those ... who are out of sympathy with
Wielenberg's approach, and his worldview, will
find much that is worthwhile in this book. It is
written with verve and clarity, and is for the
most part highly accessible, yet densely packed
with thoughtful and often provocative ideas and
arguments. It bears the hallmark of having been
forged in the lecture-room through vigorous
debate, and it should provoke equally vigorous
discussion among students and others. Altogether,
it is a useful addition to the new and exciting
wave of philosophical writing that is turning the
skills of analytic philosophy back upon ancient
and central questions about the meaning of human
existence." - John Cottingham, Notre
Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Erik J. Wielenberg in Value and Virtue in a
Godless Universe ... respond[s] to the
current malaise in atheism by engaging in
respectful and serious debate with [his]
opponents. Wielenberg presents an analytical
philosopher's argument, beautifully restrained and
precise." - Ronald Aronson,Bookforum
"[T]here is plenty in this book to appeal to
atheists, theists, and agnostics alike. It
is both readable and rewarding; many interesting
questions are raised, and at times novel and
compelling solutions to old chestnuts are
proposed. Furthermore, the author keeps
things lively by inserting creative stories,
passages from literature, and a breadth of
commentaries from other thinkers who have wrestled
with the issues he addresses. Anyone
interested in the relationship between God, value,
and virtue would benefit from adding this book to
her collection." - Bradley Sickler, International
for Philosophy of Religion
"Wielenberg’s rejection of arguments for the
conclusion that naturalism is false because of its
ethical implications—nihilism, relativism,
hedonism, and/or egoism—is both clear and
thought-provoking. Value and Virtue in a
Godless Universe is written in a clear and
accessible style, such that it could be used as a
text in an undergraduate course in philosophy of
religion or ethics. However, it is not
overly simplistic; the arguments contained in the
book are well-crafted and deserve careful
attention. Those who wish to defend the view
that objective morality and meaning require God’s
existence will find much to consider in this
book." - Michael Austin, Philosophia Christi
"Wielenberg has written a worthwhile book, and he
has done this with verve. His arguments are often
provocative." - Luc Aerts, Ethical
book is clear, precise, insightful, and philosophically
rigorous. As someone who ultimately disagrees with his
conclusions, I also appreciate the respect and charity
towards the other side that is present in the pages of
this work. I have used this book as a text in my
philosophy of religion course, with much success. Anyone
with an interest in the philosophical merits of the
theistic arguments given by Lewis will profit from
carefully reading God and the Reach of Reason."
- Michael Austin, Philosophia Christi
there are a slew of books that make the case for Lewis's
merits as a philosopher. ... God and the Reach of
Reason is a valuable addition to this genre.
Wielenberg ... is a clear-headed analytic philosopher
who knows Lewis's works and the relevant secondary
literature well. ... Wielenberg's God and the
Reach of Reason offers an admiring yet critical
appraisal of Lewis's principal arguments for Christian
belief. It is must reading for Lewis fans who
value -- as Lewis himself pre-eminently did -- clear
prose and rigorous logic." - Gregory Bassham, Faith
the Reach of Reason is an enjoyable and
informative read. ... Wielenberg's presentation of what
he takes to be the views and arguments is extremely
clear, and his criticisms of them fair and charitable.
