Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this (...) challenge? The paper considers fictionalism about religious discourse as a possible methodological standpoint from which to practice a tradition-neutral form of philosophy of religion. However, after examining some of the problems incurred by fictionalism, the paper concludes that fictionalism and religious diversity are uneasy bedfellows; which implies that fictionalism is unlikely to be the best theory to shape the practice of philosophy of religion in a multicultural context. (shrink)
The article aims to answer the question whether philosophy of religion can fulfil its research goals, that is discover the essence of religion, find out if any one of them is true and if faith and religious behavior are rational. In the face of a multitude of religions it is difficult to point to any common elements which makes it harder to discover the essence of religion. Trying to prove the consistency of the concept of God (...) as an object of religion and either His/Her existence or non-existence faces similar problems; this makes it impossible to conclusively decide whether religion is true or not. Therefore, it is also difficult to settle whether religious faith is rational or irrational. However, this failure does not deny the cognitive value of philosophy of religion, which can analyze various religious doctrines as it relates to their consistency, truthfulness, or the rationality of following them. (shrink)
Looking back over the last 40 years of work in the philosophy of religion provides a fascinating vantage point from which to assess the state of the discipline today. I describe central features of American philosophy of religion in 1970 and reconstruct the last 40 years as a progression through four main stages. This analysis offers an overarching framework from which to examine the major contributions and debates of process philosophy of religion during the (...) same period. The major thinkers, topics, positions, and controversies are presented, analyzed, and critiqued. In the concluding section I offer a critical appraisal of the state of the field today based on the results of these historical analyses. (shrink)
Experimental Philosophy is a new and controversial movement that challenges some of the central findings within analytic philosophy by marshalling empirical evidence. The purpose of this short paper is twofold: to introduce some of the work done in experimental philosophy concerning issues in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics and to connect this work with several debates within the philosophy of religion. The provisional conclusion is that philosophers of religion must (...) critically engage experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophers of religion have written a great deal about the problem of evil. Their reflections, however, have not concentrated, at least not extensively or sufficiently, on the particularities of evil that manifest themselves in genocide. Concentrating on some of those particularities, this essay reflects on genocide, which has sometimes been called the crime of crimes, to raise questions such as: how should genocide affect the philosophy of religion and what might philosophers of religion contribute to help (...) check that crime against humanity? (shrink)
From its inception in Kant's efforts to articulate a "religion within the limits of reason alone," the Continental tradition has maintained a strict division of labor between theological and philosophical reflection on religion. In what follows, I examine this continental legacy in the context of Jacques Derrida's recent work on the concept of responsibility. First I discuss three guiding themes (the limits of speculative analysis, the idea of nondogmatic religion, and the importance of the other) that characterize (...) the continental tradition's general orientation toward philosophy of religion, as well as Derrida's approach to the concept of responsibility. I turn next to elucidating Derrida's account of responsibility as developed in "Force of Law: The Mystical Foundations of Authority" and The Gift of Death. I conclude with a discussion of the uses and limits of this account for religious (and theological) reflection, as well as for the task of articulating a contemporary continental philosophy of religion. (shrink)
I offer you some theories of intellectual obligations and rights (virtue Ethics): initially, RBT (a Right to Believe Truth, if something is true it follows one has a right to believe it), and, NDSM (one has no right to believe a contradiction, i.e., No right to commit Doxastic Self-Mutilation). Evidence for both below. Anthropology, Psychology, computer software, Sociology, and the neurosciences prove things about human beliefs, and History, Economics, and comparative law can provide evidence of value about theories of rights. (...) However, insofar as we have methods within Philosophy to help us formulate precise concepts of 'belief' and 'rights', methods that also help us to prove links (or absence thereof) amongst families of concepts of rights and belief, our discipline is in and of itself capable of sound reasoning about issues as puzzling as the following. Suppose a Jane who does not believe in God yet who believes she ought to so believe: Jane is undergoing doxastic moral regret (moral regret for lack of faith). We have all known such Janes and perhaps at one time or another even been one. Paradox: given RBT and NDSM, Jane as described not only does not exist, Jane cannot exist. Thus, to enrich the ways in which Philosophy need not get all its evidence from other academic disciplines, I present a brief introduction to what I call Neutral Universal Frames (NUFs). NUFs solve hard puzzles about interactions among modal concepts of belief and rights, concepts that occur in RBT, NDSM and the description of our Janes. NUFs for theories precisely articulated via any two or more modal concepts are a powerful and immensely general set of tools enabling us to define rich theories of truth ("models on frames") to test philosophical theories for internal consistency and to prove the existence of connections (or absence thereof) amongst alternative articulations of philosophical theories. NUFs thereby add to the constructive knowledge producing way Logics intersect with Philosophy of Religion. And we will soon see why Jane, be she named 'Jane' or known simply as you: cannot exist. Read on at your own risk. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, if ‘the overrepresentation of Christian theists in analytic philosophy of religion is unhealthy for the field, since they would be too much influenced by prior beliefs when evaluating religious arguments’ (De Cruz and De Smedt (2016), 119), then a first step toward a potential remedy is this: analytic philosophers of religion need to restructure their analytical tasks. For one way to mitigate the effects of confirmation bias, which may be influencing how (...) analytic philosophers of religion evaluate arguments in Analytical Philosophy of Religion (APR), is to consider other points of view. Applied to APR, this means considering religious beliefs, questions, and arguments couched in non-Christian terms. In this paper, I focus on Islam in particular. My aim is to show that Islam is a fertile ground of philosophical questions and arguments for analytic philosophers of religion to engage with. Engaging with questions and arguments couched in non-Christian terms would help make work in APR more diverse and inclusive of religions other than Christianity, which in turn would also be a first step toward attracting non-Christians to APR. (shrink)
When surveying the scholarly literature over Wittgensteinian fideism, it is easy to get the sense that the principal interlocutors, Kai Nielsen and D.Z. Phillips, talk past one another, but finding the right words for appraising the distance between the two voices is difficult. In this paper, I seek to appreciate this intellectual distance through an exploration of the varying philosophical aims of Nielsen and Phillips, of the different intellectual imperatives that guide their respective conceptions of philosophical practice. In so doing, (...) I seek to show how a contemplative mode in philosophy may be used to appraise a philosophical dispute and the terms of disagreement. In this case, a contemplative approach to understanding the dispute would frame Nielsen’s and Phillips’ contributions against the backdrop of the ends they conceive philosophy to have. (shrink)
William James is notorious for the large number of inconsistencies and at least apparent contradictions in his writings. Many readers conclude that he should be appreciated more for his profound but erratic insights than for any coherent philosophical perspective. Ellen Kappy Suckiel disagrees. She argues that James is far more careful and systematic than many readers realize. Her work on James is guided by the attempt to lay bare his coherent philosophical vision and the consistent philosophical methodology underlying it. As (...) a result of this approach, Suckiel's work on James is both sympathetic to his philosophical insights and carefully argued. In her first book, The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James (1982), Suckiel applies this approach to James's philosophy as a whole. The result is a work of remarkable clarity and insight that serves as a wonderful introduction to James's thought. In her more recent book, Suckiel applies this approach specifically to James's philosophy of religion, with similar felicitous results. Heaven's... (shrink)
Pointing to broad symmetries between the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent and all-good, and the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent but all-evil, the evil-God challenge raises the question of why theists should prefer one over the other. I respond to this challenge by drawing on a recent theory in epistemology, pragmatic encroachment, which asserts that practical considerations can alter the epistemic status of beliefs. I then explore some of the implications of my argument for how we do (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of religion, arguing that practical and contextual as well as alethic considerations are properly central to the discipline. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to show the contribution of recent Thomistic epistemology - that is, an epistemology rooted in the philosophical theology of Thomas Aquinas - makes to contemporary philosophy of religion. In particular, I show how recent philosophers and theologians (most of them of a distinctly analytic persuasion) are appropriating insights in Aquinas’s philosophical theology in order to address perennial epistemological issues: most broadly, how it is that human persons know the world as well as (...) the divine. One of the main conclusions of the article is that recent Thomistic epistemology (including the various species of recent Thomistic epistemology) offers powerful resources for properly understanding both the mind-world and mind-God relationships. (shrink)
In what follows I intend to sketch the Hegelian project of the Philosophy of Religion (Religionsphilosophie) mainly by following two coordinates: on the one hand, my aim is to approach it starting from Hegel’s main “dialogue partners” – Christian Wolff and Kant – and from the critique of speculative philosophy on the scenarios of the Illuminist theologies. On the other hand, the first part completed, the discussion will pursue a different route, namely, that of a classical topic (...) discussed by Hegel in his lectures: the relation between philosophy and religion. I am trying to show how Hegel “solves” the tension between the two by lending it a hermeneutic dimension, thus opening up reflections on religion to the encyclopedic segment of the philosophy of spirit. (shrink)
The paper explores the practice of philosophy of religion, arguing that, as philosophy about religion and religious philosophy, it challenges the assumptions of both philosophy and religious thinking and belief.
