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Summary The epistemology of religion covers the varied epistemological questions that may be posed concerning religious belief; it thus lies at the intersection of epistemology and philosophy of religion. Traditional issues include the rationality of religious belief/disbelief, the nature of evidence for and against theism, whether and under what circumstances knowledge of God (if there is one) is possible, the roles of religious experience or revelation or testimony in supporting religious belief, whether arguments or evidence are needed to ground religious belief (see 'reformed epistemology'), the nature of 'faith' (in both religious and non-religious contexts), and the epistemological consequences of disagreement on religious questions.
Key works A handful of philosophers have been most important in shaping the recent literature on the rationality of religious belief: see especially the collection edited by Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff (Plantinga & Wolterstorff 1983), and book-length treatments Plantinga 1967, Swinburne 1993, Swinburne 1996, Plantinga 2000, Alston 1991, plus the collections Wolterstorff 2010 and VanArragon & Clark 2011. For criticism see Mackie 1982Sobel 2004Schellenberg 2007. For recent work on faith, see  Buchak 2012Howard-Snyder 2013, and Buchak 2014; and for discussions of disagreement and religious belief, see Oppy 2010Thurow 2012, and Frances forthcoming. For important historical considerations, see Coakley 2009 and Coakley 2013.
Introductions Clark 2004, Forrest 2008Dastmalchian 2013, Smith 2014, and Dunaway & Hawthorne forthcoming
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  1. William P. Alston (1964). Psychoanalytic Theory and Theistic Belief. In Charles Taliaferro & Paul J. Griffiths (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. Blackwell. 123-140.
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  2. William P. Alston & Thomas D. Senor (1995). The Rationality of Belief & the Plurality of Faith Essays in Honor of William P. Alston. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  3. Leonard Angel (2005). Compositional Science and Religious Philosophy. Religious Studies 41 (2):125-143.
    Religious thought often assumes that the principle of physical causal completeness (PCC) is false. But those who explicitly deny or doubt PCC, including William Alston, W. D. Hart, Tim Crane, Paul Moser and David Yandell, Charles Taliaferro, Keith Yandell, Dallas Willard, William Vallicella, Frank Dilley, and, recently, David Chalmers, have ignored not only the explicit but also the implicit grounds for acceptance of PCC. I review the explicit grounds, and extend the hitherto implicit grounds, which together constitute a greater challenge (...)
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  4. Robert Audi (1991). Faith, Belief, and Rationality. Philosophical Perspectives 5:213-239.
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  5. Frederick Beiser (2005). Schleiermacher's Ethics. In Jacqueline Mariña (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Friedrich Schleiermacher. Cambridge University Press. 53--71.
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  6. John Bishop (2007). How a Modest Fideism May Constrain Theistic Commitments: Exploring an Alternative to Classical Theism. Philosophia 35 (3-4):387-402.
    On the assumption that theistic religious commitment takes place in the face of evidential ambiguity, the question arises under what conditions it is permissible to make a doxastic venture beyond one’s evidence in favour of a religious proposition. In this paper I explore the implications for orthodox theistic commitment of adopting, in answer to that question, a modest, moral coherentist, fideism. This extended Jamesian fideism crucially requires positive ethical evaluation of both the motivation and content of religious doxastic ventures. I (...)
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  7. Tomas Bogardus (2013). Erratum To: Disagreeing with the (Religious) Skeptic. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):19-19.
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  8. John Boli & David V. Brewington (2007). Religious Organizations1. In Peter Beyer & Lori G. Beaman (eds.), Religion, Globalization and Culture. Brill. 6--203.
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  9. G. Briintrup & R. Tacelli (1999). Many Kinds of Rational Theistic Belief. In G. Bruntrup & R. K. Tacelli (eds.), The Rationality of Theism. Kluwer. 19--21.
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  10. G. Briintrup & R. Tacelli (1999). The Rationality of Theistic Belief and the Concept of Truth. In G. Bruntrup & R. K. Tacelli (eds.), The Rationality of Theism. Kluwer. 19--39.
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  11. Alan Brown (1998). Belief and Unbelief a Christian Response to the Challenge of Scepticism. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  12. C. Cesa (1986). The Historical Role of Schleiermacher. Giornale Critico Della Filosofia Italiana 6 (3):462-464.
