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In his fine book The Wisdom to Doubt, J. L. Schellenberg builds a case for religious scepticism by advancing a version of the Hiddenness Argument. This argument rests on the claim that God could not love, in an admirable way, those who seek God while also remaining hidden from them. In this article, I distinguish two arguments for this claim. Neither argument succeeds, I contend, as each rests on an unsatisfactory understanding of the nature of admirable love, whether human or divine.
In this article, I explain and critique J. L. Schellenberg's atheological argument from horrors. I raise an epistemic objection, arguing that no one could be justified in believing its conclusion on the basis of its premises. Then I adumbrate a notion of the divine which is different in various ways from the God of classical theism and argue that Schellenberg's argument makes no trouble for belief in the existence of God so construed.
This article assesses J. L. Schellenberg's account of propositional faith and, in light of that assessment, sketches an alternative that avoids certain objections and coheres better with Schellenberg's aims.
I discuss some trends in recent philosophy of religion, focusing on J. L. Schellenberg's Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion. I pay special attention to Schellenberg's dual emphases on ‘the Ultimate’ as metaphysical object of inquiry and various non-doxastic states (‘faith that’, ‘faith in’) as psychological objects of inquiry. This view is contrasted throughout to what might be called a ‘liturgical’ orientation in philosophy of religion.
According to J. L. Schellenberg, sceptical faith in the Ultimate is not merely permitted, but is rationally required. It is, all things considered, the response that we should make. In this article, I assess just three of Schellenberg's arguments for this bold conclusion. I explain why I find each of them unpersuasive.
In his recent trilogy, J. L. Schellenberg presents a new religious option: to have beliefless faith in a general object of religious concern that he thinks is referenced at the core of most sectarian religions – the axiological, soteriological, and metaphysical ultimate, which I call ‘UUU’. After explaining what UUU is more fully, I argue that the claim that UUU exists should not be, as Schellenberg says, the only focus for philosophy of religion. Still, I argue that such a claim is a good basis for a new form of religion, especially if it is modified in a couple of ways.
I argue that J. L. Schellenberg's sceptical religion faces two problems of religious adequacy. The first has to do with its relationship to the goal of bringing persons into proper alignment with an ultimate good; the second, with the desideratum of sceptical religion's becoming sufficiently well-established as to be a vehicle for the accomplishment of great things on the stage of history. I argue that actual sceptical religion would need to accommodate itself to the requirements of historical existence, and that such accommodation might well lead to a blurring of the distinctions Schellenberg draws between ‘sectarian’ and sceptical religion.
This article reflects critically on some of the claims of J. L. Schellenberg's trilogy and on the fundamental decisions lying behind them. Some of the latter are found to be tied to his earlier work on atheism in ways that can be questioned.