Disputed Questions in Theology and the Philosophy of Religion

John Hick

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April 28, 1993
216 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300053548
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When medieval theologians wrote their Quaestiones Disputatae, the disputed questions concerned relatively peripheral topics, for Christians agreed on all of the most basic matters. But today even the most central issues in Christianity are controversial, and Christian discourse itself is part of the wider dialogue that includes all the great religious and philosophical traditions of the world. In this book a leading philosopher of religion offers fresh insights into some of the disputed religious questions of our time.

John Hick begins by addressing the most fundamental questions: whether religion is a wish-fulfilling projection or a human response to the Transcendent, and whether religious experience constitutes authentic awareness of a divine Reality. He then considers specifically Christian beliefs, such as the deity of Jesus and the problems encountered by attributing to Jesus both all divine and all human properties, and he suggests an alternative image of Jesus as a man extraordinarily open to and inspired by the divine spirit. Hick gives a personal account of how he has come to accept religious pluralism—that the major world faiths are different but equally valid responses to ultimate Reality. He considers how much Christians have to learn from Buddhism, discusses the ongoing dialogue among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and outlines a philosophy of religions—a conception of the relationship between world religions and between them and the ultimately Real. Finally he turns to the mystery of death and, using the resources of the world religions and of parapsychology, suggests a possible conception of life after death.

John Hick is Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in the Humanities at the University of Birmingham, England, and Danforth Professor of the Philosophy of Religion Emeritus at Claremont Graduate School. The most recent of his many books, An Interpretation of Religion, won the 1991 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

"Hick's interpretations are plausible and controversial. His book is original, sound, readable, and important."—Ninian Smart, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Few readers will fail to have their vision of the religious landscape changed by this stimulating, challenging study from a foremost scholar."—Choice

"A finely wrought inquiry into the nature and meaning of religious belief."—William O'Neill, America

"Profoundly substantive. The author . . . [addresses] the most fundamental questions in the field of religion today . . . [and] offers a genuinely exciting challenge to explore the potential reaches of authentic eternal spirituality. . . . Certain to be a major contribution. . . . Here is a scholar who loves truth at all cost, wherever he finds it."—J. Harold Ellens, Journal of Psychology and Christianity

"No one, I think, has done more to provoke and stimulate hard thinking about Christianity vis-a-vis the other great world faiths. Both the man and his work are impressive indeed. If there is anyone who could change my own mind about a more or less treaditional understanding of Christianity, it would be John Hick."—Ed L. Miller, Journal of the American Academy of Religion


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An Interpretation of Religion

Human Responses to the Transcendent, Second Edition

John Hick

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