Sunday 12 February 2012

In Memoriam: John Hick, philosopher of religion (1922-2012)

John Hick, one of the most eminent philosophers of religion in the anglophone philosophical world, died on 9 February.

Although his trajectory from evangelicalism to liberal Christianity (he died as a Quaker) is one with which I have little intellectual sympathy, anyone who has studied philosophy of religion in a British philosophy or theology department will have almost certainly have been introduced to the subject at least in part via his work.

Ed Feser manages to strike a good balance between appreciation and criticism here. The Internet Encyclopedia article provides an overview of his life and intellectual interests here.

For me, he was one of those authors that first awoke me from my atheist dogmatic slumber and suggested that religion was to be taken seriously. On the other hand, he was also one of those liberal thinkers who seriously underestimated the intellectual resources of orthodox Christianity and thus rather undermined the distinctiveness and importance of a specific and traditional Christian (and certainly, Catholic) understanding of God and the world.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in 1948.

Requiescat in pace.

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