... [T]he objections he offers are sound. I recommend
this book to anyone who wants to read a critical
interpretation and assessment of C.S. Lewis's views on
religion." - Bruce Russell, Notre
Dame Philosophical Reviews
“Readers who have appreciated the work of Lewis will be
gratified by Wielenberg's suggestion, which is itself a
major point of this book, that Lewis should be taken
seriously as a philosopher. He argues despite
often being skeptical of Lewis's success, that Lewis
contributed to twentieth-century thought in a number of
important areas. On the whole, God and the
Reach of Reason is a thought-provoking work that
touches on a number of interesting topics.” - John
Giannini, Religious Studies Review
not a ranting atheist, but seeks to address these
questions in a scholarly manner and with trust in the
power of sheer argument. ... Its dialogical style makes
this book an engaging read. Unlike some books on
the philosophy of religion in the analytical tradition,
this piece is easily approachable, lucid, and
intellectually nourishing. Its introduction of
several voices into the discussion helps keep the text
going; it (almost) reads like a novel." - Olli-Pekka
Journal of Inklings Studies
"A very interesting book creating a dialogue between
C.S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell. ... One of
the great strengths of the book is its systematic
presentation of the arguments as a series of
interrelated propositions, so that the reader can grasp
exactly what is at stake. A very worthwhile book
for philosophically minded readers." - David Lorimer, Network
distinguish Wielenberg's book from other recent defenses
of robust realism. First, Wielenberg takes not just
naturalistic but also theistic alternatives to robust
realism seriously, arguing that non-theistic robust
realism 'is at least as plausible' as theistic versions
of moral realism (x). Second, Wielenberg engages
extensively with recent work in empirical psychology,
arguing that, far from posing skeptical challenges to
robust realism, this work fits comfortably with an
approach to moral knowledge that robust realists
embrace. In both these (and other) respects, Robust
Realism is a welcome contribution to
metaethics. ... Robust Ethics tackles
some long-standing and fascinating problems in
metaethics by making some novel moves and venturing into
some relatively uncharted territory. For these reasons,
it is a book well worth reading." -- Terence Cuneo, Notre
Dame Philosophical Reviews
"[E]ven those who doubt its
conclusions must acknowledge that Wielenberg’s book is
excellent. His writing is extremely accessible,
engaging, witty, and clear, he develops various
fascinating novel arguments, and skilfully links
analytic reflections with the consideration of
empirical data. Consequently, Robust Ethics
is a highly valuable contribution to metaethics, and
in particular ranks among the best defences of robust
normative realism so far." -- Thomas Polzler, Ethical
"Overall, Wielenberg excels in
clearly laying out some of the main objections to
nonnaturalist realism in moral metaphysics and
epistemology. He is also very good at finding the weak
spots of these objections and in presenting
philosophically and empirically plausible responses to
them." -- Jussi Suikkanen, Ethics
"Robust Ethics is a
relevant, worthwhile and well-argued addition to the
ongoing debate about robust moral realism and its
alleged inability to account for moral knowledge.
Moral realists of theist, naturalist and robust
inclinations will profit from reading the book, for it
provides the outline for a novel way to conceive of
the origins of moral beliefs." -- Michael Klenk, dialectica
Journal Articles and Book Chapters:
1. "Goodness without Qualification," The Journal of
Value Inquiry 32:1 (March 1998), 93-104.
Again," Faith and Philosophy 17:1
(January 2000), 26-47. Russian
in Philosophy of Religion: An Almanac 2006-2007,
ed. by V.K Schokhin (Moscow: Institute of Philosophy,
Russian Academy of Sciences, 2007), 181-211.
27. "Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Religion and
Morality," in Uri Leibowitz and Neil Sinclar (eds.), Explanation
in Ethics and Mathematics (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2016), pp. 83-102 (invited).
34. "Reply to Craig, Murphy, McNabb, and Johnson", Philosophia
Christi 20:2 (2018): 365-375 (invited - part
of forum on Robust Ethics)
35. "Evil and Atheistic Moral Realism", Responses to
Richard Brian Davis, Paul Helm, and Michael Ruse, and
Reply to Critics, in W. Paul Franks (ed.), Explaining
Evil: Four Views(New York: Bloomsbury 2019),
pp, 36-40, 72-76, 111-116, 123-139, and 152-158 (invited).
36. "Secular Humility," in Jennifer Cole Wright (ed.), Humility
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 42-107 (invited).
9. "Metz's Case Against Supernaturalism" (review of Meaning
in Life, by Thaddeus Metz), European Journal for
Philosophy of Religion 8:2 (2016) (invited).
1. "Aslan the Terrible: Painful Encounters with Absolute
Goodness," in The
Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy, edited by
Gregory Bassham and Jerry Walls (Chicago: Open Court
Press, 2005), 221-230.
1. "Comments on 'Why Species Extermination is Wrong', by
Ben Bradley," UMass Philosophy Graduate Student
Colloquium, October 31, 1997.
