Kelly James Clark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kelly James Clark (born March 3, 1956) is an American philosopher noted for his work in the philosophy of religion, science and religion, and the cognitive science of religion.[1] He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute and Professor at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids Michigan.


Clark received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame, where his dissertation advisor was Alvin Plantinga.[2] He has held professorships at Calvin College, Oxford University, University of St. Andrews, Notre Dame & Gordon College.[citation needed] He also served as Executive Director for the Society of Christian Philosophers from 1994 to 2009.[3]

Clark's books include God and the Brain, Strangers, Neighbors, Friends, Religion and the Sciences of Origins, Abraham’s Children, Return to Reason, The Story of Ethics, When Faith Is Not Enough, and 101 Key Philosophical Terms of Their Importance for Theology, many of which have been translated into multiple languages. In 1995, his book Philosophers Who Believe was named one of Christianity Today’s Books of the Year.[4] That book detailed the spiritual and intellectual autobiographies of philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Basil Mitchell, Mortimer Adler, Richard Swinburne, Frederick Suppe, Linda Zagzebski, and Nicholas Rescher.

Interfaith work[edit]

Clark is an international advocate for interfaith cooperation, focusing on the Abrahamic religions. As of October 2016, he is project director for “Abrahamic Reflections on Science and Religion” a Templeton Foundation project which brings together 36 scholars from 14 countries to reconcile issues in the fields of science and religion. Scholars include Nidhal Guessoum, Rana Dajani, Nathan Aviezer, & Robert Koons, among others.[5][6][7]

Clark has lectured around the world and has served as director for international conferences on science and religion, interfaith cooperation, & Chinese philosophy. He has worked extensively with the John Templeton Foundation, organizing many interfaith symposiums, notably “Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict” at Georgetown University on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.[8] That conference inspired a book of the same name in which fifteen influential practitioners of the Abrahamic religions argued for religious liberty and tolerance from their own faith traditions. Contributors included former United States president Jimmy Carter, Indonesia's first democratically elected president Abhurrahman Wahid, Rabbis for Human Rights co founder, Rabbi Arik Asherman, Rana Husseini, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, the philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff & theologian Miroslav Volf. The book earned praise from pioneers for peace such as Bishop Desmond Tutu.[9]

He also writes a regular column for the Huffington Post which confronts Islamophobia and antisemitism while also combating religious extremism.

Selected books[edit]

  • God and the Brain. Eerdmans, 2019[10]
  • Strangers, Neighbors, Friends. Cascade Books, 2018. Co-written with Aziz Abu Sarah and Rabbi Nancy Kreimer.[11]
  • Readings in the Philosophy of Religion. Broadview Press, 2017.[12]
  • The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.[13]
  • Religion and the Sciences of Origins. Palgrave Macmillan; 2014.[14]
  • Abraham’s Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an age of Religious Conflict. Yale University Press, 2012[15]
  • Reason, Metaphysics, and Mind: New Essays on the Philosophy of Alvin Plantinga, Oxford University Press, 2012. Co-edited with Michael Rea.[16]
  • Evidence and Religious Belief. Oxford University Press, 2011. Co-edited with Ray VanArragon.[17]
  • Faith, Knowledge and Naturalism, Peking University Press, 2007. Co-edited with Xing Taotao.
  • Ethics, Religion and Society (Christian Academics, Fifth Volume). Co-edited with Zhang Qingxiong and Xu Yi Yie. Shanghai Guji Press, 2007.
  • Human Nature in Chinese and Western Culture, co-edited with Chen Xia. Sichuan University Press, 2005.
  • 101 Key Philosophical Terms and Their Importance for Theology. Westminster/John Knox Press, 2004. Co-authored with James K.A. Smith and Richard Lints.[18]
  • A Dialogue Between Science and Religion, co-edited with Mel Stewart and Zhou Zhianzang. Xiamen University Press, 2004.
  • The Story of Ethics: Human Nature & Human Fulfillment. Prentice-Hall, 2003. Co-authored with Anne Poortenga.[19]
  • Five Views on Apologetics. Zondervan Publishing Company, 2000. Co-authored with William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, John Frame and Paul Feinberg.[20]
  • When Faith Is Not Enough. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.[21]
  • Philosophers Who Believe. InterVarsity Press, 1993.[22]
  • Return to Reason. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990.[23]
  • Our Knowledge of God: Essays on Natural and Philosophical Theology. Kluwer academic publishers, 1992.[24]


