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InterVarsity Press
The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog / Edition 5

The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog / Edition 5

by James W. Sire
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  • Voted one of Christianity Today's 1998 Books of the Year

For more than thirty years, The Universe Next Door has set the standard for a clear, readable introduction to worldviews. In this new fifth edition James Sire offers additional student-friendly features to his concise, easily understood introductions to theism, deism, naturalism, Marxism, nihilism, existentialism, Eastern monism, New Age philosophy and postmodernism. Included in this expanded format are a new chapter on Islam and informative sidebars throughout.
The book continues to build on Sire's refined definition of worldviews from the fourth edition and includes other updates as well, keeping this standard text fresh and useful. In a world of ever-increasing diversity, The Universe Next Door offers a unique resource for understanding the variety of worldviews that compete with Christianity for the allegiance of minds and hearts.
The Universe Next Door has been translated into over a dozen languages and has been used as a text at over one hundred colleges and universities in courses ranging from apologetics and world religions to history and English literature.
Sire's Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept provides a useful companion volume for those desiring a more in-depth discussion of the nature of a worldview.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830838509
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 10/21/2009
Edition description: 5th Edition
Pages: 293
Sales rank: 78,891
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James W. Sire (Ph.D., University of Missouri), formerly a senior editor at InterVarsity Press, is an active speaker and writer. He has taught English, philosophy, theology and short courses at many universities and seminaries. His other books include Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept,, Discipleship of the Mind, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, Why Good Arguments Often Fail and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fifth Edition

1 A World of Difference: Introduction

2 A Universe Charged with the Grandeur of God: Christian Theism

3 The Clockwork Universe: Deism

4 The Silence of Finite Space: Naturalism

5 Zero Point: Nihilism

6 Beyond Nihilism: Existentialism

7 Journey to the East: Eastern Pantheistic Monism

8 A Separate Universe: The New Age-Spirituality Without Religion

9 The Vanished Horizon: Postmodernism

10 A View from the Middle East: Islamic Theism

11 The Examined Life: Conclusion


What People are Saying About This

E. M. Blaiklock


"A most magnificently useful book."

Nicholas Wolterstorff

"If you are looking for an introductory exposition of prominent worldviews, I know of no better book."

Os Guinness

"To think intelligently today is to think worldviewishly, to come to terms with the mosaic of meaning systems which make up modern thinking. This book is a clear introduction and invaluable guide."

Russ Bush

"The most readable presentation of alternative systems that I have ever seen."

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The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
jengel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although a Christian publishing, Sire gives balanced views on many worldviews/metanarratives from pantheism/naturalism/existentialism/nihilism/postmoderism (you get the idea). Recommended for college folk.
ORFisHome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hard to read in many places because of its philosophical depth but could be an invaluable resource text. I particularly liked his summary of Marx's beliefs and Decartes' fatal error in reason.
Iacobus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the first edition of this book as an undergraduate, and it provided a valuable guide to the concept of worldview - that people arrive at different conclusions about the world because they have different basic assumptions. UND is a book about Western world views - you'll need to read missiological literature for an examination of Islamic, animist or other world views. Eastern Pantheistic Monism is included by Sire because (presumably) it had a big influence on Western culture during the 1960s and into the New Age movement.The strength of this book is that it serves as an introduction. Although some complain that it is overly academic, I think that anyone who has studied the sciences or humanities at a tertiary level should be able to pick their way through the worldviews. As an introduction, the book orients the reader to where people might be coming from, and provides the mental tools to be able to begin to identify worldviews and why they are unacceptable from a Christian and from a rational point of view.I am sure there are shortcomings in Sire's presentation of each of the worldviews. Each of them would need a large book to examine it and its relationship to Christian theism. If the book has any weakness, it is in the way it is used by its readers.Caveat 1 - each worldview presented has many more nuances than Sire is able to present. To think, for example, that every existentialist is exactly as Sire describes them is simplistic. Sire does no more than provide a framework or a basis from which we can view and learn about those worldviews.Caveat 2 - Don't think that Christians have nothing to learn from other worldviews, or from their practitioners. For example, many Christians may fail to see the apparent pointlessness of life in many situations (despite Ecclesiates), whereas nihilistic writings may alert us to this viewpoint. Or, again, we may fail to appreciate the interconnectedness of the created order and our fellowship with it. Pantheism can alert is to this without our needing to become pantheists.Caveat 3 - humility is an antedote to our incredulity as we read about the worldviews of others. Many people think that a Christian worldview is just as incredulous. We should not pit arrogance against arrogance, or triumphalistic certainty against triumphalistic certainty. Christians (of the evangelical kind) have no monopoly on truth - we merely know who is the Truth, and that he has revealed some of it to us. That is no call to discard that revealed truth, but to constantly audit our grasp of that truth. Looking at other perceptions of reality is one tool in that process.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
If your question is ¿which God?¿ this is a great place to begin. If it weren¿t for this book, I might still be floundering around in search of the truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gives anyone a basic view into the worldviews that make up the many cultures of the world. This books gives reason to uplift reasonings for a God. If insight is needed, this book is for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book if you are interested in worldviews. Sire starts with a Theistic worldview and traces how it adapted and changed from what it originally was. Sire writes in a fun, interesting and clear manner that anyone would enjoy. Perfect for High School students getting ready for college.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very object.Many books are made up of subject story but this book tells us God'reality gradually and logically.I want recommed this books to man who in doubt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you ever want to develop your current world view. READ THIS BOOK