Mikel Burley organized a conference on innovations in the philosophical study of religion in a pluralistic world. Selected papers, including Knepper’s about teaching philosophy of religion globally and critically to undergraduate students, were published in the journal Religious Studies.
In response to their call for papers, Tim Knepper and Gereon Kopf presented overviews of the textbook and teaching companion publications.
The colloquium invited scholars to examine ideas surrounding education in the context of global philosophy and religion. Educational environments are becoming ever-more international with increasing focus on the mobility of people and of ideas. The globalization of education poses particular challenges and opportunities. If philosophy and religion are recognized as global phenomena, how might this impact on understandings of and approaches to education? How do culturally divergent views of education and its philosophical significance differ?
The 2019 seminar focused discussion on proposed contents for Gereon Kopf’s edited volume, A Multi-Entry Approach to Philosophy of Religion. The volume is an anthology of collected essays to function as a teaching manual for courses in philosophy of religion that embrace a global-critical approach. The contents explore sixteen diverse approaches to our discipline. Each chapter introduces a philosophical system, contextualizes it in a specific religious tradition, outlines how philosophy of religion would be envisioned from this standpoint, and then assesses other approaches from this standpoint.
The following draft chapters were presented at the seminar:
“Practices, Transformation, and Language Games: Religion without an
Essence,” Gereon Kopf (Luther College)
“Derrida, Zen Buddhism, and the Act of Religion,” Jin Y. Park (American University)
“Knots in the Real: An Akbari “Philosophy of Religion”,” (University of Virginia)
“Philosophizing “Religion” through Qi-Cosmology,” Leah Kalmanson (Drake University)
“Proper Acts, Knowledge, and Categories in Jainism: Reshaping
Traditional Distinctions,” Marie-Helene Gorisse (Ghent University)
“Relationalism (Lakota),” Fritz Detwiler (Adrian College)
“Rethinking Conventional Approaches in Philosophy of Religion: Classification, Comparison, Appropriation,” Nathan R. B. Loewen (University of Alabama)
“Sikh Scripture and Sacred Synesthesia,” Nikky Singh (Colby College)
“Symbolic Language (Tillichian Approach),” Nathan Eric Dickman (University of the Ozarks)
“Religions,” “Philosophies,” and the Problem of Mapping,” Peter Nekola ( Luther College)
The 2017 session invited papers that re-imagine philosophy of religion in a globally inclusive or critically engaged manner. The session discussed different ways of understanding the self in religious and/or philosophical perspectives. What is the nature of the self? What are the criteria for selfhood? When and from where does the self emerge? What are the trajectories or paths of the self? What are obstacles along the way of the journey or of self-discovery (Selbstfindung, 自己発見)?
Three papers were discussed at this session:
“Two Islamic Global Philosophies of Religion: Suhrawardī and Shushtarī,” Oludamini Ogunnaike (University of Virginia)
“Nyāya theory of knowledge generating processes – the case of testimony. A comparative study of Nyāya and A. Goldman,” Agnieszka Rostalska (Ghent University)
“The Understanding of Self as a Psychosomatic Complex and Relational Nexus,” Kiseong shin (Drew University)
The inaugural, 2015 session of the “Global Critical Philosophy of Religion Seminar” is devoted to determining the key topics or categories that will structure the content of the book. What core topics or problems should appear in a religiously inclusive and critically informed philosophy of religion?
The aim of the session was to start a constructive discussion about an introductory textbook for philosophy of religion that is religiously inclusive and critically informed. The initial concept was for a textbook that thoroughly integrates non theistic religious philosophies and critically engages the methodological and theoretical issues of religious studies. The seminar was constituted by area-specialist scholars of religion, comparativist philosophers of religion, critical theorists of religion, and traditional (analytic) philosophers of religion. Beginning with this session, the group began forming with an aim to identify the comparative categories and critical terms for global-critical philosophy of religion, to populate these categories with the arguments and ideas of a diversity of religious traditions, to take up critical issues pertaining to cross-cultural comparison and philosophy of these arguments and ideas, and to develop the blueprint and content for an innovative new undergraduate textbook in global-critical philosophy of religion.
The session featured the following papers:
“From “Faith and Reason” to the Post-Colonial Re-Evaluation of
Religious Epistemologies,” Jacob Sherman (University of Cambridge)
“Rethinking the Categories of Philosophy of Religion Through the
Particularities of Shabistari and Sarasvati’s Epistemologies of the Self,” Nariman Aavani ( Harvard University)
“Philosophy of Religion and Disabilities” Nathaniel Holmes (Florida Memorial University)
“Scripture as a Topic in Global-Critical Philosophy of Religion: A
Preliminary Survey of Major Questions,” Steven G. Smith (Millsaps College)
“The Problem of Religious Language,” Lawrence Whitney (Boston University)