This book is a collection of chapters on contemporary philosophy of religion by a wide range of authors: Beverley Clack; John Manoussakis; Nick Trakakis; Trent Dougherty; Logan Paul Gage; Genia Schonbaumsfeld; Harriet Harris; Karyn Lai; Imran Aijaz; Monima Chadha; John Bishop; Jerome Gellman; Mark Wynn; Bryan Frances; Ed Feser; Michael Scott; Roger M. White; David Bartholomew; Kevin Hart; Victoria Harrison; Marci Hamilton; Medhi Aminrazavi; Daniel McKaughan; Michael Smith; David Oderberg; Neil Levy; Michael Levine; Christopher Toner; Rob Koons; Todd (...) Tremlin; and Neil Manson. (shrink)
The commonly held view that Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion entails an irrationalist defense of religion known as 'fideism' loses plausibility when contrasted with recent scholarship on Wittgenstein's corpus, biography, and other sources. This book reevaluates the place of Wittgenstein in the philosophy of religion and charts a path forward for the subfield by advancing three themes. The first is that philosophers of religion should question received interpretations of philosophers, such as Wittgenstein, as well as (...) the meanings of key terms used in interpretations, such as 'fideism'. The second theme is that Wittgenstein's philosophy, across his corpus, pursues a particular end: a searching clarity or perspicuity. The third theme is that with the rise of various religious movements within societies and around the world in recent decades, philosophy of religion has important tasks in clarifying global conversations on living well amidst human diversities and contemplating philosophy as a vocation. (shrink)
Despite the growth in research in philosophy of religion over the past several decades, recent years have seen a number of critical studies of this subfield in an effort to redirect the methods and topics of inquiry. This article argues that in addition to problems of religious parochialism described by critics such as Wesley Wildman, the subfield is facing a problem of relevance. In responding to this problem, it suggests that philosophers of religion should do three things: (...) first, be critically self-aware about their aims of inquiry; second, investigate concepts used by other philosophers, scientists, and religious studies scholars to identify and dispel confusion about religions; and third, following the model of applied ethics, work to clarify concepts and advance arguments of contemporary practical urgency. (shrink)
The article examines the reception of Western philosophy in Lithuanian philosophy of religion. The purpose is to show how the discourse of philosophy of religion came about in Lithuania. This branch of philosophy has been not only culturally and socially important in Lithuania, it has been significant as well for the formation and maintenance of national identity. By the same token, it also was the most developed and controversial theoretically. The first part of the (...) article lays out the genesis of the autonomous Lithuanian philosophy of religion, though strongly influenced by the transformations in the broader context of European philosophy. For that reason it will be useful to present the ideas of the most prominent Lithuanian thinkers in the field who have successfully adopted and adapted vital trends in Western philosophy into the Lithuanian cultural and intellectual context. The second part of the article is less historical and more problematic as it deals with specific issues concerning faith, God, anthropological problems as reflected in the works of contemporary Lithuanian philosophers of religion. Only after having explored certain affiliations of Lithuanian philosophy of religion with Western thought can we state that, although the latter was the necessary precondition of the former, Lithuanian philosophy of religion does substantiate its sovereign status while correlating in an original way major cultural transformations with the changes in theoretical context, according to the specific concerns of Lithuanian society. In addition, this historical and philosophical examination aims to look at the formation of Lithuanian identity, mentality, values, their roots in the Christian tradition as well as the capacity to respond at critical historical moments. (shrink)
In the late nineteenth century, European philosophical theologians concerned about the perceived threat of secularity played a crucial role in the construction of the category of ‘religion,’ conceived as a transcultural universal, the genus of which the so-called ‘world religions’ are species. By reading the work of the late John Hick (1922–2012), the most influential contemporary philosophical advocate of religious pluralism, through an historically informed hermeneutic of suspicion, this paper argues that orientalist-derived understandings of religion continue to play (...) a significant (though often unacknowledged) role within the philosophy of religion today. Though couched in the language of pluralism, Hick’s later work in the philosophy of religion functions apologetically to maintain a version of the religious–secular distinction that, while theologically and politically loaded, is, I show, philosophically arbitrary. Moving the philosophy of religion beyond Eurocentrism, I argue, will require freeing it from the logic of the modern understanding of religion. (shrink)