  1. ^ Helen, De Cruz (2017-01-17). "Religion and Science". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Past PhD recipients - University of Notre Dame". University of Notre Dame Department of Philosophy. 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Associations - Pathfinder518". Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  4. ^ "1995 CT Book Awards". Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  5. ^ "Models of Providence: an Abrahamic inquiry - John Templeton Foundation". John Templeton Foundation. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  6. ^ "ABRAHAMIC REFLECTIONS ON SCIENCE AND RELIGION - Kaufman Interfaith Institute - Grand Valley State University". Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  7. ^ "Kaufman Interfaith Institute receives grant to bridge gap between science and religion". Grand Valley Lanthorn. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  8. ^ "Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict". Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  9. ^ "Abraham's Children by Kelly James Clark". Yale Books UK. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  10. ^ Clark, Kelly James, 1956- (2019). God and the brain : the rationality of belief. Grand Rapids, Michigan. ISBN 9780802876911. OCLC 1100426577.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Clark, Kelly James, 1956- (2018-08-06). Strangers, neighbors, friends Muslim-Christian-Jewish reflections on compassion and peace. Abu Sarah, Aziz., Fuchs, Nancy. Eugene, Oregon. ISBN 9781498246125. OCLC 1050133305.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ READINGS IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. [S.l.]: BROADVIEW PRESS. 2017. ISBN 9781554812769. OCLC 964380071.
  13. ^ A Blackwell companion to naturalism. Clark, Kelly James, 1956-. Chichester, West Sussex, UK. 2016-02-15. ISBN 9781118657607. OCLC 941430935.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ Clark, Kelly James. Religion and the sciences of origins : historical and contemporary discussions (First ed.). Basingstoke. ISBN 9781137414809. OCLC 881445888.
  15. ^ Abraham's children : liberty and tolerance in an age of religious conflict. Clark, Kelly James, 1956-. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2012. ISBN 9780300179378. OCLC 809235956.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ Reason, metaphysics, and mind : new essays on the philosophy of Alvin Plantinga. Plantinga, Alvin., Clark, Kelly James, 1956-, Rea, Michael C. (Michael Cannon), 1968-. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012. ISBN 9780199766864. OCLC 707023054.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ Evidence and religious belief. Clark, Kelly James, 1956-, VanArragon, Raymond J. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011. ISBN 9780199603718. OCLC 707267277.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. ^ Clark, Kelly James (2004). 101 key terms in philosophy and their importance for theology. Lints, Richard., Smith, James K. A., 1970- (1st ed.). Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664225247. OCLC 53331725.
  19. ^ Clark, Kelly James (2003). The story of ethics : fulfilling our human nature. Poortenga, Anne. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780130978400. OCLC 48906637.
  20. ^ Five views on apologetics. Cowan, Steven B., 1962-, Craig, William Lane., Frame, John M., 1939-, Clark, Kelly James, 1956-, Feinberg, Paul D. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House. 2000. ISBN 9780310224761. OCLC 42680575.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  21. ^ Clark, Kelly James (1997). When faith is not enough. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. ISBN 9780802843548. OCLC 37024796.
  22. ^ Philosophers who believe : the spiritual journeys of 11 leading thinkers. Clark, Kelly James, 1956-. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press. 1993. ISBN 9780830815432. OCLC 28926479.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  23. ^ Clark, Kelly James (1990). Return to reason : a critique of Enlightenment evidentialism, and a defense of reason and belief in God. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802804563. OCLC 21044063.
  24. ^ Our knowledge of God : essays on natural and philosophical theology. Clark, Kelly James, 1956-. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1992. ISBN 9780792314851. OCLC 25281594.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]