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Featured Book: Eighteen Takes on God: A Short Guide for Those Who Are Still Perplexed


“…our ideas of God are formed in one way or another from our human experience,” Leslie Stevenson affirms, “as all our ideas about anything surely are….” 

This philosopher, who taught for 32 years at St. Andrews University—he now serves both as honorary reader in philosophy and honorary Quaker chaplain at this famous Scottish school—introduces in this succinct and lively new-in-2020 book a variety of conceptions of God. A professor at one American college calls him “the most distinguished living philosopher today who is a practicing Quaker.”

His is a sympathetic account of these diverse views, though combined with critical questioning about their meaning. Along the way, he ranges over the thinking of ever so many philosophers of religion—a host of renowned authorities: Kant, Buber, and more—and points up and distills, remarkably well, their take on the sacred.

According to the publisher, Stevenson “aims to loosen readers from prejudices and dogmatic commitments for or against religious beliefs”; he himself makes no overall commitment to theism or deism, agnosticism or atheism. Oxford University Press promises, rightly, “Readers will come away with a profounder and more compassionate understanding of some of the varieties of experiencing and understanding the divine.”

Eighteen Takes on God: A Short Guide for Those Who are Still Perplexed
By Leslie Stevenson
Oxford University Press, 2020

The previous Featured Book, Fishing Tips: How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith, by John Pentland, is now available in the Library.