Archive for the ‘profiles’ Category

You may not know this, but hidden away in the quieter corners of some of the universities around Oklahoma are some pretty great philosophers. They write books for non-philosophers and everything.

The first Oklahoma philosopher on my list is also one of my favorites, Eric Reitan, a professor at Oklahoma State University.

A few years ago, when British biologist and vocal atheist Richard Dawkins was making the lecture circuit with his anti-religious screed The God Delusion, Reitan was in the middle of writing a book outlining his particular take on religion. What was originally going to be a book aimed at attacking fundamentalist Christianity, became a philosophical defense of the middle ground between fundamentalism and Dawkins’ atheism. What resulted is the very readable Is God a Delusion: A Reply to Religion’s Cultured Despisers. The Kindle versions is a reasonable price. If you are interested in getting a pretty good look at the state of philosophy of religion and the debates about the existence of god, I can’t recommend a better book.

I haven’t read Reitan’s most recent book, God’s Final Victory: A Comparative Philosophical Case for Universalism, but from what I gather it is about why hell doesn’t exist and everyone is saved. I also can’t recommend this book, because you can’t currently get it for less than $100. That’s what happens when you write for an academic press on an obscure topic. Ivory tower and all that.

Reitan has a pretty great personal blog called The Piety That Lies Between where you can read his ideas for free, and he’ll interact with you. The title is a reference to his religious position between fundamentalism and atheism. He is a super nice guy, and very thoughtful.