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Christ-Shaped Philosophy Project

WELCOME to a unique and ongoing project at the website of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, where we are featuring interactions with Paul Moser’s paper, “Christ-Shaped Philosophy: Wisdom and Spirit United.”

Abstract: Christian philosophy is a distinctive kind of philosophy owing to the special role it assigns to God in Christ. Much of philosophy focuses on concepts, possibilities, necessities, propositions, and arguments. This may be helpful as far as it goes, but it omits what is the distinctive focus of Christian philosophy: the redemptive power of God in Christ, available in human experience. Such power, of course, is not mere talk or theory. Even Christian philosophers tend to shy away from the role of divine power in their efforts toward Christian philosophy. The power in question goes beyond philosophical wisdom to the causally powerful Spirit of God, who intervenes with divine corrective reciprocity. It yields a distinctive religious epistemology and a special role for Christian spirituality in Christian philosophy. It acknowledges a goal of union with God in Christ that shapes how Christian philosophy is to be done, and the result should reorient such philosophy in various ways. No longer can Christian philosophers do philosophy without being, themselves, under corrective and redemptive inquiry by God in Christ. This paper takes its inspiration from Paul’s profound approach to philosophy in his letter to the Colossians. Oddly, this approach has been largely ignored even by Christian philosophers. We need to correct this neglect.

Read the full-text of Moser’s paper for FREE by accessing it here (readers might also be interested in the discussion on Moser’s “religious epistemology” in the Winter 2012 issue of Philosophia Christi).

PROJECT PURPOSE: For philosophers and theologians, we invite you to consider submitting a carefully-honed response to one aspect of Moser’s thesis and argument, whether by critiquing it, advancing it, applying and integrating it to various areas of philosophy, theology and spirituality, or even by articulating some practices conducive toward ‘doing’ Christ-shaped philosophy.

LENGTH: 1500-2000 total words. You are welcome to work with the Project Editor on length issues.

DEADLINE: TBD with editor/coordinator (see below).

Each month, we plan to feature at least one new contribution in this space


How Can You Contribute? 15 Suggestions

  1. Interact with the paper’s thesis on its own merit. Perhaps you might want to discuss an assumption, concept, claim, distinction, methodology, etc., in Paul’s paper.
  2. Do Christ-Shaped Philosophy. Instead of just talking about it, perhaps you would like to model how Christ-Shaped philosophy can be done regarding some carefully-honed topic, whether one that Paul has addressed or something else.
  3. Address how to do Christ-shaped philosophy, whether as a discussion focused on relevant prolegomena issues or concerning the practical processes or practices involved. Here, we welcome even just a proposal for the ‘how to.’
  4. Explain the theological assumptions of Christ-shaped philosophy and show how it contributes to this way of ‘doing’ philosophy.
  5. Contextualize Christ-shaped philosophy in view of other relevant works by Paul Moser. (Paul’s paper is a continuation of his work in earlier publications such as: his Faith and Philosophy paper, “On Jesus and Philosophy”; chapter 4, “Philosophy Revamped,” from his book The Elusive God; his “Introduction” to his edited book, Jesus and Philosophy. A goal here may include drawing an overall general  picture of his conception of ‘Christian philosophy’ from his relevant works).
  6. Envision what it might mean to do Christ-shaped philosophy as and for the church. What are the ecclesial factors and significance for Christ-shaped philosophy? What might be the epistemic significance of theological tradition for informing Christ-shaped philosophy?
  7. Develop how Christ-shaped philosophy might affect philosophy practices (e.g., teaching, dialogue/discourse, and writing/publishing in philosophy). If it does (re)shape practices, explain how it does to distinctively?
  8. Compare the approach and benefits of Christ-shaped philosophy with Analytic Theology. Are they interrelated? Are they addressing similar topics yet asking different questions?
  9. Convey what are the implications of Christ-shaped philosophy for philosophy as a professionalized and specialized discipline in the academy, whether of an analytic or continental variety. Does Christ-shaped philosophy defy that categorization?
  10. If Christ-shaped philosophy is not ‘respected’ or ‘taken seriously’ in the academy, should it be attempted in that context?
  11. Envision the vocation, moral-spiritual character development training and skills of a philosopher if Christ-shaped philosophy is true. Consider this especially in the context of the contemporary practice of analytic philosophy in academic environments. How might graduate work look different if Christ-shaped philosophy is a goal? How might the socialization process and factors of becoming a ‘philosopher’ look any different?
  12. Consider the purpose and outcomes of Christ-shaped philosophy for ‘doing’ Christian apologetics and theology. How might apologetics and theology work differ in relationship to ‘Christian philosophy’ work if Christ-shaped philosophy is true and enacted?
  13. Develop the value and development of Christ-shaped philosophy in conversation with ‘contemporary’ and ‘historical’ voices. Which voices might help advance or help assess Christ-shaped philosophy, whether these are theology, philosophy, or spirituality voices.
  14. Consider whether Christ-shaped philosophy can be a ‘synthesis’ posture/framework for doing philosophy as a Christian, whether one is working from Reformed Epistemology, Evidentialism, Post-Foundationalism, Covenant Epistemology, etc.
  15. Envision how the basic contours of Christ-shaped philosophy might be viewed as a model for Christians ‘doing scholarship,’ regardless of their discipline or area of specialization. How might it be address so-called ‘worldview integration’ issues?

