Search Results for: "Paul Moser"

Paul Moser on “Understanding Religious Experience: From Conviction to Life’s Meaning”

In 2020, Cambridge University Press will publish Understanding Religious Experience: From Conviction to Life’s Meaning by Paul K. Moser. Moser is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University, Chicago. He serves as editor of Cambridge Studies in Religion, Philosophy, and Society and Elements in Religion and Monotheism.

From the publisher’s description of Understanding Religious Experience:

In this book, Paul K. Moser offers a new approach to religious experience and the kind of evidence it provides. Here, he explains the nature of theistic and non-theistic experience in relation to the meaning of human life and its underlying evidence, with special attention given to the perspectives of Tolstoy, Buddha, Confucius, Krishna, Moses, the apostle Paul, and Muhammad. Among the many topics explored in this timely volume are: religious experience characterized in a unifying conception; religious experience naturalized relative to science; religious experience psychologized in merely psychological phenomena; and religious experience cognized relative to potential defeaters from evil, divine hiddenness, and religious diversity. Understanding Religious Experience will benefit those interested in the nature of religion and can be used in relevant courses in religious studies, philosophy, theology, Biblical studies, and the history of religion.

Readers may also be interested in the Evangelical Philosophical Society’s web project on Paul Moser’s “Christ-Shaped Philosophy,” which includes a lead paper by Moser, along with dozens of responses by various philosophers and theologians, along with replies by Moser. For a preview, consider this presentation by Moser for Biola’s Center for Christian Thought:

Paul Moser and the Antecedent Belief Criticism

Paul Moser recently argued that one could have evidence for God even if one does not have a concept of God. This particular argument was discussed in Philosophia Christi’s most recent symposium on Moser’s religious epistemology. In particular, all the participants held a criticism – in one form or another – that I’ll call the antecedent belief criticism.

The crux of the criticism is the denial of the claim that one could have evidence for God if one did not have a prior concept of God. However, the criticism, I argue, misfires on the basis of not taking into account Moser’s earlier epistemological work in Knowledge and Evidence. Specifically, the criticism does not take into account Moser’s theory of evidence as it relates to what he dubs attention-attraction awareness and the contents of subjective nonconceptual perceptual experience.

The essay seeks to clarify what it is that Moser is claiming through his foundationalism in Knowledge and Evidence, and demonstrates how each form of the antecedent belief criticism fails to have impact. The article ends with direction for future debate concerning Moser’s religious epistemology. In particular, how strong is the analogy of the contents of experience in the transformative gift and the contents of subjective nonconceptual perceptual experience?

The full-text of this contribution is available for FREE by clicking here.

Christ-Shaped Philosophy and Systematic Theology: Paul Moser’s Gift to Theologians

Many theologians who are philosophically inclined feel compelled to give some sort of extra-biblical justification for the work done in their discipline.

The most common sources of justification today are the arguments of natural theology and those that stem from presuppositional thought. Both of these approaches, however, meet with vociferous criticism from skeptics.

In this essay, I discuss the attractiveness and high originality of Paul Moser’s religious epistemology, specifically with respect to his providing a means of justifying the task of theologians by providing an evidential argument for the existence of the God of the Bible from the Christian experience of regeneration in Christ.

This argument, by being rooted in both personal experience and the Bible, avoids the problems that attach to the abstract arguments of natural theology and the non-foundationalist approach of presuppositionalism. Unlike these approaches, it justifies belief in the God that meets us in the Bible by appealing to evidence of this God’s work in the lives of Christians. In my view, given its unique strengths, Moser’s Christ-shaped epistemology should be of keen interest to theologians.

The full-text of this contribution is available for FREE by clicking here.

Is Paul Moser Among the Swinburnian Philosophical Theologians?

While Paul Moser distances himself from philosophical projects such as Richard Swinburne’s natural theology, I suggest that he and Swinburne may be working in the same vineyard or, to no longer speak in parables, they both employ a similar epistemology.

While I believe that (what I see as both) Moser’s and Swinburne’s epistemology is sound and they are both right about the meaning of life from the standpoint of theism and naturalism, I urge both to spend a little more time on the role of love in contrasting theism and naturalism.

Finally, I urge Moser to be just a little less Manichean in his view of death.

The full-text of this contribution is available for FREE by clicking here.

Philosophia Christi Winter 2012: Paul Moser’s Religious Epistemology

The very next issue of Philosophia Christi has now mailed! If you are not a current member/subscriber, you can become one today by purchasing here.

This packed issue leads with a resourceful discussion on Paul K. Moser’s religious epistemology, with contributions by Katharyn Waidler, Charles Taliaferro, Harold Netland and a final reply by Moser. This journal contribution not only extends interest and application of Moser’s epistemology but also compliments the EPS web project on “Christ-Shaped Philosophy”.

