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Products>The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 6th ed.

The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 6th ed.

ISBN: 9780830849390
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For more than forty years, The Universe Next Door has set the standard for a clear, readable introduction to worldviews. Using his widely influential model of eight basic worldview questions, James Sire examines prominent worldviews that have shaped the Western world:

  • theism
  • deism
  • naturalism
  • Marxism
  • nihilism
  • existentialism
  • Eastern monism
  • New Age philosophy
  • postmodernism
  • Islam

Intertwined with this analysis, he presents an overview of intellectual history giving insight into the current state of Western thought and culture. Critiquing each worldview within its own frame of reference and in comparison to others, Sire encourages readers to wrestle with life’s biggest questions and examine the core beliefs and commitments on which they are building their lives.

The sixth edition, updated by Sire’s longtime editor Jim Hoover, features new explanatory sidebars, helpful charts comparing worldviews and illustrating their historical flow, and a chapter on challenges to a Christian worldview in the twenty-first century. New discussion questions will help readers reflect more deeply on the ideas in each chapter.

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. In a world of ever-increasing diversity, The Universe Next Door offers a unique resource for understanding the variety of worldviews that claim the allegiance of mind and heart.

Resource Experts
  • Features new explanatory sidebars and charts comparing worldviews and illustrating their historical flow
  • Includes new chapter on challenges to a Christian worldview in the twenty-first century
  • Examines prominent worldviews that have shaped the Western world
  • Foreword to the Sixth Edition by Jim Hoover
  • Preface to the Fifth Edition
  • A World of Difference: Introduction
  • A Universe Charged with the Grandeur of God: Christian Theism
  • The Clockwork Universe: Deism
  • The Silence of Finite Space: Naturalism
  • Zero Point: Nihilism
  • Beyond Nihilism: Existentialism
  • Journey to the East: Eastern Pantheistic Monism
  • A Separate Universe: The New Age—Spirituality Without Religion
  • The Vanished Horizon: Postmodernism
  • A View from the Middle East: Islamic Theism
  • The Examined Life
  • Building a Christian Worldview for the Twenty-First Century: A Work in Progress
  • Appendix: Helpful Worldview Diagrams and Thumbnail Sketches

Top Highlights

“Nihilism is more a feeling than a philosophy, more a solitary stance before the universe than a worldview. Strictly speaking, nihilism is a denial of any philosophy or worldview—a denial of the possibility of knowledge, a denial that anything is valuable. If it proceeds to the absolute denial of everything, it even denies the reality of existence itself. In other words, nihilism is the negation of everything—knowledge, ethics, beauty, reality. In nihilism no statement has validity; nothing has meaning. Everything is gratuitous, de trop—that is, just there.” (Page 84)

“On one issue I remain constant: I am convinced that for any of us to be fully conscious intellectually we should not only be able to detect the worldviews of others but be aware of our own—why it is ours and why, in light of so many options, we think it is true.” (Page xiv)

“The nihilists follow this argument, which can now be stated briefly: Human beings are conscious machines without the ability to affect their own destiny or do anything significant; therefore, human beings as valuable beings are dead.” (Page 90)

“But deism denies that God can be known by revelation, by special acts of God’s self-expression in, for example, Scripture or the incarnation.” (Page 37)

“Third, deists rejected the biblical notion of the fall and assumed that the present universe is in its normal, created state.” (Page 53)

Each new edition of James Sire’s classic text on worldviews, The Universe Next Door, only adds to the comprehensiveness and adaptability to classroom instruction as well as individual and group studies. This sixth edition is no exception. It contains a new commentary on the most contemporary challenges to Christian knowledge and faith. There is also an excellent new chart of worldviews as they relate to prime reality, external reality, human beings, after death, knowledge, morality, history, and core commitments. James Sire’s work on worldviews was the product of a lifetime of fascination, study, and articulation of the major differences between our basic understandings and commitments across cultures, religions, and time. It was essential to whetting my own interest in and understanding of the importance of comprehending worldviews. It is an essential text for every Christian's library.

—Mary Poplin, professor of education at Claremont Graduate University, author of Is Reality Secular?

Over two generations of evangelicals have been nurtured by James Sire’s magisterial The Universe Next Door. It is rightly considered a Christian classic. And for two reasons, this new incarnation of Sire’s work is especially important. For one, it has a number of new features—including clarifying sidebars, charts, study questions, and a new chapter tackling recent challenges to a Christian worldview—that make its content clear, updated, and easy to use as a text. For another, as Western culture moves further and further away from the memory of a Christian worldview, it becomes increasingly important that Christians know how to navigate the realm of worldviews and think worldviewishly as Christians. This new edition of The Universe Next Door is for such a time as this.

—J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and coauthor of Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview

James W. Sire (1933–2018) was a widely-respected apologist, author, and lecturer who served for more than thirty years as senior editor at InterVarsity Press. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the seminal apologetics title The Universe Next Door, which was first published in 1976 and has sold over 350,000 copies in five editions and has been translated into eighteen foreign languages.


3 ratings

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  1. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  2. Sydney Witbeck
    An excellent guide to worldviews. James Sire's book is a "Must-REad" for those exploring the field of Christian apologetics!
  3. Doug Fannon

    Doug Fannon


    Another great book on Worldviews


Digital list price: $34.99
Save $10.00 (28%)