Tim Knepper, Editor.
Global Categories and Problems develops chapters from papers developed for an NEH Collaborative Grant. The authors will present their drafts at a mini-conference in October 2021. 17 core scholars will propose core categories and questions from their own area of specialization (South Asian, East Asian, African, Native American, Abrahamic, and contemporary-academic philosophy of religion).
How might philosophical studies of religion enter the globalized, 21st-century world? Global-Critical Philosophy of Religion: Critical Perspectives and Approaches is the first of four volumes whose contributions develop neglected topics and issues in the philosophy of religion. The volume engages critical theoretical and methodological issues in the academic study of religion, especially as they implicate issues of power regarding who speaks for and represents religious traditions and philosophies. These issues encompass, though exceed, the following: the construction of religion and religious traditions; who represents or speaks about religious issues, how, and why; critical issues of power, race, class, sexuality, gender, and intersectionality; and the methods and aims of global philosophy of religion. Where much philosophical thinking about religion in the English-speaking world inherits the limitations of Eurocentrism, colonialism and orientalism, these volumes are designed to creatively address these boundaries by developing models for exploring global diversity. Each volume’s chapters demonstrate how expertise in different methods may be applied to various geographical regions, building constructive options for philosophical reflections on religion.
Table of Contents:
Section 1: Critique and Methods
- Deprovincializing Philosophy of Religion: from “Faith and Reason” to the Postcolonial Revaluation of Religious Epistemologies – Jacob Sherman
- Postcolonialism and the Question of Global-Critical Philosophy of Religion – Andrew Irvine and Purushottama Bilimoria
- Why Philosophers of Religion Don’t Need “Religion”— At Least Not for Now – Tim Knepper
- Is Philosophy of Religion Racist? Sonia Sikka
- Re-envisioning Philosophy of Religion from a Feminist Perspective – Morny Joy
- Philosophy of Religion beyond Belief: Thinking with Anthropology’s New Animists – Lisa Landoe-Hedrick
- Theory and Method in the Philosophy of Religion in China’s Song-Dynasty – Leah Kalmanson
- The Theory and Practice of the Multi-Entry Approach – Gereon Kopf
- Comparison of Religious Ideas in Philosophy of Religion – Robert Neville
- The Relevance of Scriptures – Steve Smith
Section 2: Case Studies
- Ethnographically Informed Philosophy of Religion in a Study of Assamese Goddess Worship – Mikel Burley
- Praxis – Louis Komjathy
- Nishida Kitarō’s ‘I and Thou’ through the Work of Jessica Benjamin: Toward the Issue of Equality – Mayuko Uehara
- The Nguni traditional ‘religious’ thoughts: The Isintu philosophy of the Zulu/Ndebele – Herbert Moyo
- Approaching a Lakota Philosophy of Religion – Fritz Detwiler
- Yasukuni, Okinawa and Fukushima: Philosophy of Sacrifice in the Nuclear Age – Ching-Yuen Cheung
- Technology and the Spiritual: From Prayer Bots to the Singularity – Yvonne Förster
- Can you see the seer? Approaching Consciousness from an Advaita Vedānta Perspective – Varun Khanna
Tim Knepper, Author.
Philosophy of Religion: A Global and Critical Approach is an undergraduate textbook in philosophy of religion. It is the first textbook in philosophy of religion to rethink the basic topics and questions of philosophy of religion in a manner that is equitably inclusive of a global diversity of religious traditions. It also engages critical theoretical and methodological issues in the academic study of religion, especially as they implicate issues of power regarding who speaks for and represents religious traditions and philosophies.
Each chapter includes religious philosophies from East Asia, South Asia, West Africa, and Native North America, along with traditional material from the Abrahamic religious traditions and modern-academic philosophy of religion. Most chapters explore philosophical questions with regard to either the “self” or the “cosmos,” encouraging students not only to explore a global diversity of religious philosophies but also to philosophize about this content. The textbook therefore avoids the “God-first” approach of traditional philosophy of religion that marginalizes and denigrates many religious traditions.
Readers discover an approach to philosophy of religion that engages our contemporary access to information about the world’s diversity. The textbook includes a global diversity of religious philosophies (East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, West Africa, North America, and Europe). The objective is to restructure the basic topics and questions of philosophy of religion so they are appropriate to a variety of religious philosophies, and, to engage critical issues in the academic study of religion, especially as they implicate issues of power regarding who speaks for and represents religious traditions and philosophies.
Gereon Kopf and Purushottama Bilimoria, Editors.
How can a variety of different approaches be put into dialogue within one book? A dialogue between a multiplicity of equal voices eschews the notion of a “meta-narrative” (métarécits) or a dominant paradigm. The volume has has multiple possible beginnings and endings, since it contains a variety of narratives. In conceiving of this volume, we are inspired by the Mahāyāna Buddhist image of Indra’s net and Mark Taylor’s, albeit unreadable, Hiding. The former presents an image of the cosmos with no center and infinite entry points, the latter a book that is non-linear in design.
The multi-entry approach proposes to rethink our discipline by introducing 18 different ways to envision philosophy of religion. “18,” of course, is an arbitrary number that emerged from the participants in the GCPR project.
The approach has five fundamental features.
1) A multi-entry approach shifts the focus from traditions such as “Christianity” or “indigenous religions” to systems such as “monotheism” and “communalism.”
2) Systems are driven by governing paradigms. Each paradigm determines unique questions and concerns with regard to what may be “philosophy” and/of “religion.”
3) Each system has a concrete historical context that has shaped its development, even if it can be thought through and applied independent from this particular context.
4) Each system develops its own language (translation into English will be an interesting problem) to envision what we call “religion” and “philosophy.” Every author either adopts an existing language or develops a new one.
5) All systems are regarded equal. There will be no overarching paradigm or language. Every chapter engages two other chapters on its own terms.