Do We Need Philosophy of Religion Anymore?

There has been some blogging recently about whether philosophy of religion should still be taught. The recent discussion appears to have been sparked by an interview that a blogger known as the Godless Skeptic conducted with Graham Oppy (Monash) about his recent book, Reinventing Philosophy of Religion, in which he objects to the homogeneity of the field, which is composed mainly of Christian theists, and dominated by questions relevant to Christianity (see Helen De Cruz’s study here, which, I would guess, under reports the prevalence of Christianity in the field as a whole).  Atheist author John Loftus then responded to the interview, “calling for an end of the philosophy of religion as a discipline in secular universities.” To this, Matt DeStefano, a PhD student at Arizona, disagreed, arguing that philosophy of religion should not be eliminated, but improved, basing his suggestions on the very interesting article, “Diagnosing Bias in Philosophy of Religion,” by Paul Draper (Purdue) and Ryan Nichols (CSU Fullerton), that appeared in The Monist last year. They write:

Do We Need Philosophy of Religion Anymore?.


2 thoughts on “Do We Need Philosophy of Religion Anymore?

  1. I think it’s silly and counter-productive to say that we should get rid of anything within secular universities. Well, except for the money-hungry admins that is. We’re talking about a field of study that allows us to better understand humanity and human thought. Fixing it makes sense, but eliminating it doesn’t.

  2. Yes, it seems like a superficial criticism one that hasn’t been thought through. It almost sounds as if the argument being advanced is that there is a conflict between secular learning and offering studies in Philosophy of Religion. The challenge is ignoring a common phenomenon that permeates culture the way religion does. Hypothetically what would end up happening is religion would still creep into the University but filtered through other disciplines less equipped to reflect on human religious experience.

    As for money grabbing admins, that’s a religion in itself that needs fixing but not abandonment.

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