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Richard Swinburne

Richard Swinburne (born December 26, 1934) is a British professor and philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion. He is noted as one of the foremost rational Christian apologists, arguing in his many articles and books that faith in Christianity is rational and coherent in a rigorous philosophical sense. While he makes some arguments to advance the belief that God exists, he argues primarily that God is a being whose existence is contingent, and thus that belief (and by unsaid extension, disbelief) is rational and coherent. Other subjects on which Swinburne writes include personal identity (in which he espouses a view based on the concept of a soul), and epistemic justification.

Swinburne has held various professorships through his career in academia, including from 1972 to 1985 at the University of Keele, and from 1985 until his retirement in 2002 at the University of Oxford (where he is now a professor emeritus). He has been a very active author throughout his career, producing a major book every two to three years. Of these, his Is There a God? (1996), summarizing for a non-specialist audience many of his arguments for the existence of God and plausibility in the belief of that existence, is probably the most popular, and is available in translation in a dozen languages.

Major Books

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