Entendendo “pensamento pós-metafísico” no sentido da crítica moderna e positivista à metafísica como forma de conhecimento, o artigo apresenta a filosofia analítica da religião como uma resposta à tese de que a linguagem religiosa não tem sentido porque não se refere a nenhum dado empiricamente verificável ou falseável. Em primeiro lugar, é apresentada a resposta não-realista ao desafio pós-metafísico, especialmente a de D. Z. Phillips, baseada nas ideias de Wittgenstein. Nessa proposta, o sentido da linguagem religiosa não está na referência (...) a uma realidade transcendente, mas ao uso que ela tem como guia existencial e ético. Em seguida, é exposta a resposta realista à crítica antimetafísica, usando-se elementos das ideias de alguns dos principais autores da filosofia analítica da religião: Alvin Plantinga, William Alston e Richard Swinburne. Além de sustentarem o significado referencial real da linguagem religiosa, eles argumentam que a metafísica é não só defensável cognitivamente, mas também condição importante para o raciocínio científico.Taking ‘post-metaphysical thought’ in the sense of the modern and positivistic criticism to metaphysics as a form of knowledge, the article presents analytic philosophy of religion as a response to the thesis that religious language has no meaning since it does not refer to any empirically verifiable or falsifiable data. Firstly, it is presented the non-realist reply to the post-metaphysical challenge. The main non-realist author introduced is D. Z. Phillips, who based his ideas on Wittgenstein’s philosophy. According to this proposal, the meaning of religious language is not given by reference to a transcendent reality, but to its use as an ethical and existential guide. Next, it is expounded the realist position to the antimetaphysical criticism, using ideas by some of the leading authors in the analytic philosophy of religion: Alvin Plantinga, William Alston and Richard Swinburne. Apart from holding that religious language has a real referential meaning, they argue that metaphysics is not only cognitively defensible, but also an important condition for scientific reasoning. (shrink)
This essay offers a response to Pamela Sue Anderson’s book, Re-visioning Gender in Philosophy of Religion. It focuses on three key aspects of Anderson’s work: first, her concern with the often imperceptible reality of gender exclusions; secondly, her discussion of ineffability in dialogue with Adrian Moore’s work and thirdly, her defence of realism in response to Grace Jantzen. These themes constitute a welcome articulation of rationality within a feminist framework, whilst opening up rationality to the validity of non-propositional (...) truths. The essay ends by suggesting that Anderson does more to work out new conceptualizations of the divine, arguing that her work and that of Jantzen are not so far apart on this point as might first appear. (shrink)
Contents: Preface; From faith to reason for fideism: Raymond Lull, Raimundus Sabundus and Michel de Montaigne; Nicholas of Cusa and Pythagorean theology; Giordano Bruno's philosophy of religion; Coluccio Salutati: hermeneutics of humanity; Humanism applied to language, logic and religion: Lorenzo Valla; Georgios Gemistos Plethon: from paganism to Christianity and back; Marsilio Ficino's philosophical theology; Giovanni Pico against popular Platonism; Tommaso Campanella: God makes sense in the world; Francisco Suárez – scholastic and Platonic ideas of God; Epilogue: conflicting (...) truth claims; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
What is this thing called Philosophy of Religion? grapples with the core topics studied on philosophy of religion undergraduate courses including God as personal, divine omnipotence, divine omniscience, the problem of evil, religious diversity, cosmological arguments, design arguments, moral arguments, and ontological arguments. In addition to the in-depth coverage of the key themes within the subject area Elizabeth Burns explores the topics from the perspectives of the five main world religions, introducing students to the work of (...) scholars from a variety of religious traditions and interpretations of belief. (shrink)
This book examines the philosophy of the nineteenth-century Indian mystic Sri Ramakrishna and brings him into dialogue with Western philosophers of religion, primarily in the recent analytic tradition. Sri Ramakrishna’s expansive conception of God as the impersonal-personal Infinite Reality, Maharaj argues, opens up an entirely new paradigm for addressing central topics in the philosophy of religion, including divine infinitude, religious diversity, the nature and epistemology of mystical experience, and the problem of evil.
