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Palgrave Macmillan

Reason and Faith in the Theology of Charles Hodge

American Common Sense Realism

ISBN 9781137368669
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

The Reformed Theological Tradition makes the beginning point of its theology the knowledge of God, and the goal and meaning of life, the glory of God. John Calvin begins his Institutes of the Christian Religion with chapters about the knowledge of God. The Westminster Confession of Faith dedicates its first chapter to how God is known. However, in 21st century America the words 'knowing God' have come to mean relying on an inner feeling or having a personal preference. Yet it was not that long ago that Charles Hodge, now largely forgotten outside of specialized academic circles, was a national figure known for his theological work on the knowledge of God. This book focuses on the specifics of his intellectual lineage and his own arguments to show how God can be known. There are tensions that arise and must be addressed between claims about the authority of inner feelings on the one hand, and the ability for actual knowledge of God on the other. We today have inherited the residue from those tensions and a better understanding of them will help us in our thinking about knowing God.

Owen Anderson is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at Arizona State University, USA

1. Introductory
2. Why Study Charles Hodge? The Problem
3. Good, Evil, and the Goal
4. Rationalism, Mysticism, Faith, and Reason
5. Religion and Natural Theology
6. Clarity, Unbelief, and Inexcusability
7. Sensus Divinitatis and Proofs for the Knowledge of God
8. Anti-Theism
9. The Highest Good
10. Conclusion


"Anderson offers a good, clear description of Hodge's writings on reason, common sense, general revelation, the knowledge of God and of the self, and several other related topics. This is a fine piece of work that will bring clarity for many to the study of natural theology, especially, at Old Princeton." - Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA
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