Archives For Philosophy



Yesterday marked the birthday of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (b. 1813).

In honor of the occasion, here is one of his renowned essays:

The Crowd is Untruth

Søren Kierkegaard

Translated by Charles K. Bellinger

My dear, accept this dedication; it is given over, as it were, blindfolded, but therefore undisturbed by any consideration, in sincerity. Who you are, I know not; where you are, I know not; what your name is, I know not. Yet you are my hope, my joy, my pride, and my unknown honor.

It comforts me, that the right occasion is now there for you; which I have honestly intended during my labor and in my labor. For if it were possible that reading what I write became worldly custom, or even to give oneself out as having read it, in the hope of thereby winning something in the world, that then would not be the right occasion, since, on the contrary, misunderstanding would have triumphed, and it would have also deceived me, if I had not striven to prevent such a thing from happening.

Continue Reading…


Today is the birthday of Jewish theologian Martin Buber, born 1878.

In honor of the occasion, here is an excerpt from his important book:

I and Thou
Martin Buber

First Translated to English, 1937
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [  Kindle ]

Continue Reading…



Today is the birthday of twentieth-century French philosopher Simone Weil, born 1909.

Here’s a wonderful and concise overview of why Weil’s work matters, and especially to Christians.

This is Leslie Fiedler’s introduction to Weil’s book:

Waiting For God
Simone Weil

Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

*** Other Books by Simone Weil


Continue Reading…




Today (January 12) is the 87th birthday of philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre.

MacIntyre’s book, After Virtue, is arguably the most important work of contemporary philosophy for Christians today, and this book has greatly shaped theological discourse since its release in 1981.

After Virtue: 3rd Edition
Alasdair MacIntyre

Paperback:  Notre Dame, 2006
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
Here are some helpful resources that introduce and guide you through this important book…

  1. Read Stanley Hauerwas’s brief introduction to MacIntyre:
    The Virtues of Alasdair MacIntyre  
    (First Things, October 2007)

  2. Continue Reading…




This week marked the death of one of the most important social and theological thinkers of the last century, Rene Girard.

Receiving his PhD in history, Girard began his academic career by teaching French literature, and it was his work in literary theory that would guide him into the study of scripture, theology and society.

At the core of Girard’s work is the concept of mimetic theory, i.e., that our human desires take shape by imitation, by desiring things that others desire. But these desires lead us into conflict and violence because there is a scarcity of the thing desired.

In remembrance of Girard, we offer the following introductory guide to his work (which focuses particularly on his theological work).


Introduction to Mimetic Theory:

This is a great, half-hour video in which Girard lays out the basic components of his mimetic theory. It is a good place to start engaging Girard’s work, as it is clear and relatively concise…

Continue Reading…


Wholly Without Weapons

A review of

Theology’s Epistemological Dilemma: How Karl Barth and Alvin Plantinga Provide a Unified Response
Kevin Diller

InterVarsity Press Academic, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Joe Krall


“What are you doing, Joe?”

“I’m reading a book for my internship!”

“Oh, cool. What’s the book?”

[reads the title]

“Wow…Okay, have fun with that.”


I’ve had at least six versions of this conversation since starting Kevin Diller’s Theology’s Epistemological Dilemma this summer. So let me quickly assure you that this book, a volume of analytic theology, is one of the best things I’ve read all year.

A professor of philosophy at Taylor University, Diller attempts in this book to critically and clearly about God’s revelation and how we know God. This is no abstruse research project, but a task with practical implications for Christian doctrine and practice. If you’re looking for an academic review of analytic precision, this review may cause you to shake your head in disappointment. But I learned much reading Theology’s Epistemological Dilemma, and I wish to pass that on, however imperfectly, to the readers of The Englewood Review of Books.
Continue Reading…


A Book You Can Sink Your Teeth Into?


A Feature Review of

Dracula and Philosophy: Dying to Know
(Popular Culture and Philosophy Series)
Edited by Nicolas Michaud and Janelle Pötzsch

Paperback: Open Court, 2015.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by John W. Morehead


Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula is one of the most influential books ever written. It has been featured in a number of different forums, including stage plays, films, television programs, graphic novels, and more. It has also led to a wealth of discussion over the years. One of the latest comes in Dracula and Philosophy, an exploration of philosophical issues that come by way of reflection on this classic novel’s horror story.


Dracula and Philosophy is comprised of five sections and twenty-four chapters. Section I is “The Downside of Undeath,” with five chapters. The second section is “A Vampire’s Values” that includes five chapters. Another five chapters make up Section III with “What’s It Like to Be Dracula?”.  The fourth section discusses “Why We’re Afraid” of the undead count in five chapters, while Section V explores “From the Dracula Files” through four chapters. This book also includes an introduction, a listing of references, contributor bios, and an index.

Continue Reading…


Discerning Meaning Through Experience
A Review of 
Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception
John Searle

Hardback:  Oxford UP, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Tyler Campbell

John Searle has taught philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley since 1959, and is the winner of several prestigious awards within the humanities. His curriculum vitae is extensive, and features robust works ranging in topics from speech, political commentary, the philosophy of language, logic, social reality, and consciousness. Throughout his career, Searle has always been an entertaining read not only for the subject matter that he works with, but for the ways in which he goes about engaging these topics. The tone in his writing is at all times confident, procedural, and steeped within the history of philosophy. However, aided by the topics he most frequently engages, the examples and justifications for his arguments are frequently overwhelmingly human. Often times it is precisely at the moment when the reader begins feeling perplexed that Searle employs the example of his furniture, dog, or the scene from his window to help explain his point. His latest book, Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception, finds its foundations in this sort of allegorical mastery. Through this, Searle creates a highly technical account of the intentionality of our perceived experiences; pushing the reader to think more acutely of how their brains process the things they interact with in their daily lives.

Continue Reading…


Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful

By Dale Partridge

Watch a talk that the author did about this book at Qideas


Continue Reading…


Opening Doors for the Mystery of Faith

A Review of

The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith
Peter Rollins

Paperback: Howard Books, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Stephen Milliken


Peter Rollins is an Irish-born philosopher and theologian with a knack for maintaining traditional Christian traditions, yet emptying them of their previous meaning. Through this kenotic process and his use of culturally-charged parables, he gives us new perspectives and deeper meanings with which to experience and understand that Christian tradition. In his newest work, Rollins continues to dish out a healthy dose of paradoxical truth along with a side of provocation.

Continue Reading…