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