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  13. Jb Chethimattam (1984). Religious Monograms and Mantras. Journal of Dharma 9 (2):142-149.
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  14. Stephen R. L. Clark (2013). Dougherty Evidentialism and its Discontents . Pp. Xii + 335. £45.00 . ISBN 978 0 19 956350 0. Clark & VanArragon Evidence and Religious Belief . Pp. X + 214. £35.00 , £24.94 . ISBN 9780 19 960371 8. [REVIEW] Religious Studies 49 (1):134-139.
    Book Reviews STEPHEN R. L. CLARK, Religious Studies , FirstView Article.
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  15. Daniel Eaton & Timothy Pickavance (forthcoming). Wagering on Pragmatic Encroachment. In Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Oxford.
    Lately, there has been an explosion of literature exploring the the relationship between one’s practical situation and one’s knowledge. Some involved in this discussion have suggested that facts about a person’s practical situation might affect whether or not a person knows in that situation, holding fixed all the things standardly associated with knowledge (like evidence, the reliability of one’s cognitive faculties, and so on). According to these “pragmatic encroachment” views, then, one’s practical situation encroaches on one’s knowledge. Though we won’t (...)
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  16. N. Everitt (1998). Gellman, JI-Experience of God and the Rationality of Theistic Belief. Philosophical Books 39:215-216.
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  17. K. P. F. (1962). On Religious Maturity. Review of Metaphysics 16 (1):163-164.
  18. Jerome I. Gellman (1997). Experience of God an the Rationality of Theistic Belief. Cornell Up.
    Introduction i This work is a sustained argument for the rationality of belief in God based on the evidence that across various religions down through history people seem to have experienced God.1 If we conf1ne ourselves to rationality ...
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  19. Yehuda Gellman (2010). A Problem for the Christian Mystical Doxastic Practice. Philo 13 (1):23-28.
    William Alston has identified what he calls a “Christian Mystical Practice” as one of the many doxastic practices in which humans engage. He defends CMP as being as rational as other doxastic practices, including the sense perceptual practice, having its own input and output rules, and its own background overrider system. I argue that there seems to be a serious problem with Alston’s characterization of the overrider system for CMP. The presence of this problem threatens to damage Alston’s argument for (...)
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  20. Walter B. Gulick (2013). Religious Naturalism: A Framework of Interpretation and a Christian Version. American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 34 (2):155-174.
    Religious naturalism takes very seriously the meanings inherent in both a scientific understanding of the world and a religious orientation to life well lived. It rejects—as implausible and incompatible with science— the supernaturalism that has dominated Western religious traditions. But can one or more of the varieties of religious naturalism satisfy the fundamental religious needs or yearnings for meaning that have typically been responded to within supernaturalistic worldviews? A challenge facing all types of religious naturalism, if any are to take (...)
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  21. C. S. Gurrey (1991). Paradox, Will and Religious Belief. Philosophy 66 (258):503 - 511.
    In its central object of attachment—the figure of Christ Incarnate—the Christian religion could be said to embrace what would ordinarily be taken to be an impossible object of belief. That is, the logic of the Incarnation demands close scrutiny: and in response, the question may be begged, given such an analysis of that life, may not any belief which does take this figure to be a central object of faith, be then held to be sui generis , a logically extraordinary (...)
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  22. S. O. H. (1969). Religious Language and the Problem of Religious Knowledge. Review of Metaphysics 22 (4):773-774.
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  23. Arthur Holmes (1967). Philosophy and Religious Belief. World Futures 5 (4):3-51.
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  24. Jasper Hopkins, Faith and the Rhetoric of Religious Paradox:.
    Within Judeo-Christian theism many of the initially-sounding paradoxical and counter-intuitive expressions—such as Martin Luther’s description of the Christian believer as simul peccator et iustus—seem oftentimes contradictory, or at least pointless, to the unbeliever. Yet, these expressions play an important role within the theistic context of faith. The present essay promotes the view that such expressions should not be eliminatively reduced to “equivalent” restatements of them in non-paradoxical language. For the paradoxical formulations are themselves instinct with a rhetorical force that makes (...)