We also feature interesting work in philosophical theology, including how one might understand “friendship with Jesus” (Michael McFall), the scope of divine love (Jordan Wessling), and how one’s view of original sin relates to a broad free-will defense (W. Paul Franks).

Other significant article contributions address criticisms against Plantinga’s conditions for warrant (Mark Boone), the latest in cosmology and arguments for God’s existence (Andrew Loke) along with further challenges against “central state materialism” (Eric LaRock).

Readers will not want to miss J.P. Moreland’s critique of Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos along with the critique of Christian physicalism by Jonathan Loose. Michael Austin provides a helpful philosophical account of the virtue of humility in light of social science considerations, and Amos Yong critically assesses “relational apologetics” in a global context.

Finally, this issue features book reviews by William Lane Craig, James Stump, Paul Copan, James Bruce and Jason Cruze about books related to the latest on science and theology, cosmology, metaethics, and ethics of abortion. 

See all the articles included in this issue by clicking here.

Paul Moser’s Christian Philosophy

In this paper, William Hasker argues that while Moser does well in preaching the Gospel through his article, much of what he says about Christ-centered philosophy should be resisted.

On the one hand, he seems to give philosophy too high a place, by implying that Jesus and Paul would be demeaned if they were not recognized as being philosophers. On the other hand, he has a distressingly low opinion of the sorts of things philosophers actually do.

Furthermore, his own practice as a philosopher does not correspond well with what is called for by his account of Christ-shaped philosophy.

The full-text of this contribution is available for FREE by clicking here.

Paul Moser, Graham Oppy, and the Philosophical Dignity of Christian Faith

This paper offers two main reflections.

First, I intend to highlight that (and why) the philosopher, when focuses on reality, may treat his object from a merely intellectual point of view, hoping to find pro et contra reasons; but when he focuses on God as well as on every other thing in relation to God, he needs to develop his arguments within a loving relationship with the Lord.

Secondly, it is my intention to treat one more question raised by Graham Oppy’s objections to Moser: the idea that philosophy must start only from what everybody knows. I intend to show that, in the light of such an idea, Christian philosophy seems to be paradoxically less inconsistent than philosophy alone.

The full-text of this contribution is available for FREE by clicking here.

‘Be Quick to Hear and Slow to Speak’: Exploring the Act of Listening as a Christ-Shaped Philosophical Virtue

Engaging Paul Moser’s Christ-Shaped Philosophy (CSP), this paper argues that listening is a philosophical virtue that is an essential characteristic of the Christ-shaped philosopher by meeting the Divine Love Commands (DLC).

The paper first highlights the pertinent parts of Moser’s project that relate to the thesis of the paper – specifically that a defining feature of CSP is characterized by one’s Gethsemane union with Christ. The paper then follows with a discussion on the central role that listening plays in Scripture regarding the life of a child of God, providing a basis upon which to understand listening as meeting the first DLC.

Drawing upon the works of thinkers such as Paul Moser, Dru Johnson, and Carol Harrison, among other, the paper engages the role of listening in one’s engagement with others, thus meeting the second DLC.

The paper concludes by engaging the art of listening as a philosophical virtue, employing Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung’s definition of ‘virtue’ and Suzanne Rice’s exploration of listening as a Christ-shaped philosophical virtue.

The full-text of this paper is available for FREE by clicking here

Remembering Keith Yandell’s Contributions to Philosophia Christi

Members of the Evangelical Philosophical Society mourn the loss of friend, colleague, and teacher, Keith E. Yandell (b. 1938), who passed away on April 28th.

Since the 1960s, Keith’s dozens of articles and books have addressed multiple areas of philosophy, including issues in philosophy of religion, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and Christian engagement with religious diversity and eastern religions. According to an announcement of his passing made by the Society of Christian Philosophers, Keith’s wife, Sharon, said that Keith “enjoyed most of all teaching and mentoring the many students he had in a 45 year career at UW-Madison and as an affiliate professor for several years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.” Additional remembrances are posted at Keith’s Facebook page. See also reflections from Thomas McCall and Harold Netland.

Within Philosophia Christi, the peer-reviewed journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, Keith’s papers were published on issues of metaphysics and philosophical theology, an appraisal of Plantinga’s religious epistemology, Hasker’s “emergent dualism,” an assessment of new interpretations of Kant’s philosophy of religion, and critiques of pluralist accounts of religions and religious diversity.

