Philosophy of Religion in the Classical American Tradition

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J. Caleb Clanton
  • Knoxville, TN: 
    University of Tennessee Press
    , January
     295 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Stephen Dawson forthcoming.


The years between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II are often seen as a golden age of philosophical thought in the United States, thanks in part to the early development of pragmatism. Together, the pragmatists and other classical American philosophers of the time period addressed many of the issues still under debate in philosophy today, and their influence is still evident. Yet many of their contributions to philosophy of religion have not yet received the critical analysis they deserve.

In Philosophy of Religion in the Classical American Tradition, J. Caleb Clanton reconstructs, evaluates, and extends a variety of views in philosophy of religion drawn from, inspired by, or developed in response to the classical American philosophical tradition. Problem-based and argument-driven, each chapter explores a salient issue in philosophy of religion by engaging with such thinkers as C. S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and Edward Scribner Ames, as well as two prominent contemporary inheritors of the classical American philosophical tradition, Cornel West and Richard Rorty. Clanton addresses a wide variety of topics, including the reality of God, the veridicality of mystical experience, the problem of evil, the efficacy of petitionary prayer, religious naturalism, and the role of religion in the democratic public square.

For scholars and teachers of philosophy and religious studies, Philosophy of Religion in the Classical American Tradition will serve as a valuable resource for engaging with the history of philosophy of religion in the United States.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

J. Caleb Clanton is professor of philosophy and University Research Professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Classical American Pragmatists and Religion and The Philosophy of Religion of Alexander Campbell, winner of the Lester McAllister Prize.

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