This book explores the nature of religious belief in the light of the interpretation of the Christian religion given by John Oman, John Baillie and John Macmurray. Each of these were lauded Scottish thinkers of the 20th century, and this book reintroduces contemporary theologians and students to the value of their respective philosophies of religion. Macmurray, Baillie and Oman each argued that Christianity can be best understood by employing the concept of 'experience', and is best seen as a response to problems and challenges that arise in the course of everyday life. Each also argued that Christianity is both cognitive and practical.
Adam Hood draws on the work of these three thinkers and on the resources of theology and analytical philosophy to present an important departure point for understanding the Christian faith and for appreciating the role of Christianity within the wider cultural frame. Hood concludes that an experiential approach is consistent with religious and cultural pluralism.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; John Macmurrary: immediate experience and the need for fellowship; John Macmurrary: the experiential ground and function of religious belief; John Baillie: moral experience, personal knowledge, and religious belief; John Baillie: the ethical and experiential basis of religious belief; John Oman: the perception of the supernatural; John Oman: the feeling of the holy and the search for truth; Comparisons and conclusions; Bibliography; Index.
Reviews: 'Hood provides clear exposition of the main themes considered by Macmurray, Baillie and Oman, judicious criticism both philosophical and theological, and careful comparisons between their respective points of view... I hope this book will be widely read and discussed, not only by scholars, but also by pastors and that wide range of people interested in what it is to be human. The implications are potentially of practical significance, which would not surprise the thinkers to whom Hood has drawn our attention.' Reviews in Religion and Theology
‘This book makes a contribution to one of the most pressing problems of theology in our time: what are the credentials of religious experience and the beliefs we erect upon it’... fair and accurate’. Theology
'... there is much to ponder in this important study.' The Heythrop Journal
'This is a valuable book for several reasons. It provides a thorough and clear account of the views of three philosophers whose thought is significant but about whom not much secondary material is available. It also subjects the ideas of these men to critical scrutiny and thereby raises some important considerations for philosophy of religion in general. Lastly, the author...advances some of his own views in dialogue with those of the thinkers he writes about, and these views are themselves of interest.' International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion
'Exposition and discussion of these three writers is meticulous, gentle and thorough... The book is essential for anyone concerned with these three writers, and is of wide interest in its defence of a basic human experience of a personal God, which is completed in Christianity. Hood succeeds in showing that these twentieth-century Scottish theologians share a characteristic approach, generous and humane, which is well worth retrieving and celebrating. In this book Adam Hood does just that.' Scottish Journal of Theology
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