Brian Davies (philosopher)

Brian Evan Anthony Davies OP (born 1951) is a British philosopher. He is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University (since 1995), and author of An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, now in its third English edition, which has been translated into five languages.

Brian Davies

Brian Davies.jpg
Brian Evan Anthony Davies

1951 (age 68–69)
Alma mater
Era20th-/21st-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytical Thomism
Main interests


Brian Davies studied theology at the University of Bristol[1] (BA 1972) and undertook graduate studies at King's College London (MTh, 1973; Tutorial Assistant, 1974–6; PhD, 1976).[2]


He spent the period 1982–95 at the University of Oxford. Throughout those years he was lecturer in theology and philosophy at Blackfriars, Oxford. Davies was also Tutor in Theology, St Benet's Hall and a member of the Faculty of Theology (1983–95); Regent of Studies of the English Dominican Province (1988–95); University Research Lecturer (1993–95); and member of the Sub-Faculty of Philosophy (1994–95).[2]

In 1994 Davies was appointed Regent of Blackfriars and, as a Head of House, received the degree of Master of Arts by Special Decree by the University of Oxford. In 1995 he took up his current appointment at Fordham University.[1] He held Visiting Professorships at the Beda College, Rome (Spring 1987 and Spring 1988), Fordham University (July–August 1987, July–August 1988, and Fall 1994), and Candler School of Theology, Emory University (Spring 1993).[2]



Some of Davies's publications include:

  • An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1982; revised edition, 1993; 3rd edition 2003; Korean translation, 1996; Romanian translation, 1996; Ukrainian translation, 1996; Hungarian translation, 1999; Polish translation 2006) -An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion is a Philosophical Book written by the philosopher Brian Davies (1951–present). The book covers the topics: Concepts of God, Philosophy and Religious Belief, Cosmological Arguments, Design Arguments, Ontological Arguments, Experience and God, Talking about God, Divine Simplicity, Omnipotence and Omniscience, God and Evil, Miracles, Morality and Religion and Life after Death. Miracles-The text covers the definition of miracles in reference to a number of different philosophers (David Hume, Richard Swinburne, and John Mackie). David Hume's definition being ‘A miracle is a transgression of a law of nature by a particular violation of the deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.’ It then goes on to pose questions such as ‘Is it Reasonable to Believe in Miracles?’. It then focuses on Hume's opinion on Miracles and the confusion on his beliefs whether miracles are possible or not. It then moves onto ‘What do Miracles prove?’ where it debates how miracles help to prove meaning for the existence in God, it discusses the ideas of who causes and in what conditions can miracles be caused.
  • Thinking About God (Geoffrey Chapman: London, 1985)
  • The Thought of Thomas Aquinas (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1992)
  • Aquinas (Continuum: London and New York, 2002)
  • Aquinas: An Introduction (Continuum: London and New York, 2003)
  • The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil (Continuum: London and New York, 2006)
  • "'Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil'" (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2011)

He has also contributed:


Davies has edited:

  • Language, Meaning and God: Essays in honour of Herbert McCabe O.P. (Geoffrey Chapman: London, 1987)
  • With G.R. Evans, Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works (Oxford University Press: Oxford,1998)
  • Philosophy of Religion: A Guide to the Subject (Geoffrey Chapman: London, 1998)
  • Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2000)
  • The De Malo of Thomas Aquinas (tr. Richard Regan; ed., Introduction, and Notes Brian Davies) (Oxford University Press: New York and Oxford, 2001)
  • Thomas Aquinas: Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press: New York and Oxford, 2002)
  • With Brian Leftow, The Cambridge Companion to Anselm (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2004)
  • Aquinas's “Summa Theologiae”: Critical Essays (Rowman and Littlefield: Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Oxford, 2005)
  • With Brian Leftow, Aquinas: “Summa Theologiae”, Questions on God (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2006)
  • With Eleonore Stump, The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Davies also edits the Outstanding Christian Thinkers series (Continuum: London and New York, 1989–2004), having overseen the publication of twenty-eight volumes, and of the Great Medieval Thinkers, published by Oxford University Press. He was Book Reviews Editor for New Blackfriars (1979–95) and a member of the editorial board for Religious Studies (2000–6). He is now Associate European Editor (since 1992) for the International Philosophical Quarterly.

As literary executor for the late Herbert McCabe (died 2001), Davies edited and published five volumes of work that McCabe left at the time of his death: God Still Matters (Continuum: London and New York, 2002); God, Christ and Us (Continuum: London and New York, 2003); The Good Life: Ethics and the Pursuit of Happiness (Continuum: London and New York, 2005); Faith Within Reason (Continuum: London and New York, 2007); and On Aquinas (Continuum: London and New York, 2008).