2. "A New Approach to Omnipotence," 1998 Eastern Regional
meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers,
University of Delaware, April 2-4, 1998.
3. "Moral Perfection and the No Best World Defense," 1999
Midwest Regional meeting of the Society of Christian
Philosophers, Marquette University, March 25-27, 1999.
4. "Pleasure, Pain, and Moral Character," fall meeting of
the Indiana Philosophical Association, Franklin College,
Franklin, Indiana, November 4, 2000.
5. "Aristotelian Love-Making," (i) Fifty-Second Annual
Northwest Conference on Philosophy, Pacific University,
Forest Grove, Oregon, November 10-11, 2000; (ii) Society
for the Philosophy of Sex and Love at the Eastern Division
meeting of the American Philosophical Association in New
York, December 27-30, 2000.
6. "Comments on Edward Wierenga's 'Trinity and
Polytheism'", Sixth Biennial UMass Alumni Philosophy
Conference, October 13, 2001.
7. "How to Be an Alethically Rational Naturalist," (i)
Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical
Association, Atlanta, Georgia, December 27-30, 2001; (ii)
central division meeting of the Society of Christian
Philosophers at Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota, March
7-9, 2002; (iii) 2002 Atlantic Region Philosophy
Conference, University of Prince Edward Island, October
8. "C.S. Lewis vs. the Atheists," DePauw University
Faculty Research Colloqium, November 22, 2002.
9. "A Morally Unsurpassable God Must Create the Best," (i)
2003 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and
Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 12-15, 2003; (ii)
Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical
Association, Cleveland, Ohio, April 23-26, 2003.
10. "Wielenberg and His Mass (Comments on
Kaufman)," Seventh Biennial UMass Alumni Philosophy
October 11, 2003.
11. "Aristotelian Egoism and Richard Kraut's
Argument From Ostracism," Indiana Philosophical
Ball State University, November 1, 2003.
12. "Egoism and Eudaimonia-Maximization in
the Nicomachean Ethics," meeting of the Society
for Ancient Greek Philosophy at the Central Division
meeting of the American Philosophical Association,
Chicago, Illinois, April 22-25, 2004.
13. "Aquinasizing the Impeded-Function Argument (Comments
on Sullivan)," Indiana Philosophical Association meeting,
DePauw University, May 1, 2004.
14. "Author Meets Critics: Value and Virtue in a
Godless Universe," Eighth Biennial UMass Alumni
Philosophy Conference, October 8, 2005.
15. "Having Your Cake and Eating it Too: Objective
Ethical Truth without God," (i) Forum on Religious Issues,
University of Wisconsin-Parkside, March 6, 2006 (invited);
(ii) West Virginia University, March 28, 2006 (invited);
(iii) Florida Southern College, March 30, 2006 (invited);
(iv) Wabash College, April 6, 2006 (invited); (v) Hanover
College, May 17, 2006 (invited).
16. "Bertrand Russell and C.S. Lewis: Two Peas in a
Pod?" Bertrand Russell Society meeting at the Central
Division meeting of the American Philosophical
Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 27, 2006.
17. "God and Morality," University School, Cleveland,
Ohio, January 9, 2007 (invited).
18. "Objective Ethics in a Godless Universe," (i) Center for
Inquiry Transnational, Amherst, New York, April 13,
2007 (invited); (ii) The Jefferson
Center, Ashland, Oregon, April 26, 2007 (invited);
(iii) Lawrence University, April 30, 2007 (invited); (iv)
Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana, February 25,
19. "Skeptical Theism and Divine Lies," (i) DePauw Faculty
Forum, October 11, 2007; (ii) Fourth Annual Philosophy of
Religion Conference, Baylor University, February 5-7,
2009; (iii) Pacific Division meeting of the American
Philosophical Association, Vancouver, British Columbia,
April 8-12, 2009.
20. "On the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality," (i)
Second Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, University
of Colorado, Boulder, August 6-9, 2009; (ii) Pacific
Division meeting of the American Philosophical
Association, San Francisco, California, March 31-April 3,
21, "Can Sociopaths Make Moral Judgments?" meeting of the
Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Atlanta,
Georgia, April 15-17, 2010.