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  25. D. C. J. (1972). Philosophical Faith and Revelation. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 25 (4):758-758.
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  26. H. H. J. (1975). The Problem of Religious Language. Review of Metaphysics 28 (3):548-549.
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  27. Andrew V. Jeffery (1998). Experience of God and the Rationality of Theistic Belief. Review of Metaphysics 52 (1):149-150.
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  28. J. Kellenberger (1980). Religious Faith and Prometheus. Philosophy 55 (214):497 - 507.
    Recent philosophy of religion, particularly neo-Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion, has reminded philosophers that there is more to religion than belief and, indeed, that there is more to religious belief than mere belief. D. Z. Phillips is among those who have made a contribution here. He has emphasized how religious belief is very different from the kind of belief that amounts to holding a hypothesis, even a God-hypothesis. However, perhaps because of his non-cognitivist tendencies, Phillips, unlike Kierkegaard to whom he often (...)
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  29. Robert C. Koons (1993). Faith, Probability and Infinite Passion. Faith and Philosophy 10 (2):145-160.
    The logical treatment of the nature of religious belief (here I will concentrate on belief in Christianity) has been distorted by the acceptance of a false dilemma. On the one hand, many (e.g., Braithwaite, Hare) have placed the significance of religious belief entirely outside the realm of intellectual cognition. According to this view, religious statements do not express factual propositions: they are not made true or false by the ways things are. Religious belief consists in a certain attitude toward the (...)
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  30. Samuel Lebens (2013). The Epistemology of Religiosity: An Orthodox Jewish Perspective. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (3):315-332.
    This paper focusses on the Rabbinic suggestion that the attitude of awe, rather than any particular belief, lies at the heart of religiosity. On the basis of these Rabbinic sources, and others, the paper puts forward three theses: (1) that belief is not a sufficiently absorbing epistemic attitude to bear towards the truths of religion; (2) that much of our religious knowledge isn’t mediated via belief; and (3) that make-believe is sometimes more important, in the cultivation of religiosity than is (...)
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  31. W. H. Mallock (1905). The Reconstruction of Religious Belief. Harper & Brothers.
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  32. Esther L. Meek (2004). Longing to Know and the Complexities of Knowing God. Tradition and Discovery 31 (3):29-43.
    This response to papers on my 2003 book, Longing to Know, presented at the Polanyi Society’s November 2004 meetings, addresses two primary concerns about the book’s argument: first, that the book’s argument depends on an inappropriately unquestioned commitment to the authority of Scripture that falls short of the adjustment required by modern higher critical biblical scholarship; and second, that the book’s argument implies a religious exclusivism that overlooks the fact that the model of knowing it defends suits competing religious positions (...)
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  33. Meera Nanda (2005). Response to My Critics. Social Epistemology 19 (1):147 – 191.
    “The day the Enlightenment went out”, is how Gary Wills described the re-election of President George W. Bush in an op-ed column in the New York Times (November 4, 2004). Reflecting upon the conservative religious vote that put Bush back in the White House, Wills wondered if there was any connection between the fact that many more Americans believe in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin’s theory of evolution and that 75 percent of Bush supporters actually believed—without an iota of (...)
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  34. Virgil Martin Nemoianu (2013). Beyond the Contingent: Epistemological Authority, a Pascalian Revival, and the Religious Imagination in Third Republic France. By Kathleen A. Mulhern. Pp. 212, Wipf and Stock, 2011, $25.00. [REVIEW] Heythrop Journal 54 (3):524-525.
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  35. Francis William Newman (2009). The Religious Mischiefs of Credulity. The Works of Francis William Newman on Religion 9:175-186.
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  36. D. O.’Donoghue (1957). The Symbols of Religious Faith. Philosophical Studies 7:234-235.
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  37. Robert Pasnau (1998). Experience of God and the Rationality of Theistic Belief. Philosophical Review 107 (4):624-626.
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  38. Terence Penelhum (1972). Problems of Religious Knowledge. --. Herder and Herder.
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  39. J. Z. T. Pieper (2003). Religious Resources of Psychiatric Inpatients. Archive for the Psychology of Religion 25 (1):142-154.
