Res Philosophica

Volume 95, Issue 3, July 2018

New Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion

Katherine Dormandy
Pages 371-395

Disagreement from the Religious Margins

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.

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