Strange, Surprising, Sure

Essays in Uncommon Philosophy

By Robert Cummings Neville

Subjects: Philosophy Of Religion, Comparative Religion, Theology, Confucianism, Pragmatism
Hardcover : 9781438499611, 336 pages, October 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-10-01

Accessible and wide-ranging essays on the philosophy of religion.


In Strange, Surprising, Sure, Robert Cummings Neville presents a theory of being, change, and value, and engages other philosophers who deal with these concepts. The book's central thesis is that the entire created world includes everything determinate, and thus the creator does not exist within creation. Strangely, this reverses nearly everything in the Western tradition. Surprisingly, this thesis is approached from a great many angles, all of which are within the Western, South Asian, or East Asian traditions. Surely put, this thesis will win out in the long run. Although Neville writes for an English-reading audience, he engages with thinkers from all these traditions."

Robert Cummings Neville is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University. His many books include Metaphysics of Goodness: Harmony and Form, Beauty and Art, Obligation and Personhood, Flourishing and Civilization, also published by SUNY Press.


"Robert Neville is a singular figure in American philosophy. At a time when few believe it possible or productive to undertake a truly systematic approach to philosophical reflection, Neville has consistently shown us how it can and should be done. He is deeply engaged in contemporary conversations about purely philosophical issues, but also about the implications his philosophy has for contemporary social, theological, and more broadly, religious reflection. I can think of almost no one who has his range, and this collection of essays will serve as a helpful and accessible introduction to the scale and scope of his vision." — Warren G. Frisina, Hofstra University

"The ontological creative act is Robert Neville's key hypothesis, familiar to his many readers. But here it is presented with more lucidity than any place else. I like best of all the comparative dimension he brings to his study of philosophy and religion." — Nancy Frankenberry, Dartmouth College