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The question's title says it all. Who are the most prominent Christian philosophers of the 21st century (if there are any) and why?

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Perhaps helpful for answers: That would be a subset of… – user3164 Jul 4 '14 at 12:23
Can you give some sort of reference frame as to what you mean by Christian? – virmaior Jul 4 '14 at 13:11
@virmaior a philosopher who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ and has philosophical works that try to show that this belief is justified. – user132181 Jul 4 '14 at 14:20
I think based on the meta discussion, we should take "who are the greatest" type questions out of currency here. – virmaior Oct 16 at 4:46
For the record, I'm actually an upvote on the question and at least one of the answers. I just think this style of question is a poor fit for the SE format. – virmaior Oct 19 at 7:39

4 Answers 4

I'm not sure how to give an exhaustive list of prominent philosophers who are also Christians, but some philosophers who come to mind are: Bas van Fraassen, Michael Dummett (recently deceased), William Alston (recently deceased), Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, Marilyn Adams, Robert Adams, Robert Audi, Keith DeRose, Anthony Kenny, Alasdair MacIntyre, Richard Swinburne, Nicholas Walterstorff. idk, there are lots more, but these are some who come to mind. All of them have made significant contributions to areas outside of philosophy of religion or distinctively Christian philosophy (actually, some of them -- van Fraassen, Dummet, for example -- have done very little, if any, work in philosophy of religion).

(Coincidentally, William Lane Craig is not a particularly prominent philosopher, although he's produced some fine work. He's well known in certain circles outside of academic philosophy because he's debated alot of people. Oh, and Craig isn't a fundamentalist. The person who gave the answer about Craig kind of doesn't know what they're taking about.)

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I would add Elizabeth Anscombe to the list; also Peter Geach and Paul Helm. – Bumble Oct 16 at 3:31
Anthony Kenny is an agnostic. But otherwise it's a good list. – shane Oct 23 at 17:47

Edward Feser—most well-known for his The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism, Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide, and Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction*—is one of the most prominent contemporary Thomist philosophers. See also his excellent blog.

*This last book is an excellent confrontation of Thomistic thought with modern, analytic philosophy.

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Whether he counts as a philosopher proper or a scholar of philosophy, one important philosopher (in some sense) is Bishop Robert Barron. Bishop Barron is an interesting example of a "21st century philosopher" in that (1) he has formal training in philosophy at the PhD level, and (2) much of his work disseminating his take on things has taken place via YouTube videos, meaning he is a 21st century philosopher in medium as well as chronologically.

I also happen to like Peter Kreeft, and he is at least prolific as an author.

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William Lane Craig would be on that list, without a doubt. For the avoidance of all doubt, I disagree with almost everything he says. However, he defends his brand of fundamentalist Christianity with well-sourced cogent arguments, and is a skilled debater.

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Really? I'm a Christian, probably one who you might call a "fundamentalist" and I think most of his philosophical argumentation is junk. – virmaior Jul 4 '14 at 13:10
Well I tend to agree that it is junk, when you look carefully at it, but I am impressed by the way he persuades so many people. The question was 'who is the prominent'. – quis est ille Jul 4 '14 at 14:07
In reply to the point below (namely that Craig is not a fundamentalist), I referred to his 'brand of fundamentalism'. What I meant by that was his defence of the historical truth of the resurrection, where he argues not only for the literal truth of the resurrection account, but for its being supported by the historical evidence. Also, if someone says 'you dont know what you are talking about', it is helpful if they say why. – quis est ille Jul 4 '14 at 15:18
that actually isn't the definition of fundamentalist... ( / But I would also refer you to Al Plantinga's argument:… . In the first place it doesn't refer specifically to homosexuality. In the second place, it's basically just a term. (This is why I scare-quoted it). – virmaior Jul 4 '14 at 15:38
@quisestille - fundamentalist is a term for a theological school like Platonist or Kantian or materialist is in philosophy. It's also generally an unhelpful one. There are plenty of other groups that are committed to a "literal or near literal interpretation of the bible" that are not technically fundamentalists. Regarding your question about homosexuality and the bible, yes, it does condemn it (Romans 1:26, 1 Corinthians 6). But you don't have to be a literalist to accept that ( - uses most of the methods of higher criticism [which is the idea opposed to fundamentalism]) – virmaior Jul 5 '14 at 1:06

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