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The Universe Next Door


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I'm in the midst of a deconversion. Do yall think this author James W. Sire is a good one to check out? Here is a review I found. I want to read both books. Your thoughts?

 

From the Author

IVP: Describe the difference between your two worldview books, Naming the Elephant and The Universe Next Door.

 

James Sire: The Universe Next Door is a basic catalog of worldviews--that is, of the primary ways people have viewed reality. In part the book is a work of popular intellectual history. It begins with Christian theism, the worldview dominant in the seventeenth century and very much alive today, and shows how subsequent worldviews (deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism) developed from theism, and then how Eastern pantheism, New Age thought and postmodernism have emerged to further complicate the pluralistic character of our Western culture. The book is also a work to help individuals understand their own worldview and why they think it is true. The Universe Next Door is not itself an apologetic for the Christian faith, but it provides much of the material from which an apologetic can be constructed by those who think through its implications. A short answer to the question of why I wrote this book in the first place is in its epigraph: "For any of us to be fully conscious intellectually we should not only be able to detect the worldviews of others but be aware of our own--why it is ours and why in light of so many options we think it is true."

 

Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept asks, What exactly is a worldview? It takes the largely intellectual concept I first formulated in The Universe Next Door in 1976 and asks whether it is still adequate. As a result of this analysis, I offer a revised definition that preserves the importance of the intellect but identifies the essence of a worldview as a matter of the heart--the central control room of the human being--rather than solely as a matter of the mind. The final chapter suggests ways in which worldview analysis can benefit us and our culture.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Praise from a "Pagan", August 19, 1999

By A Customer

This review is from: The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog (Paperback)

I first read Mr. Sire's book when I was earnestly striving to be an evangelical protestant. As I eventually became a universalist mystic, one might safely assume that Sire's Christian theistic arguments failed to convince me. Nevertheless, I found the book a useful introduction then, and still refer to it now, although for quite different purposes than the author likely intended. This is an excellent introduction to different philosophical points of view, and although the categories are rather broad, the footnotes are extensive and give great amplification to the text. As one might expect, Mr. Sire's pro-Christian bias is unapologetically present throughout [as he himself admits in the introduction], yet he is nevertheless fair in presenting the basic arguments for each worldview in it's own terms and often in the words of those who champion each school of thought. In closing, I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking an accessible introduction to the major modern worldviews, whether they be Christian or not. Hopefully others will find this book as great a help in forging their personal philosophies as I have found it in creating mine.

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I had The Universe Next Door as a textbook in a worldviews class. I really can't remember anything about it, but I do remember thinking it was something that actually deserved to be a textbook, unlike other fluffy inspirational stuff that gets assigned in xtian colleges. At the very least I think he will be respectful, which is the most important thing.

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Hi tumalo, welcome to the forums!

 

I read all of the reviews in your OP. I also read your avatar. If you're really seeking to understand the various philosophical underpinnings of Western thought today, I think this might be a wonderful introduction. It looks like a book I might like to read. It is, however, written from a Christian bias. I'm sure one can also find introductions to philosophical thought that are neutral. So it depends what you want or are looking for.

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