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Faith in a Hard Ground

Elizabeth Anscombe's forthright philosophy speaks directly to many religious and ethical issues of current concern. This collection of her essays forms a companion volume to the critically acclaimed "Human Life, Action and Ethics" published in 2005.
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About the Author

Anscombe (1919-2001) read classics and philosophy at St Hugh's College, Oxford from 1937 to 1941 in which year she married the philosopher Peter Geach. She subsequently researched in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge where she became a student and friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein. One of his literary executors, she played a large part in editing his unpublished works and was their principal English translator. In 1946 she returned to Oxford as a University Lecturer in 1951. From 1970 until her retirement in 1986 she held the Chair of Philosophy at Cambridge.


"Truly one of the great philosophers of the twentieth century." -- Hilary Putnam "A writer of immense breadth, authority and penetration." -- Mary Warnock "This is an excellent and unusually rewarding book... On every topic Anscombe has something important to say, characteristically something that badly needed saying both when she wrote and now... [T]he peculiar interest of these papers lies in the way in which philosophical considerations are brought to bear on theological issues and theological on philosophical." -- Alasdair MacIntyre Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "Those who did not know her are not perhaps accustomed to seeing approachable humanity in the work of G.E.M. Anscombe, the foremost analytical philosopher of the late 20th century. There is more of it than expected in a collection of her essays on religion and ethics... In addition to the usual hard-headed explosions of popular fallacies, she gives a moving account of what the presence of God can mean." -- Christopher Howse The Spectator "A new collection of [Anscombe's] papers, several unpublished before, gives a fresh insight into the thoughts on religion and ethics of the leading English analytical philosopher of the last half century." -- Christopher Howse The Telegraph "[There is no attempt] to reduce the arcana of religion to something different but more articulable; rather, an ability to illuminate what has to remain mysterious by setting it in the context of what we can and must be clear-headed about... Anscombe embraces mystery, though not absurdity or contradiction." -- A.W. Price, Birkbeck Standpoint "Anscombe is acutely sensitive to the multiple layers of meaning found in religious language (something many present-day analytic philosophers of religion are curiously blind to)... These are essays of great sincerity and power, written with the philosophical care and precision for which Elizabeth Anscombe was justly renowned." -- John Cottingham Times Literary Supplement "Anscombe carried out the work that is widely and reasonably judged the twentieth century's outstanding English Catholic philosophical achievement." -- John Finnis The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly "Elizabeth Anscombe thought deeply, wrote beautifully, and was never taken in by pretence." -- Roger Scruton "The essays are searching and analytically brilliant." Scientific and Medical Network

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