In the coming weeks, I will begin running a new feature on this blog which I am calling ‘the Prosblogion Virtual Colloquium’. Like a real philosophy department colloquium, the virtual colloquium aims to be a weekly discussion of a philosophy paper. This being the Prosblogion, these will of course be papers in philosophy of religion. However, this term will be construed in a very broad sense to include philosophy papers in any field and any tradition that are relevant to religion in general or to any particular religion. I will be trying, as much as possible, to span the full diversity of philosophers, philosophical projects, arguments and positions that fall within that very general characterization of philosophy of religion. The colloquium will primarily feature the work of junior scholars.
I have several aims for this project. First, I hope simply that this will foster interesting discussion of philosophical issues related to religion(s). Second, I think it is an unfortunate feature of the academic discipline of philosophy that many excellent papers are barely read and commented on at all. I therefore hope that the virtual colloquium will help a variety of philosophy papers to be part of a genuine conversation (and maybe not wait years to be cited for the first time!). Third, I hope that the series will help to bring attention to the diverse kinds of work being undertaken in contemporary philosophy of religion and the variety of positions and arguments being defended. Finally, I hope that this will provide an opportunity for philosophers who don’t get to attend conferences and colloquia on a regular basis to engage in helpful back-and-forth philosophical discussion at a high level.
I am open to suggestions about format, but my current plan is as follows. Just like an in-person colloquium, I will briefly introduce the colloquium ‘speaker’. Following this, the ‘speaker’ will give an introductory summary of the paper under discussion (recommended length about 800 words, but flexible). Then there will be a link to the full text of the paper. The paper may be a draft or a recent publication, but must be online somewhere. Open access is of course preferable, but where this is infeasible for copyright reasons a link to the journal (or PhilPapers) to allow those who have access through their university would be acceptable.
If there is sufficient interest, I hope to run the first virtual colloquium on Friday, October 14 and hold subsequent colloquia each Friday through at least the end of the present academic year. I am beginning to contact potential presenters right away. I would appreciate receiving nominations particularly of junior philosophers who have a draft or recent publication in philosophy of religion to discuss. These can be left in the comments below, or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Receiving plenty of nominations from lots of different people will help to ensure the schedule does not end up unduly biased toward my own philosophical propensities. Self-nominations are also encouraged!
Over the weekend Prosblogion passed the six year marker. This year we served up well over 850,000 page views to over 375,000 visitors, and we climbed to over 10,000 comments. (Hmm I wonder which philosophy journals get that many page views?) Thanks to all the contributors for their efforts in making Prosblogion such a fantastic site by putting up quality content week after week. Thanks too to all of our commenters, and lurkers, for playing along.
I’d like to welcome Prosblogion‘s latest contributor Nick Trakakis. Nick is currently a lecturer in Philosophy and Religion at Monash University and Deakin University. Reader’s may want to check out his most recent book, The End of Philosophy of Religion. You can learn more about Nick’s work by checking out his personal web site.
Please join me in welcoming Nick to the site.
Typically in writing these posts I recount some thrilling statistics about the blog’s performance over the last year, but five years seems like a rather significant milestone for a blog. To change things up I want to recognize some fantastic achievements on the part of Prosblogion‘s contributors. Perhaps most significantly, five of our contributors landed or started their first tenure-track jobs this year.
- Trent Dougherty will start at Baylor University in the Fall of 2009
- Clayton Littlejohn will start at the University of Texas, San Antonio in the Fall of 2009
- Robert Gressis started at California State University, Northridge in the Fall of 2008
- Tim Pawl started at the University of St. Thomas in the Fall of 2008
- Joshua Thurow started at Mount Marty College in the Fall of 2008
In addition to these fresh starts, Kevin Timpe has accepted an associate professor position at Northwest Nazarene University where he will start in the Fall of 2009. Five years ago some people worried that blogging might hurt an individuals chances on the job market. So much for that worry!
I’d like to welcome Prosblogion‘s latest contributor Kevin Corcoran. Kevin is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College. Reader’s may want to check out his most recent book, Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul. You can also check out the preface to his work in progress, Incurably Human: The Ache and Hope of Life on Earth.
Please join me in welcoming Kevin to the site.
Congratulations to Jeremy and Samantha Pierce one the birth of their fourth child, Jewel Elisabeth Pierce. She was born at 10:36 pm on August 18, 2008, weighing in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. Jeremy reports that mommy and baby are both doing fine.
Though it went uncommented on at the time, last week Prosblogion passed the four year marker. Thanks to all the contributors and commenters who continue to make this site a success. Thanks especially to Jeremy Pierce for originally suggested the idea for the site. Readers can look forward to new developments on the site, including fresh voices as we add new contributors in the coming months. As always, advanced graduate students and professional philosophers interested in contributing to Prosblogion should contact me directly.
One new development is the advent of the Prosblogion reading group. A number of contributors have gotten together to read Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley’s new book Knowledge of God, part of Blackwell’s Great Debates in Philosophy series. You can expect the first post, on the first half of chapter one, beginning June 30th. Our plan is to put up fresh posts on the book every Monday thereafter. For those of you that would like to read along, you can help out funding this place by purchasing the book from Amazon.
Here’s to another year of thoughtful and engaging posts and discussions!
Please join me in welcoming Prosblogion's latest contributor Martijn Blaauw. Martijn is a Research Fellow in the Philosophy Department of the Amsterdam Free University. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with his work on contrastivism and contextualism. I had the good fortune to meet Martijn this summer while in Amsterdam, and I'm pleased that he has accepted the invitation to join us here.
Please join me in welcoming Prosblogion's latest contributor Robert Gressis. Rob recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, and starting this Fall will be a postdoctoral fellow at Notre Dame's Center for the Philosophy of Religion. You can find out more about his philosophical interests on his profile.
I'd like to welcome Prosblogion's latest contributor Clayton Littlejohn. Some of you will know of Clayton from his comments here or from his personal blog Think Tonk. Currently Clayton is a lecturer in the philosophy department at Southern Methodist University. Most of his current research concerns the justification of belief and action and assorted issues in the philosophy of mind.
Please join me in welcoming Clayton to the site.