For example, in 1999, and in the inaugural issue of Philosophia Christi, Keith wrote on “Ontological Arguments, Metaphysical Identity, and the Trinity.” In this article, Keith seeks “to explore some accounts of the necessary and sufficient conditions of metaphysical identity” and their implications for “Anselmian and non-Anselmian views of the Christianity trinity” in order to argue that “if one is a Christian trinitarian theist, then – given certain plausible claims – one should reject the view that God has logically necessary existence” (83). His paper, as in much of his work, toggled between issues of metaphysics and philosophy of religion.

In 2000 (vol. 2, no. 2), Keith participated in a book symposium on William Hasker’s The Emergent Self, which also included contributions from Nancey Murphy, Stewart Goetz, and a reply from Hasker. Keith’s article – “Mind-Fields and the Siren Song of Reason” –  attends to “powers attributed to matter by emergent dualism amount to this: when suitably configured, it generates a field of consciousness that is able to function teleologically and to exercise libertarian free will, and the field of consciousness in turn modifies and directs the functioning of the physical brain.” The article goes on to illuminate the ‘pretty severe tension’ “between the apparently mechanistic character of the physical basis of mind and the irreducibly teleological nature of the mind itself,” such that “the siren song of Cartesian dualism once again echoes in our ears” (183).

In the following year (vol. 3, no. 2), Philosophia Christi featured a book symposium on Alvin Plantinga’s Warranted Christian Belief, which included a paper from Keith – “Is Contemporary Naturalism Self-Referentially Irrational?” and also contributions from Douglas Geivett and Greg Jesson, Richard Fumerton, Paul Moser, and a reply from Plantinga. Keith’s paper offers a multi-point reflection on Plantinga’s argument, leaving the reader to ponder ‘how bad’ is the contemporary naturalist’s argument if Plantinga’s argument is correct?; it “depends not only on [Plantinga’s argument] being valid and having true premises, but on what exactly it does to a view to show that it supports the conclusions that one cannot rationally accept it.” Keith wonders, “Is this like a car having a little scratch on its fender, or like the motor’s parts having been fused by heat?” (356).

In 2007, Keith’s paper, “Who is the True Kant?,” was part of a book symposium on Kant and the New Philosophy of Religion (vol. 9, no. 1); the symposium was guest edited by Chris Firestone and with additional contributions from John Hare, Stephen Palmquist, Nathan Jacobs, Firestone and Jacobs, and Christophe Chalamet. Keith’s article renders a more cautious, as opposed to an optimistic view of the ‘new wave’ interpretations of Kant. “I take Kant, among other strengths, to be incapable of making uninteresting mistakes, which – if you think about it – is a very high compliment” (81).

Keith returned to issues of metaphysics and philosophical theology in a 2009 article (vol. 11, no. 2)  co-authored with Thomas McCall, titled, “On Trinitarian Subordinationism.” In that paper, McCall and Yandell analyze “the claim that the Son is necessarily subordinate to the Father” in order to argue “that there are no good reasons to hold such a view but that there are strong reasons to reject it” since such arguments “often rest upon fundamental misunderstandings of the theological issues at stake, their arguments from Scripture bring important—but flawed—metaphysical assumptions into the exegesis of biblical texts, and their own proposal is either hopelessly mired in contradiction or entails the direct denial of the full divinity of the Son” (339).

Additionally, in that same 2009 issue of the journal, Keith contributed to a symposium guest edited by Chad Meister and that focused on philosophical and theological issues of “Religious Diversity,” which also included papers from Paul Moser and Paul Knitter. Keith’s paper – “Religious Pluralism: Reductionist, Exclusivist, and Intolerant?” –  addresses the idea that religions differ in significant ways and also critiqued the idea that “Religious Pluralism is often taken to define the only unbiased, rational, and acceptable approach to the diversity of religions.” Keith goes on to say that “the Pluralist route is anything but unbiased or rational” and that rather than “being the only acceptable approach, it should be flatly rejected” (275).

Finally, in 2011 (vol. 13, no. 2), Yandell contributed to one more Philosophia Christi symposium, and this time centered on “God and Abstract Objects,” guest edited by Paul Gould, with additional contributions from Richard Davis and William Lane Craig. Keith’s article – “God and Propositions” – focuses the discussion this way: “Arguments that necessary existence is a perfection, and God has all perfections, assume that Necessitarian Theism is true, and hence consistent. Thus they do not provide reason to believe that Necessitarian Theism is true. Nonnecessitarian (‘plain’) theism is on a philosophical par with Necessitarian Theism and can accommodate abstract objects all the while avoiding theological and philosophical refutation” (275).

The above is but a microcosm of Keith Yandell’s faithful work. Keith’s mind, wit, prose, and rigor will surely be missed. Important areas of philosophy – e.g., issues in philosophy of religion – are better because of his leadership.

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