I am excited to announce the release of the fourth book in the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series: Philosophy of Religion, edited by Beau Branson (Brescia University, Kentucky, USA).
Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Religion explores various arguments for and against belief in the existence of God, ranging from the most common and traditional to more recent and less well known.An introductory chapter traces the deep interconnections between philosophy and religion in the Western tradition. The final chapter critiques Philosophy of Religion as standardly taught, asking where the place is for non-Western religions that don’t involve the God of Western monotheism and suggesting new directions for the future of the field.
The book is short enough to be incorporated as a unit on Philosophy of Religion in an Introduction to Philosophy course (perhaps using other texts from the Introduction to Philosophy series or other resources). It can also be paired with readings from primary sources in a semester-long Philosophy of Religion course. In the latter case, students with no background in philosophy of religion can consult the main chapters for clear and succinct overviews of major arguments, orienting themselves before reading weightier texts. Each chapter includes questions for reflection that can be used as short writing prompts or to stimulate class discussions. Potentially unfamiliar terms are linked to a glossary to help students of all levels to engage with the arguments presented in the text. Each chapter has been peer-reviewed by outside reviewers, as well as by one undergraduate reviewer who provided feedback on how accessible the content was for an undergraduate audience.
There are nine books planned for the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series, each with its own editor (series editor: Christina Hendricks, University of British Columbia). With the publication of Philosophy of Religion, four of the series have now been published (see also Philosophy of Mind, Ethics, and Logic). Books on Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, and Social and Political Philosophy are currently in production.
The books are written for an audience of students with little to no background in philosophy, without jargon and with potentially unfamiliar concepts explained. They are designed to help students gain the necessary foundations in particular philosophical areas in order to be able to pursue further study in those areas if they wish.
Each book has a Creative Commons Attribution license that allows it to be reused free of charge, or downloaded and revised/remixed to better fit one’s own context. For example, instructors are welcome to combine a few chapters from multiple books, adding in their own work or other openly-licensed or public domain content, to create their own customized textbook.
Please see the project discussion pages on the Rebus Community platform for further information about the series, including opportunities to volunteer to help out with the other books. We also welcome questions or comments on the books or the project as a whole in that discussion space. If you plan to adopt part or all of any of the books in the series, please let us know on our adoption form!