The origins of the Western philosophical tradition lie in the ancient Greco-Roman world. This volume provides a unique insight into the life and writings of a diverse group of philosophers in antiquity and presents the latest thinking on their views on God, the gods, religious belief and practice. Beginning with the 'pre-Socratics', the volume then explores the influential contributions made to the Western philosophy of religion by the three towering figures of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The chapters that (...) follow cover the the leading philosophers of the major schools of the ancient world - Epicureanism, Stoicism, Neoplatonism and the early Christian Church. "Ancient Philosophy of Religion" will be of interest to scholars and students of Philosophy, Classics and Religion, while remaining accessible to any interested in the rich cultural heritage of ancient religious thought. (shrink)
The Medieval period was one of the richest eras for the philosophical study of religion. Covering the period from the 6th to the 16th century, reaching into the Renaissance, "The History of Western Philosophy of Religion 2" shows how Christian, Islamic and Jewish thinkers explicated and defended their religious faith in light of the philosophical traditions they inherited from the ancient Greeks and Romans. The enterprise of 'faith seeking understanding', as it was dubbed by the medievals themselves, (...) emerges as a vibrant encounter between - and a complex synthesis of - the Platonic, Aristotelian and Hellenistic traditions of antiquity on the one hand, and the scholastic and monastic religious schools of the medieval West, on the other. "Medieval Philosophy of Religion" will be of interest to scholars and students of Philosophy, Medieval Studies, the History of Ideas, and Religion, while remaining accessible to any interested in the rich cultural heritage of medieval religious thought. (shrink)
This is the fourth volume in our five volume history of western philosophy of religion. It covers the nineteenth century, and includes chapters on: Fichte; Schleiermacher; Hegel; Schelling; Schopenhauer; Comte; Newman; Emerson; Feuerbach; Mill; Darwin; Kierkegaard; Marx; Engels; Dilthey; Edward Caird; Nietzche; Royce; Freud; and Durkheim.
This book is an opinionated introduction to philosophy of religion. It is divided into three parts: one on epistemology, one on metaphysics, and one on values. The book embodies an approach to philosophy of religion that is very different from prevalent contemporary approaches.
_Reading Philosophy of Religion_ combines a diverse selection of classical and contemporary texts in philosophy of religion with insightful commentaries. Offers a unique presentation through a combination of text and interactive commentary Provides a mix of classic and contemporary texts, including some not anthologized elsewhere Includes writings from thinkers such as Aquinas, Boethius, Hume, Plantinga and Putnam Divided into sections which examine religious language, the existence of God, reason, argument and belief, divine properties, and religious pluralism.
