My knowledge on the subject is limited and by no means do I claim that my observation is representative of the actual trend but most philosophers whose works I care about reading are somewhere between skeptical of religion and militantly antitheist. Examples include Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell etc. With the exclusion of medieval guys like St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, I can only think of one relatively modern philosopher who was religious and that is Søren Kierkegaard.

I am looking for something like a fairly comprehensive list of renowned philosophers that classifies their take on religion, e.g. if they were atheist, agnostic, believer, or somewhere in between. If no such list exists, can you list some notable philosophers from the last say 200-300 years who were known to be religious?

  • Looks like here you'll only find Western philosophers, thus Judeo-Christian. If you want different religions, I suggest you start to investigate the East, Africa, Amerindians, etc.
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:42

3 Answers 3


A brief list (mostly off the top of my head) of living (and recently deceased) philosophers who are religious and relatively well-known:

William Alston

Robert Merrihew Adams

Marilyn McCord Adams

Elizabeth "GEM" Anscombe

Robert Audi

J. Budziszewski

William Lane Craig (at Houston Baptist)

C. Stephen Evans (at Baylor)

Michel Henry

Jean Luc Marion (University of Chicago)

Jacques Maritain (deceased)

Anslem Min (at Claremont)

J.P. Moreland

Alvin Plantinga (formerly at Notre Dame, retired)

Paul Ricouer (deceased)

Robert Roberts (at Baylor)

Charles Taylor (the Canadian philosopher -- not the African dictator)

Peter van Inwagen (at Notre Dame)

Merold Westphal (formerly at Fordham, retired)

Dallas Willard (deceased, formerly at USC)

Nicholas Wolterstorff (at Yale Divinity)

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

Dean Zimmerman


I'm not sure about a comprehensive list, but you might be interested in the results of a survey:

God: theism or atheism?

Accept or lean toward: atheism 678 / 931 (72.8%)

Accept or lean toward: theism 136 / 931 (14.6%)

Other 117 / 931 (12.6%)


  • 59% of respondents are from USA and UK. If you add Canada, Australia and Germany, this goes up to 75%. So, it's strange how most Western philosophers seem to "accept or lean toward" atheism, but questions and answers deprecating monotheism are usually not well accepted on this site. Something is not fitting.
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:40

Here's a brief list of some of the big names that come to mind for me, going back no further than the Renaissance. The recent trend among "name" philosophers is atheist, but there have been thinkers on both sides stretching back to the ancient Greeks and beyond. There are also a number of philosophers whose religious views play a relatively minor role in their work.

Theist: Mirandola, Erasmus, Descartes, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Berkeley, (Kant), (Hegel)

Atheist: Hume, Sartre, deBeauvoir, Camus, Russell, (Nietzsche)

Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche are in parentheses because their views are complex, and not easily mapped to standard theologies.

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