    In this paper some results of a study among psychiatric patients in a large mental hospital in the Netherlands are presented. We focus on the following issues: - the religious and spiritual beliefs and activities of the inpatients; - both the positive and the negative influence of their religion and their religious coping on their mental problems as well as on their existential well-being. The results are discussed briefly within the theoretical notions of religious coping, adressing the positive influence especially (...)
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  40. Richard C. Prust (2004). Wholeness: The Character Logic of Christian Belief. Rodopi.
    The notion of a “person” is in deep philosophical trouble. And this has posed a deepening crisis for believers: Christian beliefs are, after all, irreducibly about persons. In response to this situation, Prust proposes a new way to reason about persons, one based on identifying persons as characters of action. Employing a phenomenology of action he calls “character logic,” he develops a powerful new tool for thinking through some of the intractable dilemmas that have long befuddled belief: Can we avoid (...)
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  41. Lorenz B. Puntel (1999). The Rationality of Theistic Belief and the Concept of Truth. In G. Bruntrup & R. K. Tacelli (eds.), The Rationality of Theism. Kluwer. 39--60.
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  42. Eric Reitan (2011). Transformation of the Self in the Thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Faith and Philosophy 28 (4):474-478.
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  43. James Ross (2011). Pt. 1. Exploring the Demand for Evidence. Willing Belief and Rational Faith. In Kelly James Clark & Raymond J. VanArragon (eds.), Evidence and Religious Belief. Oxford University Press.
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  44. Yvan I. Russell & Fernand Gobet (2013). What is Counterintuitive? Religious Cognition and Natural Expectation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):715-749.
    What is ‘counterintuitive’? There is general agreement that it refers to a violation of previously held knowledge, but the precise definition seems to vary with every author and study. The aim of this paper is to deconstruct the notion of ‘counterintuitive’ and provide a more philosophically rigorous definition congruent with the history of psychology, recent experimental work in ‘minimally counterintuitive’ concepts, the science vs. religion debate, and the developmental and evolutionary background of human beings. We conclude that previous definitions of (...)
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  45. Alan P. F. Sell (1992). Reason & Religious Belief. Philosophical Studies 33:401-402.
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  46. R. A. Sharpe (1997). The Moral Case Against Religious Belief. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  47. Aron Wolfe Siegman (1962). Personality and Socio-Cultural Variables Associated with Religious Behavior1. Archive for the Psychology of Religion 7 (1):96-104.
    1. Although a number of personality variables have been identified by various authors as the determinants of religious behavior, independent of specific religious denomination, the results of the studies under consideration certainly appear to be inconsistent with such claims. It is suggested instead that the personality correlates of religious behavior vary with the specific religious denomination. 2. For most people religious belief and religious observance are acquired or learned in the socialization process. In a culture in which there is no (...)
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  48. Simon Smith (2011). Lessons In Faith And Knowledge. Minerva 15:78-101.
    The aim of this paper is to consider how well equipped philosophy is to meet the logical and epistemologicaldemands of religious belief. That this belief is a response to questions both practical and urgent – the nature ofone’s existence, the reality of salvation – frequently seems quite unimportant in a field dominated by rationalismand theistical realism. To properly understand both the response and the questions that give rise to it, I want toreturn to the foundations of religious thought. These foundations, (...)
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  49. Steven G. Smith (2012). The Roar of the Lion, the Taste of the Salt: On Really Religious Reasons. Religious Studies 48 (4):479 - 496.
    Some of the most significant religious appeals can be taken as reasons of a distinctively religious kind. But many popular ways of interpreting religious reasoning pose obstacles to appreciating religious reasons as such. To avoid binding the concept of religious reason to an intellectual programme that requires a disjunction between the religious and the rational or that dissolves all tension between religious claims and general rational standards of validity and normativity, religious reasons can be defined for purposes of liberal study (...)
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  50. J. L. Stocks (1934). On the Nature and Grounds of Religious Belief Delivered Before the University of Durham at Armstrong College, Newcastle-on-Tyne, on November 15th, 16th and 17th, 1933. [REVIEW] H. Milford, Oxford University Press.
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