•  50
    Time After Augustine
    Religious Studies 31 (3): 341. 1995.
    This essay attempts to make sense of Augustine's claim that time is a mental affection. He has been criticized, by Russell for instance, for advocating a subjective theory of time, thereby confusing the issue of what time is with the issue of what it is like to experience time. I defend Augustine from this criticism. His interest in time emerges out of confessional philosophy, and when this context is taken into account, his association of time with affection implies the converse of what it has …Read more
  •  39
    When "Finite and Infinite Goods" was published in 1999, it took its place as one of the few major statements of a broadly Augustinian ethical philosophy of the past century. By "broadly Augustinian" I refer to the disposition to combine a Platonic emphasis on a transcendent source of value with a traditionally theistic emphasis on the value-creating capacities of absolute will. In the form that this disposition takes with Robert Merrihew Adams, it is the resemblance between divine and a finite e…Read more
  •  26
    An Apology for Apologetics
    Faith and Philosophy 11 (1): 152-156. 1994.
  •  25
    Moral Personality, Perversity, and Original Sin
    Journal of Religious Ethics 23 (1). 1995.
    This essay sets forth a philosophical reformulation and defense of the doctrine of original sin. The sticking point of the traditional doctrine is its apparent commitment to the proposition that moral guilt is heritable. While I make no claim to defend the justice of vicarious punishment (the idea of having one person suffer for the sins of another), I credit nevertheless the idea of vicarious guilt. As responsible beings, we have to answer for evil that we cannot conceivably have willed ourselv…Read more
  •  24
    Augustine's Love of Wisdom: An Introspective Philosophy
    Review of Metaphysics 47 (1): 136-137. 1993.
    The series of which Bourke's study is a part has two professed aims: to engage students with the history of philosophy by way of text and commentary, and to offer teachers of philosophy a summary account of scholarly perspectives on important historical figures. In principle these somewhat disparate aims can both be served if the text selected touches upon the central concerns of the philosopher under discussion, and if the commentary develops the appropriate connections. Naturally this task wil…Read more
  •  24
    Infinite Return: Two Ways of Wagering with Pascal
    Religious Studies 29 (2). 1993.
    Pascal's wager has fascinated philosophers far in excess of its reputation as effective apologetics. Very few of the wager's defenders, in fact, have retained more than an academic interest in its power to persuade. Partly this is a matter of good manners. Pascal is supposed to have pitched his wager at folks who understand only self-interested motivations, and today it is no longer fashionable for defenders of theism to disparage the character of their opponents. But partly the low-key concern …Read more
  •  23
    A Meditation on Hell: Lessons from Dante
    Modern Theology 18 (3): 375-394. 2002.
    This essay borrows Dante's inspiration in the Inferno to explore a theology of hell. The usual apologies for hell either bank on a retributive paradigm of justice or are content to have hell introduce a note of tragedy into the history of redemption. The theology that is culled from Dante, and especially from his handling of Virgil's place and authority in hell, is neither retributive in its justice nor tragic in its vision. Dante shows us how to make some sense of the idea that hell is original…Read more
  •  22
    Paradoxes of Time in Saint Augustine
    Augustinian Studies 28 (2): 159-163. 1997.
  •  20
  •  19
    The Question of Consuetudo Carnalis in Confessions 7.17.23
    Augustinian Studies 31 (2): 165-171. 2000.
  •  19
    Splendid Vices and Secular Virtues: Variations on Milbank's Augustine
    Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (2). 2004.
    John Milbank's case against secular reason draws much of its authority and force from Augustine's critique of pagan virtue. "Theology and Social Theory" could be characterized, without too much insult to either Augustine or Milbank, as a postmodern "City of God". Modern preoccupations with secular virtues, marketplace values, and sociological bottom-lines are likened there to classically pagan preoccupations with the virtues of self-conquest and conquest over others. Against both modern and anti…Read more
  •  17
    In Memoriam
    Augustinian Studies 41 (1): 3-5. 2010.
  •  16
    Editions and translations
    with Leonard F. Wheat, Robert L. Wicks, Robert R. Williams, and David Wolfsdorf
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3): 503-505. 2013.
  •  16
    Some Thoughts on The Anachronism in Forgiveness
    Journal of Religious Ethics 27 (1): 83-102. 1999.
    Consider that forgiveness is always given ahead of time. Set within a moral context, this claim is apt to sound suspect, as it seems to invite transgression and all manner of immoral indulgence. When the context shifts to one of religious possibility, however, the claim can be read to entertain a redemptive anachronism: a memory of future innocence. The author examines forgiveness in both contexts and makes a case for the religious possibility
  •  15
    When Religious Experience went into production with the University of California Press, I was still in residence as a graduate student at Columbia, where I was working with Wayne Proudfoot on issues in the philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. Although this is now more than thirty years ago, I distinctively remember having a conversation with him about whether Religious Experience should have a subtitle and, if so, what. Proudfoot’s disposition as a writer is hardly baroque, and so …Read more
  •  14
    Crisis Mentalities
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1): 115-133. 2000.
  •  13
    Infinite return: Two ways of wagering with Pascal
    Religious Studies 29 (2): 139-149. 1993.
    Pascal's wager has fascinated philosophers far in excess of its reputation as effective apologetics. Very few of the wager's defenders, in fact, have retained more than an academic interest in its power to persuade. Partly this is a matter of good manners. Pascal is supposed to have pitched his wager at folks who understand only self-interested motivations, and today it is no longer fashionable for defenders of theism to disparage the character of their opponents. But partly the low-key concern …Read more
  •  13
    Response III—The Humanity of God
    Augustinian Studies 36 (1): 219-226. 2005.
  •  12
    Predestination, Pelagianism, and foreknowledge
    In Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine, Cambridge University Press. pp. 49--58. 2001.
  •  10
    Theodicy begins with the recognition that the world is not obviously under the care of a loving God with limitless power and wisdom. If it were, why would the world be burdened with its considerable amount and variety of evil? Theodicists are those who attempt to answer this question by suggesting a possible rationale for the appearance of evil in a theocentric universe. In the past theodicists have taken up the cause of theodicy in the service of piety, so that God might be defended against lib…Read more
  •  9
    The Missing Adam: A Reply to Gilbert Meilaender
    Journal of Religious Ethics 23 (1). 1995.
  •  9
    No Title available: Religious Studies
    Religious Studies 30 (1): 126-128. 1994.
  •  7
    The Will and Human Action: From Antiquity to the Present Day (review)
    Religious Studies 41 (2): 242-246. 2005.