META-PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION & META-THEOLOGY
We are delighted to announce the new journal TheoLogica, a peer-reviewed international journal. TheoLogica is a multidisciplinary research journal focused on philosophy of religion and theology (analytic theology, natural theology, philosophical theology), exploring philosophical and theological topics with the standards of conceptual clarity and rigorous argumentation, which are recognized (in particular but not exclusively) in the analytic tradition. The Journal adopts the Open Access Journal (free access) in order to promote research and development of philosophy of religion and theology in the Spanish-speaking academy. In order to contribute equally to international scientific discussions held in several languages, articles and reviews written in Spanish, French, English, Italian and German are accepted.
We invite submissions for the first issue of the journal: Meta-philosophy of religion & Meta-theology. The authors will be expected to discuss the nature, methods and aims of philosophy of religion and/or theology from a metaphilosophical or metatheological perspective. The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of possible research topics:
- What are philosophy of religion and/or analytic theology? What are their subject, their methods and aims?
- Is theology continuous with philosophy and with science? Can it be called a science and in what sense?
- What are the ultimate sources of theology (Scripture, Councils, Tradition, Reason, etc.) and their relative roles? What is the relationship between Scripture and the analytical style of philosophizing? What is the epistemological status of the Scripture in these disciplines?
- What is the place of argumentation in the methodology of theology?
- Is there such a thing as theological knowledge? What are the epistemic sources of theological knowledge?
- Is theological knowledge necessary? Are there epistemic conditions for Salvation?
- Do philosophy of religion and theology aim at Wisdom? How is this sapiential dimension to be fostered? Is the analytic style a hindrance for this aim?
Deadline for sending the paper: April 30st, 2016
Full papers should be submitted via our website: http://revistatheologica.com, or send your paper to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the TheoLogica homepage for a description of the journal and instructions to authors.
This is the seventeenth installment of a series of interviews I am conducting with academic philosophers about their religious practices. In this series of interviews, I ask philosophers about their religious practices and the influence on their philosophical work. Follow the links for parts. Follow the links for parts 1, 2,3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. The contributors are in various stages of their career, tenured and untenured. Interviews were conducted through e-mail and responses are not edited.
Can you tell me something about your current academic position and work?
I’m a Muslim trainee-philosopher born in Iran. I studied BSc in Business and Economics and MA in Islamic and Western philosophy at the University of Tehran and Shahid Beheshti University, Iran. I spent my doctoral journey in moral philosophy at the University of Reading and Oxford under the supervision of Prof. Stratton-Lake, Prof. Hooker and Dr. Rini. My thesis was on “Mind, Epistemology and Neuroethics: A Defence of Epistemological Intuitionism”. Currently, I’m doing research on “Ethics of Migration” and “Compassion in Islamic and Christian Theology” for the department of Theological Ethics and Christian Social Ethics at Universität Luzern. I’m also an associate researcher and adjunct lecture on “Metaphor and Cognition” and “Neuroethics” at Institute for Cognitive Science Studies.
The areas that I’m working on are mostly normative ethics, applied ethics, moral epistemology (esp. intuitionism), moral psychology, neuroethics, metaphor, philosophy of religion, Islamic mysticism and philosophy of Persian music. In 2015, I established “School of Rumi” as an online charity institute for teaching ethics, mysticism and religion. In 2014, my book, Metaphor and Science, has been published in Persian. I have also published a Persian translation of James Brown’s The Laboratory of the Mind. My recent publications in English are, among others, “Success of Public Knowledge Management in the Light of Rossian Ethics” (2013), “Medical Ethics in Qiṣāṣ Punishment” (2015), “Ontological Nominalism and Analytic Philosophy” (2015) and “Playing with the “Playing God”” (forthcoming).
This is the sixteenth installment of a series of interviews I am conducting with academic philosophers about their religious practices. In this series of interviews, I ask philosophers about their religious practices and the influence on their philosophical work. Follow the links for parts. Follow the links for parts 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. The contributors are in various stages of their career, tenured and untenured. Interviews were conducted through e-mail and responses are not edited.
This interview is with Kristen Irwin, an assistant professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
Can you tell me something about your current academic work, and your religious affiliation/self-identification?
I specialize in the early modern period, particularly the seventeenth century. My 2010 dissertation was on the nature and function of reason and belief in the thought of Pierre Bayle, but I have broad interests in the treatment of rationality, religious beliefs, and moral beliefs by modern philosophers. I also dabble in contemporary philosophy of religion and metaethics.