'The History of Western Philosophy of Religion' brings together an international team of over 100 leading scholars to provide authoritative exposition of how history's most important philosophical thinkers - from antiquity to the present day - have sought to analyse the concepts and tenets central to Western religious belief, especially Christianity. Divided chronologically into five volumes, 'The History of Western Philosophy of Religion' is designed to be accessible to a wide range of readers, from the scholar (...) looking for original insight and the latest research findings to the student wishing for a masterly encapsulation of a particular philosopher's views. Together these volumes provide an indispensable resource for anyone conducting research or teaching in the philosophy of religion and related fields, such as theology, religious studies, the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
An international team of over 100 leading scholars has been brought together to provide authoritative exposition of how history's most important philosophical thinkers - fron antiquity to the present day - have sought to analyse the concepts and tenets central to Western religious belief, especially Christianity. Divided, chronologically, into five volumes, _The History of Western Philosophy of Religion_ is designed to be accessible to a wide range of readers, from the scholar looking for original insight and the latest research (...) findings to the student wishing for a masterly encapsulation of a particular philosopher's views. It will become the standard reference in the field. Features: each volume opens with a general introduction, presenting an overview of philosophy of religion in the period each essay opens with a brief biography, then outlines and analyses that philosopher's contribution to thinking on religion, and concludes with key further reading essays are cross-referenced, highlighting the development of major ideas and influences across history each volume closes with a chronology, presenting a contextual guide to the main religious, political, cultural and artistic events of the period each volume contains its own bibliography and index. (shrink)
The twentieth century saw religion challenged by the rise of science and secularism, a confrontation which resulted in an astonishingly diverse range of philosophical views about religion and religious belief. Many of the major philosophers of the twentieth century - James, Bergson, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Heidegger, and Derrida - significantly engaged with religious thought. Idiosyncratic thinkers, such as Whitehead, Levinas and Weil, further contributed to the extraordinary diversity of philosophical investigation of religion across the century. In their (...) turn, leading theologians and religious philosophers - notably Buber, Tillich and Barth - directly engaged with the philosophy of religion. Later, philosophy of religion became a distinct field of study, led by the work of Hick, Alston, Plantinga, and Swinburne. "Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Religion" provides an accessible overview of the major strands in the rich tapestry of twentieth-century thought about religion and will be an indispensible resource for any interested in contemporary philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The fifth of the five volumes in our History of Western Philosophy of Religion. This volume deals with Western philosophy of religion in the twentieth century. It contains chapters on: James; Bergson; Whitehead; Hartshorne; Dewey; Russell; Scheler; Buber; Maritain; Jaspers; Tillich; Barth; Wittgenstein; Heidegger; Levinas; Weil; Ayer; Alston; Hick; Daly; Derrida; Plantinga; and Swinburne.
This anthology includes 75 articles in nine areas of philosophy of religion. These areas include: traditional arguments for the existence of God; on the validity of religious experience; the problem of evil and other atheological arguments; the attributes of God; miracles and revelation; death and immortality; faith and reason; religious pluralism; and ethics and religion. The articles are arranged in a coherent framework, with the presentation of each area progressing from the classical to the contemporary and treated (...) in a dialectic (pro and con) fashion. (shrink)
The most comprehensive text in its field, this anthology includes 74 articles in 9 areas of philosophy of religion: The Concept of God; Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God; Religious Experience; The Problem of Evil; Miracles, Death and Immortality; Faith and Reason; Science, Religion, and Evolution; and Religious Pluralism. The arrangement of the articles and the introductions which accompany them help students place the readings in their historical or contemporary context, and to ensure that students can (...) be exposed to a spectrum of viewpoints. (shrink)
Joseph T. O’Connell drew attention to the relative scarcity of academic work on religion in South Asia, and o ered as a plausible explanation for this state of a airs the tension between secular and religio‐political communal interests. This paper explores the potential role of phi‐ losophy as an established academic discipline within this situation, in the context of India. It argues that objective study, including evaluation, of the truth claims of various religious traditions is an important aspect of (...) academic as opposed to confessional engagement with religion, and that philosophy in India is especially well suited to undertake such re ection and to provide corresponding education. Unlike Western countries, philosophy and religion were never clearly separated in India and did not evolve in tension with one another. The history of Indian philosophy therefore includes and is included within the history of its ‘religions’, in a way that makes philosophical examination of the truth claims of Indian religions internal to those religions themselves. By tracing this history, the discipline of philosophy can help to unsettle the idea of religion as a matter of xed dogma. It can also continue the procedure of interpreting and evaluating metaphysical and epistemological theses that has been an intrinsic component of Indian religious thought for most of its history. (shrink)
This volume brings together fourteen of the best papers by the late Philip Quinn, one of the world's leading philosophers of religion. It covers the following topics: religious epistemology, religious ethics, religion and tragic dilemmas, religion and political liberalism, topics in Christian philosophy, and religious diversity.