Project Coordinator & Editor
Tedla G. Woldeyohannes
Department of Philosophy
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, MO 63108

Project Developer & Overseer
Joseph E. Gorra, Consulting Editor, Philosophia Christi

Copy Editor Assistant
Dave Strobolakos

2008 EPS Papers (Friday)

Here is a summary outline of who presented on Friday morning and afternoon of the annual EPS conference. The links are to posts that feature abstracts about the papers. Please feel free to comment at each post:

Jim A. Stewart (University of Wales, Lampeter)
The Absurdity of Life without Hell: How Popular Objections to Eternal Punishment Lead to Absurdities

Justin Grace (Terrant County College)
The Text & God: Is “God” a Proper Name or Is “God” Analogous with “Water”

Joel Schwartz (Baylor University)
Show Me the Meaning! A Wittgensteinian Apologetic

Kevin Diller (University of St. Andrews)
Non-Evidentialist Positive Apologetics

C. Charles Wang (Retired)
The Use of Presuppositional Circular Reasoning by Atheists and Theists

Book Symposium on C.S. Lewis as Philosopher

Khaldoun Sweis (Olive-Harvey College)
Evolutionary Naturalism Reconsidered

Stephen C. Dilley (St. Edward’s University)
Scientific Naturalism: A House Divided?

Timothy Yoder (Philadelphia Biblical University)
C. S. Lewis and Aristotle on the Ethical Value of Friendship

Angus Menuge (Concordia University, Wisconsin)
Is Downward Causation Possible?

David Vander Laan (Westmont College)
Bodies as Ecosystems

R. Scott Smith (Biola University)
Naturalism, Our Knowledge of Reality, and Some Implications for Christian Physicalists

Timothy Paul Erdel (Bethel College, Indiana)
Death and Philosophical Judgment

Dennis Plaisted (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga)
God and the Appropriation of Evil

Matt Getz (Biola University)
God’s Bootstraps: Euthyphro Generalized

Mary Jo Sharp (Biola University)
First-Century Monotheistic Judaism, the Earliest Christians, and the Recycled Pagan Myth Theory

Barry L. Carey (Biola University)
Servant Syndrome and the Soul

Richard Davis (Tyndale University)
God and Modal Concretism

Winter 2008 Philosophia Christi

We are nearly at press with the next issue of Philosophia Christi.

In our 10:2 (Winter 2008) issue, there are several important contributions to enjoy. Highlights below.

If you haven’t renewed or if you have never subscribed, please do so by October 31st in order to guarantee that you’ll receive the Winter 2008 issue. NOTE our “first-time subscriber discount.”

Highlights in the Winter 2008 issue

  • Book symposium on Dale Allison’s Resurrecting Jesus, with contributions by William Lane Craig, Stephen T. Davis, Gary R. Habermas and a final response by Allison.
  • Book symposium on William J. Abraham’s Crossing the Threshold of Divine Revelation, with contributions by Stephen Long, James Beilby, James K. A. Smith, and a final response by Abraham.
  • A variety of articles that criticize a version of the Kalam cosmological argument, William Hasker’s philosophy of mind, and a recent version of philosophical relativism.
  • Diverse notes about Christian physicalism, Oppy’s Arguing about Gods, Paley’s natural theology, and an interaction with N.T. Wright’s theodicy.
  • Several book reviews, such as Antony Flew’s review of Dawkin’s God Delusion and notable reviews of Hare’s God and Morality, Kalderon’s Moral Fictionalism, Adams’ Christ and Horrors, Philipps’ Religion and Friendly Fire.