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Res Philosophica

Volume 95, Issue 3, July 2018
New Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents

2017 res philosophica essay prize winner
1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Lorraine Juliano Keller Divine Ineffability and Franciscan Knowledge
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There’s been a recent surge of interest among analytic philosophers of religion in divine ineffability. However, divine ineffability is part of a traditional conception of God that has been widely rejected among analytic philosophers of religion for the past few decades. One of the main reasons that the traditional conception of God has been rejected is because it allegedly makes God too remote, unknowable, and impersonal. In this paper, I present an account of divine ineffability that directly addresses this concern by arguing that the deepest knowledge of God’s nature that we can attain is personal, rather than propositional. On this view, it is precisely because knowledge of God’s nature is personal that it cannot be linguistically expressed and communicated.
2017 res philosophica essay prize runners up
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Katherine Dormandy Disagreement from the Religious Margins
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Religious communities often discourage disagreement with religious authorities, on the grounds that allowing it would be epistemically detrimental. I argue that this attitude is mistaken, because any social position in a community—including religious authority—comes with epistemic advantages as well as epistemic limitations. I argue that religious communities stand to benefit epistemically by engaging in disagreement with people occupying other social positions. I focus on those at the community’s margins and argue that religious marginalization is apt to yield religiously important insights; so their disagreement with religious authorities should be encouraged.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Juan Garcia Leibniz, a Friend of Molinism
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Leibniz is commonly labeled a foe of Molinism. His rejection of robust libertarian freedom coupled with some explicit passages in which he distances himself from the doctrine of middle knowledge seem to justify this classification. In this paper, I argue that this standard view is not quite correct. I identify the two substantive tenets of Molinism. First, the connection between the conditions for free actions and these free actions is a contingent one: free actions follow contingently from their sufficient conditions. Second, God knows what creatures would freely do in different possible circumstances prevolitionally—that is, prior to God willing anything. I argue that Leibniz himself endorses a version of both tenets and utilizes them for theoretical purposes similar to those of Molinists. I conclude that Leibniz is much closer to Molinism than is typically acknowledged. Leibniz is best characterized as a friend—rather than a foe—of Molinism.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Matthew A. Benton God and Interpersonal Knowledge
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Recent epistemology offers an account of what it is to know other persons. Such an approach holds promise for illuminating several issues in philosophy of religion, and for advancing a distinctive approach to religious epistemology. This paper develops an account of interpersonal knowledge and clarifies its relation to propositional and qualitative knowledge (section 1). Section 2 considers the possibility of our knowledge of God and God’s knowledge of us, and compares the present account of interpersonal knowledge with important work by Eleonore Stump on “Franciscan” knowledge. Section 3 examines how interpersonal knowledge may figure in liturgical practice, in diffusing the problem of divine hiddenness, and in motivating a novel understanding of divine love. Finally, section 4 explores the possibility of epistemic injustice arising from dismissal or neglect of our religious testimony to one another, or of divine testimony to humanity, focusing specifically on the import of interpersonal knowledge.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Joshua Cockayne Inclusive Worship and Group Liturgical Action
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In this article, I consider how recent work on the philosophy of group-agency and shared-agency can help us to understand what it is for a church to act in worship. I argue that to assess a model’s suitability for providing such an account, we must consider how well it handles cases of non-paradigm participants, such as those with autism spectrum disorder and young infants. I suggest that whilst a shared-agency model helps to clarify how individuals coordinate actions in cases of reading or singing liturgy, it does not handle non-paradigm cases well and so cannot be considered a suitable model of group liturgical action. Instead, I suggest that a model of groupagency, in which a plurality of action types can contribute to the actions of a group as a whole, is better suited to explaining a church’s actions in worship.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Helen De Cruz Religious Beliefs and Philosophical Views: A Qualitative Study
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Philosophy of religion is often regarded as a philosophical discipline in which irrelevant influences, such as upbringing and education, play a pernicious role. This paper presents results of a qualitative survey among academic philosophers of religion to examine the role of such factors in their work. In light of these findings, I address two questions: an empirical one (whether philosophers of religion are influenced by irrelevant factors in forming their philosophical attitudes) and an epistemological one (whether the influence of irrelevant factors on our philosophical views should worry us). My answer to the first question is a definite yes, and my answer to the second one is a tentative yes.
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Michelle Panchuk The Shattered Spiritual Self: A Philosophical Exploration of Religious Trauma
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In this paper I consider what a person who finds herself religiously incapacitated ought to do. More specifically, I address people who have come to God asking for bread, but who seem to have received stones and serpents in its place. This is a manifestation of the phenomenon that I call religious trauma. My goals in this paper are twofold. First, I aim to demonstrate that, because religious trauma can be genuinely religiously incapacitating, (1) it can result in non-culpable failure to worship God, and (2), if ought implies can, a religious trauma survivor may find themself in a position where they ought to deconvert, whether or not the individual’s religion is true. My second goal in this paper is to illustrate that religious trauma deserves serious consideration from philosophers and theologians.
8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Robert Pasnau Belief in a Fallen World
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In an ideal epistemic world, our beliefs would correspond to our evidence, and our evidence would be bountiful. In the world we live in, however, if we wish to live meaningful lives, other epistemic strategies are necessary. Here I attempt to work out, systematically, the ways in which evidentialism fails us as a guide to belief. This is so preeminently for lives of a religious character, but the point applies more broadly.
9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Paul Silva Jr. A Conceptual Analysis of Glory
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Although the concept of glory has a central place in religious thought, philosophers of religion have had remarkably little to say about glory. What follows is a philosophical analysis of two distinct concepts we express with the term ‘glory’ and an explanation of how we can use one of them to dislodge Bayne and Nagasawa’s recent atheological argument from worship.