Praise for The Philosophers’ Daughters…

‘If you pick this up, and open to any page, and start reading, I predict
you will want to read more, and then some more, and more again. The
questions put by the Philosophers daughters are thrilling in their vitality
and fearless curiosity, and the answers come from so many perspectives,
and in different styles: some certain, others more exploratory and
speculative, but all of them marked by an unusual clarity of expression,
directness, and brevity. Some responses will make you think, or inspire
you. Others might make you argue back, or disagree strongly. Either
way, it will help you to work out what you think and believe, and what
you don’t know at all. You may find some answers. Definitely you will
find better questions. It is a hugely stimulating book. It will appeal to
children and teenagers, certainly, but also to anyone, of any age, who
is still open to thinking curiously and non-dogmatically about the big
questions in life, and about life. I know of nothing else quite like it’.

Christopher Insole, Professor of Philosophical Theology
and Ethics, University of Durham and Australian Catholic

‘Someone once said that we are led by the questions we ask. Petra
and Thora Vardy’s direct and profound questions have made for an
informative and challenging book. In the answers they receive there is
wisdom and insight from a variety of perspectives, which, it is hoped, will
enlighten, and encourage others in their exploration of the things of faith.’

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

‘This is a book like no other, not only for the young but for everyone
who wants to engage in deep thinking about life, death, the world,
relationships and God. A thoroughly accessible gem that will stretch
your thinking and stir your imagination.’

Anna Abrams, Principal, Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge

‘Peter Vardy’s daughters demonstrate an adventurous curiosity that
opens up the world. Asking pointed questions about meaning, the
responses range widely, but deeply. This is an intelligent, fascinating
and challenging read.’

Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds

‘This excellent new book, from one of our great contemporary
philosophers, shows again Peter Vardy’s excellent ability to communicate
complex ideas in a readily comprehendible way, to challenge thinking
and to stimulate discussion and debate. The questions posed by Vardy’s daughters, Petra and Thora, are a wonderful springboard for a journey into philosophy and theology. They demonstrate the power of questions to bring orthodoxies into the light of examination and the responses, from a host of philosophers and theologians, can be used in a variety of ways. ‘As an introduction to many of the classical arguments, they initiate the newcomer into the world of philosophy and theology. For those new to the field and the experienced, they invite response and challenge – for no position is without both merits and faults. This book will be an excellent resource for the classroom as the questions can be put to children of all ages to initiate discussion. As Petra and Thora demonstrate, it is often the young who can see more than those whose thinking has become settled and even ossified. This gadfly of a book is a most welcome addition to Vardy’s outstanding publications over the years, as well as a fascinating insight into the quality of conversation around their supper table!’
Jeremy Walker, Head Master, St Peter’s School, York

‘Today we are in danger of forgetting that theology and philosophy are
not hobbies, but existential responses to human questions that call out
of our depths. Those questions have the complexity and simplicity of
youthful minds, and have been voiced here with a wonderful barefaced
integrity by Petra and Thora. As a collection, the responses are epiphanic
not systematic, illustrative of the diverse ways the mind makes sense of
this world and our place in it. Read this book and remind yourself that
the big questions matter and that loyalty to the future depends on us
taking them seriously.’

Mark Oakley, Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge, UK

‘This book presents important questions everyone should be asking
together with answers which combine clarity and sensitivity. As a
teacher with over 20 years’ experience, I consider this book ideal
background reading for any GCSE or A level student of Religious
Studies. Furthermore, each question could be taken as a discussion
starter across any key stage. I highly recommend this engaging and fully
accessible book.’

Victoria Collett, Head of Religious Studies, Malvern St James School

‘There is nothing as disarming and refreshing as a couple of young
people getting together and asking the big questions about life and
the search for meaning. It’s pleasing and rewarding when big minds
with lots of experience have the humility to answer these questions
in an accessible way. That’s the surprising delight of The Philosophers’

Frank Brennan SJ, Rector, Newman College University of Melbourne