What future for the philosophy of religion?

We are living through an exciting time for the philosophy of religion: a time of crisis. There is, it seems, widespread discontent within the discipline about its current state and future directions – indeed about whether it even has a future whatsoever.

For many, the discipline has rightly recognised that it has become philosophically and religiously provincial - with a disproportionate emphasis on analysis of arguments for and against the existence of God. In a context of increasing philosophical and religious diversity, along with a welcome tendency towards inter/trans-disciplinarity, philosophers of religion seem aware that something has to change to secure the discipline's future. Here, however, consensus evaporates and a range of proposals has been put forward. A rough typology of (non-exclusive) alternatives suggests a variety of directions for philosophy of religion: 1) a turn towards the continental style of philosophy; 2) a turn towards non-Western philosophies; 3) a turn towards religious practices (beyond the current focus on religious beliefs); 4) a turn towards non-Western religious traditions; 5) a turn towards the methodologies of the study of religions; 6) a turn towards ethico-political engagements; 7) a turn towards those historically marginalised in the discipline; 8) a turn towards confessional apologetics and 9) a turn towards the methodologies of the natural sciences.

This article Collection will seek interdisciplinary perspectives on the analysis of the current situation of the crisis of the philosophy of religion and solicit evaluations of proposals for its future. It aims to provide a forum for those engaging the state of the discipline and of its future - whether with regret, frustration, and/or hope.

A dark bend in the road in autumnal woodland, with leaves scattered across the road and light emerging up ahead