Philosophy of religion concerns itself with certain questions arising from the traditional tussle between the judgment of reason and the commitment to faith, augmented by disputes over whether it is language and conceptual analysis or some direct intuitive experience that provides access to the truth claims underpinning specific scriptural utterances, as articulated in philosophical (or “natural”) theology. The late Ninian Smart lamented that philosophy of religion as conventionally practiced in discipline-bounded departments rested on two mistakes, namely its singular focus on problems of natural theology (in the context of Western theodicy) and, apropos of this, its inattentiveness to religion, even less to religions, as a totality of worldviews, ranging over a wide compass of doctrines, ideologies, myths and symbolic patterns, sacred practices, ultimate beliefs (that deeply inform human life rather than simply provide a basis for propositional assertions), and so on.1 (An analogue to this is the tendency once, in philosophy of science, to be divorced from the history of science, not to speak of the laboratory itself.) Smart went on to suggest a three-tiered prolegomenon for the philosophy of religion, structured around the comparative analysis of religions, the history of religions, and the phenomenology of a range of (religious) experience and action (Smart 1995: 31).
Field of Research
220315 Philosophy of Religion
Socio Economic Objective
970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies