Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Philosophy of Religion (2023 - September)
(Text as at 04/10/2023 21:59:02)
Rationale for this Project
- See my Christian page1 and onward links from there for an explanation of how I got in to and out of evangelical Christianity. This is still a live issue for me, and the reason I originally undertook formal philosophical training.
- The connection to my current philosophical researches arises from the standard religious hope that resurrection – or some other form of post-mortem survival – is possible. This is a cornerstone of religious claims and expectations, at least in the Abrahamic religions, from those of suicide bombers to those of more pacific persons. I wish to go back to the considerations that originally motivated Locke and research the metaphysical possibility of resurrection, or other post-mortem survival, for beings such as us. My current opinion is that resurrection for human beings is metaphysically impossible2, given that substance dualism is false.
- In late September 2010 I took the Philosophy of Religion3 Module of a 2-year part time MA in Philosophy and Religion at Heythrop College London (Defunct), University of London. Follow the links for my Personal Statement4, Interview Write-up5, and Course Outline6. I decided not to proceed with the MA but do intend to follow up on7 the many issues raised.
- During 2016 I assisted with the Appendices of my friend’s PhD Thesis on the Narrative Structure of the Acts of the Apostles, building a website. See "Mansell (Peter) - Bottom Up Reading of Acts".
- In August 2017 I was asked by Michael J. Alter to review pre-publication his book on the theology of the Resurrection. Unfortunately, it turned out to be too much work, and I only commented on the first section.
- A surprise in 22Q1 was contact made by Jack Hampshire, a Christian friend I’d not heard from since 20078 (and before that not since 1990). Amongst other things, he put me on to "Stewart (Kenneth) - Sermons", though I’ve not followed this up much.
- As of mid-23Q3 I have decided to focus as much as I can on my Thesis, so have – temporarily at least – axed all ‘distractions’, including this project which is now mostly in abeyance.
Summary of Progress during July - September 2023
- I spent 23.25 hours in 23Q3 on this Project, or related work (251 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2022). That's 25.5% of the planned effort (74.1% YTD). Overall, 3.6% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 9.7% YTD) - as against 13.7% planned (12.5% YTD).
- As noted above, there was a radical change of direction this quarter. As a result, I only spent a quarter of my time budget on this project because I put all my ‘original language’ Bible-reading on hold at the end of July 2023.
- So, …, only in the first month did I put a lot of effort into maintaining my reading of the OT in Hebrew and the LXX in Greek and a second reading through the Greek NT using Bibleworks. Naturally, the completion dates will have slipped 2 months, and will continue to slip9 until I take up reading again.
- I still intend to read through the Qur’an in Arabic but need to improve my Arabic first. I have the materials to hand but have not progressed matters recently. I’ve been reading "Crone (Patricia) & Cook (Michael) - Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World" for background, but it’s a tough read aimed at experts. I should probably focus on "Burton (John), Qur'an - The Collection of the Qur'an", which is in any case more relevant.
- Further details follow:-
Religion (Total Hours = 14.25)Religion Background (Total Hours = 9)
- Religion Background - Admin
- Religion Background - Discussions (Total Hours = 8.25)
- Progress (if any) in the current quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List10, and YTD in the current & future “automatic” editions of this report.
Plans for the Near Future
- For the reasons given above, I’ve decided effectively to mothball this project temporarily and have allocated a nominal 1 hour / week to keep it ticking over.
- The items in the list below are those I’d like to address if time allows, which it most likely won’t!
- Philosophy of Religion:
- "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life": Continue reading,
- "Davis (Stephen T.) - The Mad/Bad/God Trilemma: A Reply to Daniel Howard-Snyder": Annotate,
- "Ginn (Roy) - According to the Scriptures": Complete write-up
- "Howard-Snyder (Daniel) - Does Faith Entail Belief": Read,
- "Howard-Snyder (Daniel) - The Skeptical Christian": Read,
- "Howard-Snyder (Daniel) - Was Jesus Mad, Bad, Or God?…Or Merely Mistaken?": Annotate,
- "Insole (Christopher J.) - Realism and Anti-Realism": Read,
- "Plantinga (Alvin) & Dennett (Daniel) - Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?": Read.
- David Instone-Brewer:
- "Instone-Brewer (David) - The Jesus Scandals: Why He Shocked His Contemporaries (And Still Shocks Today)",
- "Instone-Brewer (David) - Science and the Bible: Modern Insights for an Ancient Text",
- Incorporate downloaded papers into my database.
- "Bibleworks - Bibleworks: OT & NT", and
- "Lanier (Gregory R.) & Ros (William A.) - Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition - Volume 1".
- Qur'an / Islam:
- "Asad ( Muhammad), Qur'an - The Message of the Quran: The Full Account of the Revealed Arabic Text Accompanied by Parallel Transliteration",
- "Burton (John), Qur'an - The Collection of the Qur'an".
- "Crone (Patricia) & Cook (Michael) - Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World".
- "Jones (Alan), Qur'an - Arabic Through the Qur'an", Note11
- "Omar (Abdul Mannan), Qur'an - The Dictionary of the Holy Quran: Arabic Words - English Meanings",
- "Qur'an - Easy Quran: Arabic Text With Word For Word English Translation",
- "Wansbrough (John), Rippin (Andrew), Qur'an - Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation".
- Aeon: Read & annotate papers as they arise
- "Finkelstein (Israel) & Silberman (Neil Asher) - The Bible Unearthed": Continue reading
- "Stewart (Kenneth) - Sermons": Dip in occasionally
- "Taylor (Joan E.) - Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and His Times Via Monty Python's Life of Brian": Review KCL Conference videos
- "Watts (Edward) - The Final Pagan Generation: Rome's Unexpected Path to Christianity": Continue reading
Summary of Progress to Date
I’ve hived off the history to a separate document12, which still requires a major update.
In-Page Footnotes:Footnote 2:
- Or if not strictly impossible – rather unlikely, as the candidates for enabling some sort of physical continuity – from luz bones to “corpse swapping” – have multiple problems.
- However, there are some interesting ideas by Dean Zimmerman, most recently in "Zimmerman (Dean) - Bodily Resurrection: The Falling Elevator Model Revisited", that argue the contrary.
- Also, transhumanists – who are almost following a religion – are often hopeful of post-mortem survival. I have no metaphysical worries about “cryonic suspension”, and subsequent resuscitation, but think that uploading is incoherent.
- This pious hope has been sitting unactioned for over 12 years now!
- The proximate cause of my failure was missing a deadline for my essay on the Ontological Argument, but a more serious reason was that it was all a waste of time (for me, given my research interests). Peter Vardy had warned me about anno domini, with the claim that original work after the age of 65 is unlikely. I hope this is false, as I’ve ignored the warning, and am about to reach that milestone.
- I’ve suppressed the table that shows plans and progress since I need to update the Functor that does the calculations.
- It can be viewed in previous versions of this report.
Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 88)
Summary of Notes Referenced by This Note
To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.
Summary of Notes Citing This Note
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Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note
||Thesis - Immortality
||Thesis - Life After Death
||Thesis - Religion
||Thesis - Resurrection
Text Colour Conventions
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2023