Yuko Ishihara

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.

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Anil Mundra

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.

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Maki SATO (佐藤, 麻貴)

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.

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Ana Bajzelj

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.

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Agnieszka Rostalska

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.

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Wesley J. Wildman

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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Laura Weed

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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Steven G. Smith

As a philosopher of religion with a base in a religious studies program, I have been able to do sustained work on figuring out how to address core conceptual questions for the study of religion–questions about the nature of religious intentions, expressions, meanings, and objects of reference–in cross-cultural perspective, which is a standard of adequate understanding of religious topics.

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Aaron Simmons

Philosophy of Religion is a discourse that straddles a variety of professional communities, debates, and traditions. I take it that this is one of its strengths. Yet, this can often, perhaps ironically, lead to narrowness in ideas, isolationism in disciplinary perspectives, and traditionalism in vision. Global Critical Philosophy of Religion offers a way forward because it expands the conversation partners involved and becomes more inclusive of the variety of disciplinary resources available for questions attending the philosophical study of cultural traditions termed “religious.” Even though challenging, and humbling, I am excited to incorporate Global Critical approaches into my teaching, my research, and my public intellectual work. 

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Sonia Sikka

My research has led me to question the division between religion and philosophy, asking about the criteria used to place various forms of thought, reflection and practice under one of these categories as opposed to the other (e.g. a volume edited with Ashwani Peetush). The question about the faith/reason binary affects my approach to the project of globalizing the philosophy of religion. The Asian traditions, in particular Indian ones, with which I am engaged can be taught as religion, but they are also philosophical, though they have been largely excluded from the Eurocentric canon of most philosophy departments. I aim to connect with other scholars concerned with decolonizing the curriculum of both philosophy of religion and philosophy more generally.

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