My religious affiliation is… not entirely straightforward! My most obvious identification is as a follower of Jesus Christ in the sense indicated by traditional statements of Christian belief such as the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, interpreted in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. Beyond that, however, things get… complicated. I’ve found that I’m a bit of an oddball, religiously speaking: With respect to religious practices, I have a deep appreciation for—maybe even a love of?—traditional liturgy, and I find a certain freedom and invitation in its privileging of embodiment in one’s interaction with God. At the same time, I value the spontaneity and sincerity of more contemporary forms of worship, and acknowledge the vitality and authenticity of those practices. I also tend to shy away from the hierarchical authority structures generally associated with groups that adopt traditional liturgical practices, especially in light of the ways that this authority has been misused and abused, to the detriment both of those within the church, and outside of the church.
Seattle Pacific University, Philosophy: Assistant professor, tenure-track position beginning September 2016 (subject to funding). Ph.D. in philosophy required; teaching experience preferred. AOS: Epistemology or Philosophy of Language. AOC: philosophy of religion, philosophical theology. Teaching responsibilities include multiple sections of a general education course required of all SPU students, which explores issues at the intersection of religion, science, and philosophy. In addition, teaching responsibilities include all or most of the following courses: epistemology, beginning symbolic logic, advanced logic (predicate logic and modal statement logic), philosophy of religion, and philosophical theology. Founded in 1891, Seattle Pacific University has a long and distinguished history in Christian higher education. Its comprehensive academic programs serve more than 4,100 undergraduate and graduate students. Located just minutes from downtown Seattle, SPU seeks to be a premier Christian University fully committed to engaging the culture and changing the world by graduating people of competence and character, becoming people of wisdom, and modeling grace-filled community. Seattle Pacific University seeks applicants committed to its Christian mission. Due to our mission of cultural engagement, SPU is committed to building an excellent and diverse teaching faculty. The online application includes an official SPU application form, a cover letter, a CV, three letters of recommendation, a faith statement of approximately one page, a teaching philosophy statement of approximately one page, and evidence of excellence in teaching. Completed applications should be submitted by November 1. For more information, contact C. Stephen Layman, chair, Philosophy Department, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Ave. West, Seattle, WA 98119 / email@example.com
This is the tenth installment of a series of interviews I am conducting with academic philosophers about their religious practices. In this series of interviews, I ask philosophers about their religious practices and the influence on their philosophical work. Follow the links for parts1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The contributors are in various stages of their career, tenured and untenured. Interviews were conducted through e-mail and responses are not edited.
This interview is with James Faulconer, professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University. His area specialization is on contemporary European philosophy, particularly Heidegger and French thought from approximately 1960 to the present.
This is the third installment of a series of interviews I am conducting with academic philosophers about their religious practices (see here and here for previous installments). In this series of interviews, I ask philosophers about their religious practices and the influence on their philosophical work. I have interviewed (and am in the course of interviewing) agnostics, theists and atheists, hopefuls and skeptics. The contributors are in various stages of their career, tenured and untenured. Interviews were conducted through e-mail and responses are not edited, except for some occasional shortenings (indicated by ellipses)
The third interview is with H.E. Baber, who is a full professor at the University of San Diego.
Submissions are invited for The Paradise Project Essay Proposal Contest. Authors of winning essay proposals will have expenses paid to present full drafts of their essays at a Project Conference on April 24-25, 2015 in Newport News, VA, and final drafts of their essays will be included in a book manuscript that will be submitted for publication to a world-class press in early fall 2015. A cash prize of $1500 will also be given to the author of each winning proposal. It is the intention of the Project co-organizers, Dr. Ryan Byerly (Regent University) and Dr. Eric Silverman (Christopher Newport University), to offer at least four awards.
The aim of the Paradise Project is to produce an edited collection of essays in analytic philosophy of religion that address philosophical questions about heaven arising across a wide variety of sub-disciplines within philosophy including epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and metaphysics. Confirmed contributors to the Project thus far include:
Submissions for the contest are welcome from philosophers at any career stage. To submit a proposal, send either a 3-5 page (excluding references) detailed abstract of the paper you intend to write, or a draft of a full paper of no more than 10,000 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should be suitable for blind review, and must be sent by December 15th, 2014.
