Marc Sanders Foundation Prize in Philosophy of Religion
May 6, 2013 — 17:43

Author: Jon Kvanvig  Category: Uncategorized  Tags: , ,   Comments: 5

Deadline: August 31, 2013.
Formerly the Younger Scholars Prize in Philosophical Theology, the contest has been changed in both substance and title. Now open to those within 15 years of the PhD, the contest is also now generically categorized as a prize in Philosophy of Religion.
The blurb from the foundation is below the fold:

The Marc Sanders Prize in Philosophy of Religion
In keeping with its mission of encouraging and recognizing excellence in philosophy, The Marc Sanders Foundation seeks to highlight the importance of ongoing support for the work of younger scholars. As part of this commitment, the Foundation has dedicated resources to an ongoing essay competition, designed to promote excellent research and writing in philosophy of religion on the part of younger scholars.
Sponsored by The Marc Sanders Foundation and administered by the editorial board of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, this essay competition is open to scholars who are within fifteen (15) years of receiving a Ph.D. and to students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program. The annual prize amount is $8,000. Winning essays will appear in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
Current Competition Details
The Marc Sanders Prize in Philosophy of Religion is an annual essay competition open to scholars who are within fifteen (15) years of receiving a Ph.D. or students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program. Independent scholars may also be eligible, and should direct inquiries to Jonathan Kvanvig, editor of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion at The award for the prizewinning essay is $8,000, and winning essays will be published in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
Submitted essays must present original research in Philosophy of Religion. Essays should be between 7,500 and 15,000 words. Since winning essays will appear in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion submissions must not be under review elsewhere. To be eligible for this year’s prize, submissions must be received, electronically, by August 31st 2013. Refereeing will be blind; authors should omit remarks and references that might disclose their identities. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by e-mail. The winner will be determined by a committee of members of the Editorial Board of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion and will be announced by late-October.
Inquiries should be directed to Jonathan Kvanvig at

  • Mark Murphy

    I think it’s time that all of us became extremely concerned about the dominance that Marc Sanders is now wielding in the granting of prizes to younger scholars. I am going to refrain from submitting my work to any such contest (never mind how far out of my Ph.D. I am), and I urge all of my comrades to do likewise. Don’t get me wrong. I like teaching in all of the areas in which Marc Sanders Younger Scholars prizes are given. I even have views on pragmatic encroachment. But with all of these Younger Scholar prizes being given, it is likely that our fields are going to be skewed even more toward younger scholars. That is not why I got into philosophy, and it is incompatible with my conception of a university.

    May 7, 2013 — 20:07
  • The prizes (a) provide money to younger folks, (b) encourage a greater volume of submissions from younger folks to Oxford Studies volumes and (c) provide exposure to younger folks.
    By itself, (a) seems a good think: younger scholars tend to need money more.
    I don’t think (c) is likely to skew the field that significantly. Younger folks need all the help they can get to become better known.
    I suppose (b) might skew the Oxford Studies volumes towards younger scholars. However, the probability of acceptance in the volumes presumably does not change based on whether one submits to the competition, and given the serious refereeing that contest entries undergo, any paper accepted by Oxford Studies as part of the contest would probably have been publishable in a good journal anyway, so it may not skew the field much, unless the Oxford Studies volumes become more prestigious than the top journals.
    I am more worried by a fundamental skew the philosophical profession has in favor of new ideas. I think that outside of highly technical subfields, the very fact that a philosophical idea is new is evidence against its truth. Why? Because the fact that it is new entails that nobody thought of the idea earlier. And that nobody thought of the idea earlier is evidence that it isn’t true, except in highly technical subfields.

    May 8, 2013 — 9:17
  • Mark Murphy
    May 8, 2013 — 11:27
  • Ooops.

    May 8, 2013 — 13:17
  • Andrew Moon

    Bahahaha! I didn’t realize you were joking. Wow, that discussion over at Templeton was super interesting, with a lot of really smart philosophers talking about a (for the most part) nonphilosophical issue. I learned a lot by reading it.

    June 5, 2013 — 18:34
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