Continuing discussion.

EPS Blog

This is the blog area for the Evangelical Philosophical Society and its journal, Philosophia Christi.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Philosophia Christi (Winter 2009): Religious Pluralism

The Winter 2009 issue of Philosophia Christi features a dialog on "religious pluralism" with scholars Keith Yandell, Paul Moser and Paul Knitter.

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Keith Yandell, "Religious Pluralism: Reductionist, Exclusivist, and Intolerant?"

Abstract: There is a general recognition that there are various self-identifying religions. Many people find the idea that these religions differ in significant ways altogether too distressing to accept. Thus Religious Pluralism is often taken to define the only unbiased, rational, and acceptable approach to the diversity of religions. In fact, the Pluralist route is anything but unbiased or rational. Rather than being the only acceptable approach, it should be flatly rejected. While proclaiming its respect to all nice religious traditions (ones that are not nice are simply cast out), it proposes a radical reshaping of religious traditions along the lines that it favors. Coming to clear terms with this imperialistic fact concerning Religious Pluralist procedures is no part of their agenda.

Paul K. Moser, "Exclusivism, Inclusivism, and Kardiatheology"

Abstract: This paper contends that although many religious views are exclusive of each other, a morally perfect God worthy of worship would seek to include all willing people in lasting life with God. The paper distinguishes some different variations on religious exclusivism and inclusivism, and proposes an inclusive version of Christian exclusivism. The account implies that one can yield volitionally to God’s unselfish love and thereby to God de re, without any corresponding acknowledgment de dicto and thus without one’s knowing (or believing) that God exists. The paper finds the basis for this approach in the teachings of Jesus himself. In addition, the paper recruits a notion of kardiatheology to emphasize that a God worthy of worship would seek to transform the heart (or motivational center) of a wayward person even if this person does not (yet) believe that God exists.

Paul F. Knitter, "Religious Diversity: What to Make of It ... How to Engage It? A Conversation with Paul Moser and Keith Yandell."

Abstract: Knitter asks Moser if the soteriological inclusivism he is proposing for our understanding of God can also be extended to our understanding of Christ: Christ’s death and resurrection do not constitute or bring about saving grace; they reveal it, thus leaving room for the possibility of other revealers. For Yandell, Knitter first clarifies that the necessary conditions for dialogue are not established before but in the dialogue. He then urges an epistemic humility for all Christian philosophers in view of the ineffable Mystery of God—a Mystery that may well include, to the philosopher’s consternation, a “coinciding of opposites.”

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Call for Papers: Religious Toleration

The Philosophy of Religion Group is issuing a call for papers for its session at the 2010 American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting on the topic of Religious Toleration. In the seventeenth century many European philosophers were deeply concerned with religious intolerance that spawned intra- and inter-national violence on a massive scale. Locke, Spinoza, Bayle and others famously drafted arguments aimed at providing religious partisans with reasons for tolerating more religious diversity in their midst than they might otherwise have been inclined to allow. While the arguments these philosophers made may have been influential in the development of religious toleration in Europe and North America in the 18th Century, it is not clear that they have as much appeal in the contemporary West or elsewhere in the world. This session will be devoted to revisiting the topic of religious toleration both to examine its philosophical roots and its contemporary cogency.
The session will consist of three papers, two presented by Edwin Curley (Michigan) and Robert Audi (Notre Dame) as well as a third paper drawn from submitted abstracts.
Those wishing to submit papers for consideration should send a 350 word (or less) abstracts to the Program Chair, Michael Murray at no later than OCTOBER 1, 2009.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 EPS Papers (Jones)

Michael S. Jones

Is Cognitive Humility a Sound Foundation for Religious Tolerance?

Abstract: In his 2005 article “On Religious Diversity and Tolerance” (Daedalus, Winter 2005, 136-9) Philip L. Quinn argues that the higher epistemic status of certain moral principles favoring religious tolerance vis-à-vis the truth of any religious tradition (tolerant or otherwise) provides a universal basis for interreligious tolerance. At the 2007 EPS national conference in San Diego, William Lane Craig presented a paper titled “Is Uncertainty a Sound Foundation for Religious Tolerance.” In this paper Craig takes issue with Quinn’s position, arguing that Quinn’s religious skepticism is not warranted and that doubt is not a sound foundation for tolerance. In my paper I respond to Craig by arguing that cognitive humility is warranted, that it does not entail doubt, and that it can provide a sound foundation for religious tolerance. I will then argue that this foundation has one significant advantage over the foundation proposed by Craig: its universal applicability to all religious traditions.

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