Some sample questions which essay writers may wish to address are as follows:
Epistemology: Will human persons in paradise be infallible? Will they be omniscient? Will they continue to inquire? Will they exercise perfect epistemic autonomy, or will they still trust the testimony of others? Will they exercise intellectual virtues? If so, which ones? How should the beatific vision be construed epistemically? Is it rational to hope for eternal life?
Ethics: Are there some moral virtues that cannot be exercised in paradise—virtues such as perseverance, generosity, contrition, or forgivingness? How does the answer to the foregoing question affect the value of life in paradise? Is eternal life in paradise good and/or meaningful? If so, what makes it good and/or meaningful?
Social and Political Philosophy: What kinds of relationships—e.g., marriage—will continue in paradise? What kinds of political structures will be in place? Will there be a “natural” world; and, if so, what will be the relationship of human beings to this “natural” world? How will resources be distributed? What, if anything, do our answers to these questions tell us about how social and political institutions should be shaped now?
Metaphysics: Is human life in paradise embodied? Is it an embodiment in bodies that are numerically identical to human bodies in earthly life? Will human persons in paradise have free will? Will they maintain personal identity across time? Will they be temporal entities at all? Will human persons retain distinct identities in paradise?
Philosophy of Language: Will the inhabitants of paradise all use the same language? Is doing so necessary for them to achieve maximum mutual understanding? Will humans employ propositional representations at all?
Metaphilosophy: To what extent can reflecting on utopian ideals guide our philosophical reflection about paradise? Should thinking about utopia inform our thinking about paradise in the same way that, according to advocates of perfect being theology, thinking about perfection should inform our thinking about theology proper?
These questions are only representative. Essay proposals addressing other important philosophical questions about life in paradise are also encouraged.
The Paradise Project is funded by a grant from the Immortality Project at University of California, Riverside. The Immortality Project is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Analytic Theology Summer School & Conference in Innsbruck (Austria)
Summer School: July 24 – August 2, 2014
Conference: August 4, 2014 – August 6, 2014
In recent decades, an increasing number of philosophers in the analytic tradition have begun to produce exciting philosophical work on topics relating directly to systematic theology. The Analytic Theology Project is a multinational four-year endeavor that contributes to this development in a creative way. The project funds systematic research promoting a long overdue interdisciplinary cooperation between analytic philosophers and theologians. It thus explores the intersection of both fields and seeks to establish links between the traditions of classical European theology and analytic thinking. Against this background the project is organizing a summer school (with a call for papers) and an international conference on Divine Action in the World. The language of both events is English.
A basic claim of theistic belief systems is that God engages in relationship with his creation. One way to understand this relationship is provided by talk about God’s actions. This includes not only his creating, sustaining, and bringing to perfection of the world, but also his intervention in the course of its history. Talk of God’s action in the world, however, is open to many interpretations, since it raises numerous questions about the causal structure of reality, laws of nature, and human free will. Coming to grips with these and similar questions is crucial for properly engaging with any theistic belief system. In our conference, internationally renowned philosophers and theologians will discuss these questions and give new and innovative answers.
In my view, the cosmological argument from contingency is the most powerful philosophical argument for the existence of God. By a ‘philosophical’ argument, in this context, I mean a way of giving reasons for something that does not depend on detailed empirical investigation, or on idiosyncratic features of a particular individual’s experience or psychology. Thus I do not hold that the argument from contingency is the best reason anyone has for believing in God. I think, for instance, that some people have had religious experiences which provide them with stronger reasons than the argument from contingency could, even making very generous assumptions about their ability to grasp the argument.
This belief of mine, about the relative strengths of the arguments, goes rather against the grain of current discussions. I think the recent philosophy of religion literature overestimates the power of the fine-tuning argument and the first cause argument, and underestimates the power of the argument from contingency.
As part of its fall open submission cycle, the John Templeton Foundation welcomes online funding inquiries in the areas of philosophy and theology. The submission window is August 1 to October 1, 2013. Proposed philosophical projects need not have religion or theology as a focus. To submit an online funding inquiry, please visit http://www.templeton.org/what-we-fund/our-grantmaking-process.
Please note that the Templeton Foundation does not normally provide dissertation fellowships through this open submission process. For more information on the kinds of projects that the Foundation can support, visithttp://www.templeton.org/what-we-fund/core-funding-areas/science-and-the-big-questions.
A list of Foundation grants in the areas of philosophy and theology can be found here: http://www.templeton.org/what-we-fund/grant-search/results/taxonomy%3A5