From Athens to Jerusalem (Paperback)

From Athens to Jerusalem (Paperback)

By Stephen R. L. Clark
Product Code: 9781621384359

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Product Description

These expanded Gifford lectures attempt to answer Tertullian’s jibe, “What business has Jerusalem with Athens?” 

That is, what possible connection can there be between Christianity’s “enthusiasm” and rational philosophy? Addressing this question within the horizons of multiple, sometimes apparently opposing, worldviews, the author ends by stoutly defending reason, the achievability of truth, and the reality of consciousness against contemporary attack, illustrating how philosophy—too often reduced to abstract pseudo-virtuosity—can help us dissolve modern conundrums that have led to epidemic depression, relativism, and acedia. 

In particular, he finds that Neoplatonic theism, which has well served Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus, provides a language of debate for those of different religious traditions, and a context in which those dedicated to humane learning and the love of truth can take their pursuit as something more than an impracticable hobby. This thesis is applied to such issues as the evolution of consciousness, environmentalism, animals’ rights, the ethics of belief, negative theology, and the problem of evil. 

  • 2019
  • 242 pages
  • 5.5 × 8.5 in

  • Praise for From Athens to Jerusalem

    “It is good to see Stephen R. L. Clark’s From Athens to Jerusalem in print again, as its originality and ingeniousness have well stood the test of time. Clark’s writing is always fresh, clear, and suggestive. Even if you are not apt to be converted to neo-Platonism, you will be required to think again, and think hard, about why a Christian angle on it should not remain a vital contender in today’s panoply of metaphysical visions.”

    — SARAH COAKLEY, University of Cambridge and Australian Catholic University; author of God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’ 

    “This book does much more than respond to Tertullian’s question, for Clark also develops here a theistic epistemology and philosophy of mind meant to respond to several contemporary academic trends. He takes on all comers in a nuanced way and with a lively, engaging style. Scholars should be very happy to have a reprint available of this important book in which the traditional roots of both reason and faith are examined in original ways.”

    — DANIEL A. DOMBROWSKI, Seattle University; author of Not Even a Sparrow Falls: The Philosophy of Stephen R. L. Clark

    “In From Athens to Jerusalem, containing his 1981 Gifford Lectures, the most capable and versatile English philosopher of religion of his generation offers an insightful reconciliation of faith and reason. Thoroughly Christian, while also rooted deeply in classical thought and sensitively appreciative of multiple religious traditions, this book explores a range of perennially important issues elegantly and provocatively.”

    — GARY CHARTIER, La Sierra University; author of An Ecological Theory of Free Expression

    “This book, now something of a classic, remains as fresh and relevant in its arguments as when first published. Its concerns, such as the challenge of relativism, deserve close consideration by a new generation.”

    — ROGER TRIGG, Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford; author of Beyond Matter: Why Science Needs Metaphysics

    “In this expanded set of Gifford Lectures, distinguished philosopher Stephen Clark weaves his interests in Platonism, Christianity, animal rights, and science fiction into a text both deeply insightful and highly readable.”

    — JOHN DILLON, Trinity College Dublin; author of The Roots of Platonism: The Origins and Chief Features of a Philosophical Tradition

    About the Author

    STEPHEN R. L. CLARK is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Theology at the University of Bristol. He continues to manage an international e-list for philosophers, and to serve as Associate Editor of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. His books include The Mysteries of Religion (1984), God’s World and the Great Awakening (1991), Biology and Christian Ethics (2000), Understanding Faith: Religious Belief and its Place in Society (2009), Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy (2013), and Plotinus: Myth, Metaphor and Philosophical Practice (2016). His chief current interests are in the philosophy of Plotinus, the understanding and treatment of non-human animals, philosophy of religion, and science fiction.

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