Religion, philosophy of

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2015)


Philosophy of religion comprises philosophical reflection on a wide range of religious and religiously significant phenomena: religious belief, doctrine and practice in general; the phenomenology and cognitive significance of religious experience; the authority and reliability of religious testimony; the significance of religious diversity and disagreement; the relationship between religion (or God, or the gods) and morality; the doctrines, practices and modes of cognition distinctive to particular religious traditions; and so on. It is as old as philosophy itself and has been a standard part of Western philosophy in every period (see Religion, history of philosophy of). Since the latter half of the twentieth century, there has been a great growth of interest in it, and the range of topics that philosophers of religion have considered has expanded considerably.

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Michael Rea
University of Notre Dame

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