Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Rethinking the Inception and Development of John Hick's Philosophy of Religion in the First and Second Editions of His Faith and Knowledge

Author: Yen-Yi LEE, Assistant Professor, Department of Education, National Taichung University of Education



The issue of the relation between Faith and Knowledge has been a central concern of British theologian and philosopher of religion John Hick throughout his academic career. The starting point of Hick’s wrestling with the topic can be traced back to his book,Faith and Knowledge, frst published in 1957 and revised in 1966. In the first and second edition of this book, Hick presented his understanding of, and criticism of, the debates on the nature of faith at the time. Most importantly, Hick proposed here his initial idea of religious epistemology, which can be taken as the inception of his later philosophy of religion and as the theoretical base for his commending religious pluralism. Moreover, some changes in his argument can also be found between these two editions.

This paper aims to discuss the role and the significance of the first and second editions of John Hick’s Faith and Knowledge in his intellectual journey. The paper begins by reviewing the framework, main concerns and themes of the frst edition of Faith and Knowledge. It points out the theoretical roots of Hick’s philosophy of religion by comparing the two editions of Faith and Knowledge, and then attempts to explore the signifcance of the changed and unchanged parts in the development of Hick’s philosophy of religion.



John Hick, faith, knowledge, philosophy of religion, religious experience


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