Careful attention to traditions such as Afro-Brazilian religions emphasizes the importance of drawing upon neglected sources such as mythic narratives and ethnographies, as well as recognizing the significance of material culture in cognitive processes and advocating the adoption of an embodied paradigm to facilitate the development of a philosophy of religious practice. I aim to exemplify this approach by exploring phenomena that have been largely overlooked in philosophical discussions of religion, such as sacrifice and spirit possession, by employing thick modes of description and embracing interdisciplinary methods informed by cultural anthropology and cognitive science. By doing so we can foster a global-critical philosophy of religion capable of addressing phenomena that are frequently ignored within the mainstream philosophy of religion.
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Dr. Maraganedzha is a lecturer at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. His research interests are in African philosophy and the Philosophy of race. His PhD focused on the question of the nature of African philosophy, asking whether we can construe it as universal or particular. On this, he argued that we cannot talk of a universal without the particular. He is the author of ‘A Normative approach: Can we eliminate Race? ‘The function of “it” in Ifeanyi Menkiti’s normative account of personhood: a response to Bernard Matolino’.
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Purushottama Bilimoria works in the areas of Indian & Cross-Cultural philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Critical Thinking, and Diaspora Studies. He has been recruited as Professor of Law and International Affairs in the Law School at O.P. Jindal Global University (India); he remains Principal Fellow at University of Melbourne; Faculty@San Francisco State University and University of California (Merced); he is also a Permanent Fellow of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies; serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Sophia and Assoc. Editor Journal of Dharma Studies. Recent publications include: History of Indian Philosophy (with Amy Rayner, 2019, 2021), Religion and Sustainability (UNGSD series, edited with Rita D. Sherma, 2021), Contemplative Studies and Hinduism (edited with Rita Sherma and Cogen Bohenac, Routledge, 2021); Indian Ethics Vol. 2: Women, Justice, Ecology and Bioethics (edited with A. Rayner Routledge, 2023, forthcoming).
I am currently teaching Japanese philosophy at the College of Global Liberal Arts (an all-English program) at Ritsumeikan University in Osaka, Japan. My research interest lies in the intersection of modern Japanese philosophy (Kyoto School tradition in particular) and classical phenomenology. For my PhD dissertation, I worked on a comparative study of Martin Heidegger’s and Nishida Kitaro’s critical engagements with transcendental philosophy in the late 1920s. My recent research focuses on the topic of play and playfulness and how modern philosophers, both eastern and western, have turned to the notion of play to overcome the metaphysics of subjectivity.
I take it that contemporary philosophy and religion cannot help but be global; the question is only how fully we acknowledge the variety of our interlocutors and how critically we engage the range of our influences. My work focuses on how South Asian philosophers have traditionally understood and addressed those who differ from them religiously. I have also written on what it means to take seriously the humanity of the people we read, particularly those writing in different languages and cultural contexts, and on how to maintain a robust religious pluralism without falling into relativism or universalism.
Japan has been a place where religious thoughts from the East and West met and flourished in a peculiar style under the notion of Wa (和). Although religious belief, in times, may hinder open and continuous dialogue, there should be ways to overcome differences and seek the universality of the religions that still work as fundamentals to humanity. My interest lies in uncovering the flexibility and inclusiveness that every religion connotes. From Japanese thinkers and philosophers’ text analysis, and through dialogues with the scholars, my challenge is to seek the next level of humanity beyond religious beliefs.
Ana Bajželj is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Shrimad Rajchandra Endowed Chair in Jain Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She was previously a research fellow at the University of Rajasthan and the Polonsky Academy (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute), and she taught at the University of Ljubljana and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on Jain philosophy, particularly metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of mind. She is the author of The Nature of Change in Jaina Philosophy (Ljubljana University Press, 2016, in Slovenian) and the co-author of Insistent Life: Principles for Bioethics in the Jain Tradition (UC Press, 2021). She is currently working on a monograph study of the Tattvārthasūtra and its commentaries.
Dr. Rostalska’s current comparative research concerns Indian and Cross-Cultural Philosophy with a focus on the topics of epistemic authority and testimony, and debates over social justice in Indian (mainly Nyāya) philosophy and contemporary philosophy (mainly social epistemology, virtue ethics, and philosophy of religion). In addition to co-editing the first volume of the Global-Critical Philosophy of Religion project, Dr. Rostalska is a co-PI on the project’s 2022 grant, “Cross-Cultural Conceptions of the Self: South Asia, Africa, and East Asia” awarded by the Global Philosophy of Religion project of the University of Birmingham and supported by John Templeton Foundation.
In 2010, I published a programmatic vision for a kind of philosophy of religion that is consistent with the ethics of the modern secular research university. Specifically, I argue that philosophy of religion should be: inherently comparative, thinking across and between human religions, rather than focusing on one or two favored traditions; and profoundly multidisciplinary, drawing upon the natural and social sciences as well as diverse humanistic disciplines to address questions arising within philosophy of religion. I have put this vision into practice and I created a website that is dedicated to furthering conversation between professional philosophers of religion about their field and its future.
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I have been teaching Philosophy of Religion for many years, but have been frustrated that the subject area frequently is focused in a way that valorizes beliefs and cognitive and analytical approaches to the subject, which miss much of what religions are about. Western rationalism, by focusing methodologically on logical analysis, and western empiricism, by focusing methodologically on perception, both miss the point when discussing religions. The global critical approach allows scholarship to focus more on religious practices than on religious beliefs.
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