How might philosophical studies of religion enter the globalized, 21st-century world?

Humanistic inquiry in the globalized, 21st century does, or at least should, involve cultural-historical diversity and self-critical reflexivity. For philosophers of religion, these are no small issues. If philosophy of religion were to globalize itself simply by “tacking on” the content of the many non-Abrahamic religions to its existing docket of questions, most of these religions would wind up looking weird, inferior, or wrong. Not much would change. Everything would stay the same. It is no surprise, therefore, that scholars of religion in general tend to disparage philosophy of religion as crypto Christian theology.

It is therefore necessary to rethink the philosophy of religion from the ground-up, with an entirely new set of categories and questions. This is no small task. On the one hand, scholars of religious ideas, reasons, and worldviews are trained and competent in a particular cultural- historical subset of such ideas, reasons, and worldviews. On the other hand, no set of categories and questions from within some particular religious or scholarly tradition translates across all religious and scholarly traditions.

Our project is comprised of scholars who aim to propose, test, and modify a set of categories and questions for cross-cultural philosophy of religion. Our site explains what projects we have launched to answer the following question:

If philosophy involves raising and pursuing questions of meaning, truth, and value (however possible), and if religion encompasses the dozens, if not hundreds, of globally “ism-ized” and more localized religious traditions and communities through space and time, then by what theoretical and methodological means, if at all, can philosophers of religion raise and pursue questions of meaning, truth, and value about these traditions and communities in a way that is globally inclusive and critically mindful?