John Hawthorne, Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy
The project addresses the Foundation’s interest in encouraging new philosophical and theological insights. The last few decades have seen an explosion of new theories within mainstream epistemology that have had a dramatic impact on how epistemology is done. The goal of this project is to bring those developments to bear on key topics in religious epistemology. There is an urgent need for this project since these new developments have yet to be taken up in a systematic manner by those working within philosophy of religion. Moreover, religious beliefs and practices provide a fertile testing ground for those ideas. In short both epistemology and philosophy of religion stand to benefit substantially. The project consists of a three-year program incorporating six three-year research fellowships, four one-month distinguished academic visitors, nine one-semester academic visitors, nine one-semester Oxford faculty research fellows, six workshops, nine public lectures, four roundtable discussions, and one major international conference. Proposed activities will take place at Oxford University, which is widely recognized as the leading centre for epistemology, philosophy of religion, and theology. Several key topics lend themselves to interface with empirical science and empirical researchers will be brought on board in this connection. The project will foster the growth of analytic theology by involving theologians with a diversity of viewpoints. The project will generate an edited volume, at least three monographs, and at least twenty scholarly articles in leading journals. There will be direct impact on the academic community via the activities of the workshops, direct interface with the public via public lectures, and also widespread impact via electronic and print media. As a direct result of the project it is expected that there will be a significant new wave of interest in religious epistemology that sets the agenda for work in that area for the foreseeable future.