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
that a blogger known as the Godless Skeptic conducted with (Monash) about his recent book,P,P in which he objects to the homogeneity of the field, which is composed mainlyPof Christian theists, and dominated by questions relevant to Christianity (see Helen De Cruz s study, which, I would guess, underreports the prevalence of Christianity in the field as a whole). PAtheist author to the interview, calling for an end of the philosophy of religion as a discipline in secular universities. To this, a PhD student at Arizona, disagreed, arguing that, basing his suggestions on the very interesting article, , by (Purdue) and (CSU Fullerton), that appeared inP The MonistP last year. They write: ThePpractical importance of philosophy of religion, the intense interest of non-philosophersPand students of philosophy in the subject, and the centralProle that topics in philosophy of religion play in the history of philosophyPall strongly suggest that philosophy of religion is a vital part of the disciplinePof philosophy, worth saving.
That seems correct, even if atheism seems correct, too. Of course, there is the question of whether philosophy of religionP canP be saved. The main worry seems to be that it is a cover for Christian apologetics, owing to entrenched social factors and biases. I personally do not know enough about the field to know whether that is a fair characterization. For a few reasons, it is not a sociologically surprising fact that most philosophy of religion in the West today is conducted by Christian theists. But it is certainlyP philosophicallyP surprising (bordering on philosophically suspect) that, of all the possible options for religious belief (which include not just actual religions), only a narrow slice of them are taken seriously by philosophers of religion.
I invite others to chime in here, particularlyPthose working in or morePfamiliar with philosophy of religion. UPDATE: The site, Philosophy of Religion, has a series of guest posts taking up the question Thanks to Paul Draper for pointing this out in thePcomments. UPDATE (7/30/14): From a Pby John Schellenberg: Atheism, as I see it, therefore marks not the end of philosophy of religion but is something more like its beginning. Of course, if one is suffering from such common afflictions as the assumption that there are no real intellectual options in this realm other than traditional theism and metaphysical naturalism, or the virus that subtly turns ones mind from a love of truth to an activist orientation, then one cannot be expected to make much sense of this. But philosophy is supposed to deliver us from such afflictions. Oh, the places you can go with Philosophy and Religious Studies at Central! Many students believe that philosophy and religious studies aren\’t practical majors.
On the contrary, in today\’s high-tech world, the abstract reasoning skills, analytical tools and communication skills you obtain through studying philosophy are increasingly valuable. As Peter Veruki, head of external relations at Vanderbilt University\’s Owen Graduate School of Management, recently noted, \”It\’s about maturity and leadership rather than how many accounting courses did you take. Companies are going to start to look at the fundamental value set of an individual and their basic education. Did they study philosophy and culture and history rather than just accounting, finance and engineering? Fast-forward 20 or 30 years, we\’re going to find [business leaders] who maybe majored in philosophy rather than business. \” As a translatable skill, philosophy prepares you to adapt to new technical innovations, while particular concrete training quickly becomes outdated. The following statistics illustrate the value of a philosophical education: On the, philosophy majors score an average of 157. 4.
Thatвs the second-highest average among all majors. On the, philosophy majors score an average of 587. Thatвs the fourth-highest average among all majors. On the, intended graduate philosophy majors scored an average of 160 on the Verbal section and 4. 4 on the Analytical Writing section. This beats all other intended majors. On the, intended graduate philosophy majors scored an average of 153 on the Quantitative section. This beats all other intended humanities majors. The in 2014-15 is $84,000. Thatвs higher than most of the other humanities majors. that being able to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems matters more than a candidateвs major. Philosophy focuses on these skills. Philosophy majors know that the most important factor in choosing your major is that you love it! Do you love your major?