In a recent article, Ireneusz Zieminski argues that the main goals of philosophy of religion are to define religion; assess the truth value of religion and; assess the rationality of a religious way of life. Zieminski shows that each of these goals are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Hence, philosophy of religion leads to scepticism. He concludes that the conceptual tools philosophers of religion employ are best suited to study specific religious traditions, (...) rather than religion more broadly construed. But it’s unclear whether the goals Zieminski attributes to philosophy of religion are accurate or even necessary for successful inquiry. I argue that an essentialist definition of religion isn’t necessary for philosophy of religion and that philosophers of religion already use the conceptual analysis in the way Zieminski suggests that they should. Finally, the epistemic standard Zieminski has in view is often obscure. And when it is clear, it is unrealistically high. Contemporary philosophers of religion rarely, if ever, claim to be offering certainty, or even evidence as strong as that found in the empirical sciences. (shrink)
The phenomenological project of Jean-Luc Marion’s Being Given (namely, to free phenomenological possibility to the unconditional self-giving of all phenomena) should be distinguished from the theological project of his God without Being (to think God unconditionally and absolutely). In freeing phenomenological possibility to the self-giving of all phenomena (on the model of the saturated phenomenon), and in proposing a new figure of the subject who receives phenomena (the gifted), Marion’s phenomenology provides the conceptual means for a philosophy of (...) class='Hi'>religion that admits the phenomenonality of unconditional revelation. And yet, thereremain striking parallels between the unconditional, self-giving phenomenon as it is described in the phenomenology of Being Given and the unconditional, self-giving God of the theological God without Being. This essay concludes by offering a framework for interpreting these parallels without claiming that the saturated phenomenon transforms phenomenology into theology and without claiming that phenomenological givenness limits revelation to its philosophical possibility. (shrink)
Mircea Eliade, the renowned scholar of Romanian origin, wrote that Lucian Blaga was the greatest Romanian philosopher of all time. Blaga was intensely interested in both culture and religion as areas of philosophical investigation. Blaga’s philosophy proposes a metaphysics that explains the origin of culture and its unrivaled significance to humanity. His philosophy also endeavors to explicate the relationship between culture and religion. Blaga finds that religion is a cultural product, but does not view this (...) as a detriment to religion. On the contrary, according to Blaga, it is the very fact that religion is an expression of cultural creativity that gives religion its beauty. This article will introduce Blaga’s philosophy of culture and his philosophy of religion, explain the relationship between them, and show that Blaga accorded high honor to both. (shrink)
Why is the philosophy of religion important? -- Is God real? -- How can God be known? -- Faith and reason or faith vs. reason? -- What is religious experience? -- Who is religious and what is faith? -- What is God? -- Does religion need the supernatural? -- Do miracles occur? -- What is evil and why does it exist? -- What happens after death? -- What is spirituality? -- How does religion affect personal ethics? (...) -- How does religion affect social ethics? -- What is a religious life? (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of religion as a subject of study has developed in recent years because of the identification and exposure of explicit sexism in much of the traditional philosophical thinking about religion. This struggle with a discipline shaped almost exclusively by men has led feminist philosophers to redress the problematic biases of gender, race, class and sexual orientation of the subject. Anderson and Clack bring together new and key writings on the core topics and approaches to this (...) growing field. Each essay exhibits a distinctive theoretical approach and appropriate insights from the fields of literature, theology, philosophy, gender and cultural studies. Beginning with a general introduction, part one explores important approaches to the feminist philosophy of religion, including psychoanalytic, poststructualist, postmetaphysical, and epistemological frameworks. In part two the authors survey significant topics including questions of divinity, embodiment, autonomy and spirituality, and religious practice. Supported by explanatory prefaces and an extensive bibliography which is organized thematically, Feminist Philosophy of Religion is an important resource for this new area of study. (shrink)
[from the publisher's website] Questions about the existence and attributes of God form the subject matter of natural theology, which seeks to gain knowledge of the divine by relying on reason and experience of the world. Arguments in natural theology rely largely on intuitions and inferences that seem natural to us, occurring spontaneously—at the sight of a beautiful landscape, perhaps, or in wonderment at the complexity of the cosmos—even to a nonphilosopher. In this book, Helen De Cruz and Johan De (...) Smedt examine the cognitive origins of arguments in natural theology. They find that although natural theological arguments can be very sophisticated, they are rooted in everyday intuitions about purpose, causation, agency, and morality. Using evidence and theories from disciplines including the cognitive science of religion, evolutionary ethics, evolutionary aesthetics, and the cognitive science of testimony, they show that these intuitions emerge early in development and are a stable part of human cognition. -/- De Cruz and De Smedt analyze the cognitive underpinnings of five well-known arguments for the existence of God: the argument from design, the cosmological argument, the moral argument, the argument from beauty, and the argument from miracles. Finally, they consider whether the cognitive origins of these natural theological arguments should affect their rationality. (shrink)