22. "Divine Deception," (i) 2011 Midwest Conference of
the Society of Christian Philosophers, Hope College,
February 24-26, 2011 (invited); (ii) Australasian
Philosophy of Religion Association Meeting, University of
Auckland, New Zealand, July 16-17, 2011 (invited); (iii) C.S. Lewis 50th
Memorial Conference at Baylor University, November
23, 2013 (invited).
23. "Qualia and the Banality of Queerness," Naturalisms
in Ethics Conference, University of Auckland, New Zealand,
July 14-15, 2011 (invited).
24. "Objective Ethics in a Godless Universe," Furman
University, Greenville, South Carolina, April 3, 2012
25. "Disgust and Moral Knowledge," meeting of the Society
for Philosophy and Psychology, University of Colorado,
Boulder, June 21-23, 2012.
26. "Three Ways the Moral Can Supervene," (i) Fifth Annual
Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference (RoME), University of
Colorado, Boulder, August 9-12, 2012; (ii) Syracuse
Philosophy Annual Workshop and Network (SPAWN), Syracuse
University, August 14-16, 2012 (invited).
27. "Comments on Sharon Street's 'If There is a God, Then
Everything (That Happens) is Permitted," Challenges to
Religious and Moral Belief: Disagreement and Evolution,
Purdue University, September 6-8, 2012 (invited).
with an Atheist" Panel Discussion with Trent
Dougherty at the C.S. Lewis 50th Memorial Conference,
Baylor University, November 22, 2013 (invited).
29. "Empirical Moral Psychology and Some Challenges to
Moral Knowledge," Philosophy Club, University of St.
Andrews, October 1, 2014 (invited).
30. "The Absurdity of Life in a Christian Universe," (i)
7th Philosophy of Religion One-Day Workshop, the
University of Birmingham, October 9, 2014 (invited); (ii)
the Joseph Butler Society, University of Oxford, February
23, 2015 (invited); (iii) Workshop on "What Difference
Would (or Does) God's Existence Make?" Ryerson University,
September 11-12, 2015.
31. "Secular Humility?", the C.S. Lewis Society,
University of Oxford, February 24, 2015 (invited).
32. "Secular Humility," (i) the Jubilee Centre for
Character and Virtues, the University of Birmingham, May
13, 2015 (invited); (ii) DePauw Faculty Forum, September
33. "Rowe's Evidential Argument and the Demise of
Skeptical Theism," William L. Rowe Memorial Conference,
Purdue University, July 26-27, 2016 (invited).
34. "Plantingian Theism and the Free Will Defense," Purdue
University, November 12, 2016 (invited).
35. "Comments on 'Happiness, Suffering and Prudential
Asymmetry', by Jennifer Hawkins," Eastern Division Meeting
of the American Philosophical Association, Baltimore,
January 4-7, 2017 (invited).
36. "Comments on God's Own Ethics by Mark
Murphy," Eastern Division Meeting of the American
Philosophical Association, Baltimore, January 4-7, 2017
37. "Reply to Craig, Murphy, McNabb, and Johnson,"
Evangelical Philosophical Society session titled "Erik
Wielenberg's Robust Ethics: Theistic Responses,"
at the 2017 joint meeting of the American Academy of
Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston,
November 20, 2017 (invited).
38. Debate with
William Lane Craig, "God and Morality: What is the
Best Account of Objective Moral Values and Duties?", North
Carolina State University, February 23, 2018 (invited).
39. "Moral Disagreement, Relativism, and the Puzzle of
Psychopathy," God and Morality Symposium, North Carolina
State University, February 24, 2018 (invited).
40. Co-discussant with Sam Newlands at a Veritas Forum
titled "Reckoning with Evil: A Discussion on God,
Philosophy, and Hope," Indiana University, February 28.
41. Co-discussant with Greg Ganssle at a Thompson
Institute event titled "Are You Free?",
The Ohio State University, February 28, 2019 (invited).