy as well as to Anglo-American thinking. This is the only textbook of its kind to offer the reader such a wide and inclusive overview of contemporary philosophical study of religions.