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Plantinga, Alvin (b. 1932)

  1. Kelly James Clark

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1084

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Clark, K. J. 2011. Plantinga, Alvin (b. 1932). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Alvin Plantinga is John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He graduated B.A. from Calvin College and proceeded Ph.D. at Yale University. At Calvin, Plantinga began thinking about philosophy from an explicitly Christian perspective, which was counter to the positivist and rationalist presuppositions of the time; at Yale he learned metaphysics in the expansive but undisciplined tradition of idealism. While teaching at Wayne State University with some of the brightest young philosophers of the day, Plantinga and his colleagues honed the analytic style of philosophy that attended to precise but careful argumentation and clarification of key terms. He returned to teach at Calvin College for 20 years before taking up a chair at Notre Dame. In 1978 Plantinga cofounded the Society of Christian Philosophers, which grew to over 1,000 members. In 1980 Time magazine hailed Plantinga as “the leading philosopher of God” in an article on the renaissance of Christian philosophy.


  • plantinga, alvin (b. 1932);
  • ontological argument for the existence of God;
  • the free will defense, reformed epistemology;
  • so-called “reformed epistemology”