Reasoning from Faith

Reasoning from Faith

Fundamental Theology in Merold Westphal’s Philosophy of Religion
Justin Sands
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-03194-5
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Merold Westphal is considered to be one of the preeminent Continental philosophers of religion. His articulation of faith as the task of a lifetime has become a touchstone in contemporary debates concerning faith's relationship to reason. As Justin Sands explores his philosophy, he illuminates how Westphal’s concept of faith reveals the pastoral, theological intent behind his thinking. Sands sees Westphal's philosophy as a powerful articulation of Protestant theology, but one that is in ecumenical dialogue with questions concerning apologetics and faith's relationship to ethics and responsibility, a more Catholic point of view. By bringing out these features in Westphal's philosophy, Sands intends to find core philosophical methodologies as well as a passable bridge for philosophers to cross over into theological discourses.

Author Bio

Justin Sands is a postdoctoral fellow at North West University, South Africa.


“Justin Sands significantly engages the important work of Merold Westphal, a distinguished voice in current discussion of religion in contemporary Continental philosophy in the English-speaking world. Sands offers a wide-ranging exploration of Westphal’s work as a whole, from early investigations to more mature articulations. In a helpfully informative and thoughtful manner he charts the diverse influences and dialogue partners of Westphal, from Hegel and Kierkegaard to Derrida and Nietzsche, and many more. Sands shows himself a deft interpreter of his subject, and offers a thoughtful and engaging map of Westphal’s work, from both philosophical and theological perspectives. In the process he also lays out many of the major landmarks of recent discussion of religion in current Continental thought. Well informed and informative, it is an engaging and illuminating work which is to be recommended warmly.”
 — William Desmond, author of , Desire, Dialectic and Otherness

“Justin Sands's reading of Westphal's philosophy of religion shows how his crossings of philosophy and theology make for a compelling intellectual combustion. The author's exploration of comparative eschatological perspectives in Caputo, Ricoeur and other 'postmodern' writers brings the debate to the cutting edge of contemporary continental philosophy. This is a long overdue critical homage to one of the bravest religious thinkers of our generation.”
 — Richard Kearney, editor (with Jens Zimmermann) of , Reimagining the Sacred: Richard Kearney Debates God

“An excellent introduction to Merold Westphal's work directed at both a philosophical and a theological audience. Extensive and thorough, balanced and fair.”
 — Christina M. Gschwandtner, author of Degrees of Givenness

“Justin Sands has composed a text that both succeeds at several points as an enlightening commentary on Merold Westphal's intricate thought and provokes new questions concerning the original project of his diverse philosophy of religion and fundamental theology.”
 — B. Keith Putt, editor of The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion

“Thorough and highly accessible, Reasoning from Faith is an excellent resource for those interested in philosophy of religion, theology, and/or Merold Westphal, novice and seasoned scholar alike.”
 — Reading Religion

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. Of Hermeneutics and Style: How to Read Westphal
2. Recontextualization: A Westphalian Aufhebung?
3. Westphal and Hegel: Judging Religion Through Politics
4. Hegelians in Heaven, but on Earth...: An "Unfounding," Kierkegaardian Faith
5. Religiousness: The Expression of Faith
6. Faith Seeking Understanding: Westphal’s Postmodernism
7. Intermediary Conclusions: The Believing Soul’s Self-Transcendence
8. Radical Eschatology: Westphal, Caputo, and Onto-Theology
9. Comparative Eschatology: Westphal’s Theology, Kearney’s Philosophy, and Ricoeurian Detours
Conclusion: Westphal as a Theologian and Why it Matters Merold Westphal’s Bibliography

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