New Issue of Philo

The issue's focus is Herman Phillipse's recent book, God in the Age of Science? A Critique of Religious Reason (Oxford UP, 2012). I'm currently unable to access the current issue page for Philo, but here's a link to their Facebook page, which shows the current contents.

UPDATE: Here's the link to the current issue. Although a bit redundant, here's the table of contents:

Guest Editor’s Preface
1.Rik Peels, A New Case for Atheism


2. Herman Philipse, A Decision Tree for Religious Believers

3. Gijsbert van den Brink, What Is Wrong with Revelation? Herman Philipse on the Priority of Natural Theology

4. Jeroen de Ridder, Mathanja Berger, Shipwrecked or Holding Water? In Defense of Alvin Plantinga’s Warranted Christian Believer

5. Rik Peels, A Bodiless Spirit? Meaningfulness, Possibility, and Probability

6. Emanuel Rutten, On Herman Philipse’s Attempt to Write Off Cosmological Arguments

7. Boudewijn de Bruin, The Epistemology of Religious Testimony

Substantially Revised SEP Entry on Religious Diversity


New Book on Cognitive Science of Religion

Smith, Aaron CT. Thinking About Religion: Extending the Cognitive Science of Religion (Palgrave, 2014). Here's the blurb:
Thinking about Religion presents a case for an inter-disciplinary science of religion, proposing that religion operates as a kind of psychological and social placebo effect. Religious belief combines thought, feeling and experience in a way that leverages the natural tendency of the mind to latch on to socially and personally useful concepts. This effect delivers tangible benefits because religious concepts and practice feed the mind's natural drive to cling to strong beliefs. At the same time, beliefs are reinforced by favourable emotional responses. Thinking about Religion explains how these elements work together to make religious belief such a powerful placebo effect. Belief is the currency of thought, and religious belief offers a powerful return on investment. Religious activity concentrates the mind's capacity to hold ideas that effectively galvanize groups and cultivate belonging.
Further details here.

Vol. 6 of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion... due to come out next February. Here's the table of contents:

1: Alexander Arnold: Knowledge First and Ockhamism
2: Michael Bergmann: Religious Disagreement and Rational Demotion
3: Gregory W. Dawes: The Act of Faith: Aquinas and the Moderns
4: Laura W. Ekstrom: Religion on the Cheap
5: Gregory Fowler: Simplicity or Priority?
6: John Heil: Cartesian Transubstantiation
7: Jonathan D. Jacobs: The Ineffable, Inconceivable, and Incomprehensible God: Fundamentality and Apophatic Theology
8: Bruce Langtry: Rightmaking and Wrongmaking Properties, Evil, and Theism
9: R. Zachary Manis: The Doxastic Problem of Hell
10: Richard Swinburne: Could God be a Necessary Being?
11: N. N. Trakakis: The Ecclesiological Problem of Evil
12: Christina van Dyke: Aquinas's Shiny Happy People: Perfect Happiness and the Limits of Human Nature

Further details here.

Philosophical Disquisitions: The Journal Club ♯2 - Karlsen on God and the Benef...

Philosophical Disquisitions: The Journal Club ♯2 - Karlsen on God and the Benef...: Welcome to this, the second edition of the Philosophical Disquisitions Journal Club. The goal of the journal club is to encourage peopl...

Review of Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities

Kelly James Clark reviews the book for NDPR.

Review of Smith's Book to Resume Shortly

Hi gang,

Sorry for pausing the chapter-by-chapter blogging on Smith's Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality, but several things I need to attend to have gotten in the way (not the least of which is prepping my classes for the upcoming semester). I'll resume shortly.


Announcement: Special One-Day Conference on the Philosophy of Richard Swinburne

The Philosophy of Richard Swinburne

September 12, 2015

Oriel College, Oxford University
Oxford, United Kingdom

Keynote speakers:
Richard Swinburne, Oxford University


The Philosophy of Richard Swinburne

to be held in Oriel College, University of Oxford, on Saturday 12th September, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. until 9.45 p.m.

The main speakers will be Christoph Jaeger (Innsbruck), Brian Leftow (Oxford), Cyrille Michon (Nantes), Howard Robinson (Central European University), and Mark Wynn (Leeds). Richard Swinburne will offer replies.

In addition to the papers given by these speakers on aspects of Richard’s Philosophy, there will be a series of presentations throughout the day on the use of Richard’s Philosophy in teaching the Philosophy of Religion to A-level students.

The conference has been timed to follow on directly from the usual biennial BSPR conference, at which Richard himself will be presenting a paper of his own, and it is planned that there will be a combined booking form. Further details of both then will be circulated in due course. The secretary of the BSPR is Victoria Harrison (


Fantastic New Paper on Skeptical Theism

Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacss. "Evil and Evidence", Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion (forthcoming)

Here's the abstract: 
The problem of evil is the most prominent argument against the existence of God. Skeptical theists contend that it is not a good argument. Their reasons for this contention vary widely, involving such notions as CORNEA, epistemic appearances, 'gratuitous' evils, 'levering' evidence, and the representativeness of goods. We aim to clarify some confusions about these notions, and also to offer a few new responses to the problem of evil.
Required reading. 

Call for Papers: Logos 2015 - Religious Experience

Logos 2015: Religious Experience
May 7-9 at the University of Notre Dame

Religious experience is central to religious faith and practice. It often serves as evidence of belief; it contributes to the development of doctrine; and it, or the desire for it, is often a major motivator for church attendance, mediation, commitment to spiritual disciplines, and other religious practices. Religious experience has received a great deal of attention within both philosophy and theology; but important questions remain unanswered. What is the nature of religious experience? What, exactly is (or should be) its relationship to religious belief and religious practice? If God exists and loves human beings, why aren't vivid unambiguous religious experiences more widely available? What can religious experiences tell us about the nature of God? Might religious experiences be the result, in part, or particular skills or virtues of the people who have them? The Logos 2015 Workshop will be devoted to addressing these and other philosophical and theological aspects of religious experience.
Online registration will be open in early 2015.
To have your paper considered for presentation at Logos 2015, please submit an abstract of the paper or the paper itself no later than October 15, 2014. Other things being equal, preference will be given to those who submit full papers by the deadline. We will let you know by December 1, 2014 whether your paper has been provisionally accepted. Full acceptance will be conditional on submission of the full reading version of the paper by April 1, 2015. It is expected that papers presented at the Logos Workshop will be works in progress that can benefit from the group discussion. Consequently, we ask that authors not submit papers that will be published before the conference has ended.
Please send Abstract or Full Papers to


Schmid's Fantastic New Paper on the Grim Reaper Paradox

Schmid, Joseph C. " The End is Near: Grim Reapers and Endless Futures ", Mind (forthcoming). Abstract: José Benardete developed a...