The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers

  • Edward Caird
1900 to 1902
University of Glasgow

The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers gives an account of those ideas of Greek Philosophers which have decisively affected the subsequent development of theological thought. The selection of topics is confined mainly to the writings of Plato and Aristotle, to the main representatives of the Stoic philosophy, and to Philo and Plotinus among the Neo-Platonists.

The Interpretation of Religious Experience, vol. 2

  • John Watson
1910 to 1912
University of Glasgow

In the second part entitled Constructive Watson gives such an interpretation of religious ideas as may seem to be required by the greater complexity and comprehensiveness of modern thought. Watson attends to the evolution of ideas, concentrating on suggestive ideas in Hegel and his English exponents, though refusing to accept some of the doctrines presented as Hegelian in the works of certain exponents and critics in England and Germany.

The Interpretation of Religious Experience, vol. 1

  • John Watson
1910 to 1912
University of Glasgow

The Interpretation of Religious Experience is divided into two parts, published in separate volumes. In the first part entitled Historical Watson reflects critically upon religion and especially upon Christianity, discussing theological and philosophical writers. An enquiry into the origin and development of Christianity is conducted, devoting particular attention both to the systematic formulation of religious experience in theology and also to the influence of philosophy on theology.

The Idea of Immortality

  • Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison
1921 to 1923
University of Edinburgh

In this volume, Pringle-Pattison gives a historical review of how the idea of immortality is expressed in different ages, and examines the corresponding foundation for the hope of immortality for each period. He defines ‘eternal life’ as experienced through the participation in the being of Christ; it is a spiritual attitude intended for the here and now.

The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy

  • Etienne Henri Gilson
1930 to 1932
University of Aberdeen

The central thesis of Etienne Gilson’s Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy is that, contrary to the commonly held view, the Middle Ages did indeed have a distinctive philosophy of its own and that philosophy was the distinctively Christian one. Through comparisons with Plato and Aristotle, he principally examines Aquinas, Augustine, Duns Scotus and St Bonaventure. He is concerned with the relation of faith to reason in light of the very concept of a Christian philosophy, and shows how the mediævals drew upon but radically recast Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics of being, necessity and contingency in light of the spirit of Christianity. Through accounts of nature and beings as created by being itself, Gilson demonstrates that the mediævals’ accounts of providence, liberty and morality are rational yet distinctively Christian in inspiration. Though the spirit of mediæval philosophy floundered, Gilson suggests that that is where we should look in order to resurrect a Christian philosophy.

The Freedom of Will

  • Austin Marsden Farrer
1956 to 1957
University of Edinburgh

Farrer’s work is a strong argument for freedom against determinism, which won wide praise from fellow philosophers, including his Oxford colleague P. F. Strawson. The work is dominated by a didactic assessment of libertarian and determinist arguments, in which the full weight of the determinist argument is given credence. Yet the fulfilment of the work places ultimate credence to the role of creativity and invention as the primary action of the will.

Emotion and Peace of Mind

  • Richard Sorabji
1996 to 1997
University of Edinburgh

Sorabji’s Emotion and Peace of Mind, subtitled From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation, traces the historical development of ancient philosophy on emotions, emphasizing the contribution of the Stoics to the debates about what emotion is in general and how to cope with one’s own emotions and establish peace of mind.

Characters in Search of Their Author

University of Glasgow

Rather than contributing a new work of natural theology, Characters in Search of Their Author is a philosophical defence of the broad task of natural theology, which takes as its starting point the assumption that some knowledge of God is attainable through ordinary means.

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