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The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 4, 1999

Philosophies of Religion, Art, and Creativity

Gary Gutting
Pages 103-113

An Historical Perspective on Religious Epistemology

The project of “religious epistemology,” as it has developed and thrived among certain analytic philosophers over the last thirty years, has seldom exhibited a strong historical sensibility. Nonetheless, contemporary discussions of the rationality of religious belief obviously have important antecedents in the history of modern philosophy, particularly in the history of the Enlightenment project that so strongly challenged traditional religious belief. This paper develops two themes from this history that I will try to show are particularly important for understanding contemporary issues about the rationality of religious belief: the affirmation of ordinary life, and the question of radical evil in human nature.

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