These books were highlights for me through the past year; some new, some old. Again, I won’t include any Bavinck-related or primary source material.

  1. Henry Allison, Kant’s Transcendental Idealism (YUP, 2004)
    • A central book within the so-called ‘third wave’ Kant scholarship (along with Ameriks et al), presenting a ‘non-ontological’ reading of Kant’s transcendental idealism. On this reading, phenomena and things in themselves are two modes of referring to the same objects, rather than denoting two distinct entities. Extremely high level of scholarship here.
  2. Sameer Yadav, Theological Empiricism and the Problem of Perception (Fortress, 2015)
    • A monograph that (1) provides a nice map of current debates in theological epistemology and (2) drawing from John McDowell, Yadav provocatively offers a transcendental argument for a minimal empiricism that goes hand in hand with the thought of Gregory of Nyssa.
  3. Kevin Hector, The Theological Project of Modernism (OUP, 2015)
    • A judicious, detailed, and charitable exposition of the canonical Modern theologians and their account of faith, identity and what Hector calls ‘mineness’. Somehow my (very positive) review for the Expository Times on this book ended up on the OUP website.
  4. Andrew Inkpin, Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language (MIT Press, 2016)
    • Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Wittgenstein. Mix them together, and you get this book. A combination of descriptive exegesis and constructive philosophy that bridges the gap between realism/idealism.
  5. Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism (Princeton Press, 2001)
    • A page-turner, and probably still one of the best introductions to Romanticism available.
  6. Kevin Diller, Theology’s Epistemological Dilemma (IVP, 2014)
    • A clear argument concerning how Plantinga and Barth can be read together as complementary thinkers. Offers a nice array of new philosophical-theological tools and terminology (I suspect theo-foundationalism is going to catch on, and freely redefined by anyone who finds it convenient).
  7. Charles Taylor and Hubert Dreyfus, Retrieving Realism (HUP, 2015)
    • After providing a succinct summary of the history of modern epistemology since Descartes, the two venerable philosophers offer a defense of Heidegerrian realism. The book also nicely captures, to the attuned reader, the distinction between pre-Kantian and post-Kantian forms of realism. Brief, but dense, it’s best to read this slowly.
  8. Oliver O’Donovan, Ethics as Theology 1 and 2 (Self, World, and Time, and Finding and Seeking)
    • Anything by Oliver O’Donovan is worth reading. These two volumes are exemplary and deceptively brief. Read a forthcoming review by me for the WTJ here. 
  9. Daniel Strange, Their Rock is not our Rock: An Evangelical Theology of Religions (Zondervan, 2014)
    • Unapologetically Reformed and evangelical, Strange deploys a wide range of theological resources culled from the Dutch and American neo-Calvinist tradition. This was a fun feast. Read Peter Leithart’s commendation here. 
  10. Paul Redding, Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought (CUP, 2008)
    • This book peaks my interest on the relationship (and rapprochement) between analytic and continental philosophy. The book carefully delineates the ‘return’ of Hegel’s thought (which involves, significantly, a recovery of him from the caricatures set forth by Russell and Moore), in contemporary analytic philosophy in the works of John McDowell and others. See Robert Brandom’s response here. 

 

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