I originally published this post a while back on my Wordpress blog. As I move content over to the new site, I'm going to periodically highlight certain posts. Here's the first one.
Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies (Foster City: IDG Books, 1999).
At our faculty retreat in late August, before the start of fall semester, one of my colleagues from the theology department gave a great presentation on the intertwined nature of philosophy and theology, something I had never thought much about before. He made several good points about how philosophy can properly inform theology. I asked him for a good text for a neophyte, and this is what he recommended.
Like all the great Dummies texts, this is a thorough introduction to the topic of philosophy, written in an engaging style. It has a broad coverage of the topic, but with enough depth that one truly learns. What struck me as a novice is the distinctly theological nature of much philosophical thought. Several of the chapters at first glance are expressly theological, covering the existence of God, the meaning of life, and the nature of death. Morris writes well, never condescends, and truly wants to help his readers lead a better, examined life.
Long and short: If you have ever been interested in philosophy, this is a great text to start your journey.