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God and Philosophy

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  116 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In this work, the Catholic philosopher Etienne Gilson deals with one of the most important and perplexing metaphysical problems: the relation between our notion of God and demonstrations of his existence.
Paperback, Second Edition, 182 pages
Published February 8th 2002 by Yale University Press (first published 1941)
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Webster Bull
Oct 28, 2015 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
I hate philosophy, always have: too dry, makes my head hurt. If not for a course I am taking on "Faith and Reason," I would not have read this book or any others on our syllabus. But having read it, and liked it, I recommend it for anyone interested in how philosophers have accounted (or not) for God since the ancient Greeks. This is challenging, mind-stretching stuff.

Gilson's book arose from four lectures, whose titles serve as good outline: "God and Greek Philosophy," "God and Christian Philos
Apr 24, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
I am currently studying philosophy at a seminary, and in the throws of this endeavor, it is clear that philosophy has a lot to say about religion. But, I was unclear how religion could enhance ones philosophy with out adopting a divine command theory. This book is the answer to the question "how does religion provide value to philosophy?". Chapter 2 of the book is probably the best chapter of the book in regards to the impact of Judeo-Christian views of philosophy. The rest of the chapters expla ...more
Apr 14, 2016 Jeremy rated it really liked it
I really appreciate Gilson's treatise on the necessity of separating metaphysics and science and his insistence that scientists can't (and shouldn't) attempt to solve metaphysical problems. (The difference between asking "how" and "why" as the basis between the science/metaphysics split is also really interesting). His theories on God are also fascinating to read about, but I AM a little wary on his insistence that the true God--"He who is"-- is necessarily the Christian God (and necessarily mal ...more
Jan 18, 2009 Tommy rated it liked it
This book is an interesting take on the evolution of the idea of God and philosophical thought. Nothing really groundbreaking here, but draws things together in an interesting fashion.

* Note to those interested, Gilson is a Thomist.
Apr 29, 2014 Evan rated it it was amazing
Excellent treatment of the interplay of the philosophical and religious idea of God from the earliest Greeks to contemporary positivism. What makes Gilson in general so great to read is his mastery of the history of philosophy, a quality unfortunately lacking in many philosophers today. This book is no exception, despite its brevity. He offers an interesting narrative about the evolution and de-evolution of the notions of essence and existence in our idea of God. For readers who may complain abo ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Miles rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The chapter on Greek philosophy could be a bit confusing if you haven't already read into or learned about some of the ideas of, say, Plato. I much more enjoyed the second and third chapters. The Greek philosophy is necessary, though, as a backdrop to the problem of God's existence. I must say, though, that Plato's quote from the Republic about the Idea of Good was eye-opening (without knowing it his description is perfectly in line with the Christian idea ...more
James Andersen
Mar 26, 2014 James Andersen rated it really liked it
I must give this book its due, on one hand the book is small and a relatively quick read, yet do not let the quaint and conciseness of the book let your guard down. This book manages to employ philosophical language in a manner that readers can understand, while tracing the history of God through time in both its religious and philosophical interactions.

One has to appreciate how well the author brings together the God of Religion with the God of the Philosophers in the Catholic-Thomistic Way, b
Louise Mitchell
Jul 20, 2016 Louise Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Much on Kant, Descartes, etc. The more we come to know God through the study of theology, the more we participate in Him as we will to the fullness of our nature in heaven.
Jun 20, 2013 Cris rated it liked it
Really enjoying this little reader by Etienne Gilson. In simple language he goes through the evolution of Christian 'philosophy' with the backbone of Greek philosophical method. As he goes forward he answers the Greek philosophical framework of the 'unknown God' with revealed characteristics like: unicity, simplicity, infinity as the various 'discoveries' arise from revelation. Only someone with Gilson's authority can take such a complicated subject and make it digestible. My only regret is that ...more
Jun 19, 2016 Bret rated it it was amazing
Blake Reas
Jan 26, 2014 Blake Reas rated it it was amazing
Excellent lectures on existential metaphysics. Giving precedence to the act of being rather than essence.
Aug 29, 2013 Stinger rated it really liked it
Concise, Clear, and Enlightening, Gilson does a masterful job explaining the history of philosophy's conception of God as well as its gradually worsening failure to hit the mark.
Richard Larsen
Aug 12, 2014 Richard Larsen rated it it was amazing
Great stuff. The last chapter provides a superb discussion of the difference between scientific thinking and religious and metaphysical thought.
Dec 14, 2009 Erik marked it as to-read
Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 20, as one of Ten Books on the Humanities.
Steven Dunn
Aug 11, 2013 Steven Dunn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
One of the best books I ever read.
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Étienne Henri Gilson was born into a Roman Catholic family in Paris on 13 June 1884. He was educated at a number of Roman Catholic schools in Paris before attending lycée Henri IV in 1902, where he studied philosophy. Two years later he enrolled at the Sorbonne, graduating in 1907 after having studied under many fine scholars, including Lucien Lévy Bruhl, Henri Bergson and Emile Durkheim.
Gilson ta
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