"Approaching Philosophy of Religion" by Anthony C. Thiselton. A Review.

My youngest son had a paper to complete on Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Idiot," and the Enlightenment for his AP English Literature class. While we were talking over his content, he was puzzled by the "who" and "what" of the Enlightenment. It just so happened that a new 240 page softback book, "Approaching Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction to Thinkers, Concepts, Methods and Debates" had arrived by post the week before, a work compiled by Anthony C. Thiselton, emeritus professor of Christian theology at the University of Nottingham, England, and fellow of the British Academy. After my teenage son and I perused the volume, examining the installments on the Enlightenment, he borrowed the book and immediately referenced it in his paper. The volume proved to be easily accessible in finding the appropriate topic, and comprehensible by a teenage reader.

"Approaching Philosophy of Religion" simply unfolds in four sections. It begins with recording the historical way-points in the study of the philosophy of religion. Then it readily unpacks the various approaches, covering analytical philosophy, continental philosophy, empiricism and rationalism, existentialism, feminist philosophy, personalism, phenomenology and pragmatism. Next, Thiselton works through various pertinent concepts and issues in philosophy of religion. And finally, the author provides and defines key terms. The manuscript has a nice Chronology at the beginning, and  concludes with a select bibliography marking out recommended text books, recommended seminal works, those volumes of special value, and finally some worthy of note. The manuscript makes itself a worthwhile reference work that is straightforward and uncomplicated. Yet it also is a surprisingly good read that a non-technical, but interested, person could benefit from.

"Approaching Philosophy of Religion" is the kind of volume that High School students would find profitable. It also will help those in college classes that are working on philosophical topics. But it's breadth and approach, as seen in my opening paragraph, shows how useful the volume can be when tackling other subjects, even English literature. It is a book I am keeping on my desk within easy reach, and I highly recommend you do the same.

Thanks to IVP Academic for providing, upon my request, the free copy of the book used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).

You can obtain the book here: "Approaching Philosophy of Religion"


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