Latin America is still largely in the grips of an old-fashioned antagonism between science and religion. Unfortunately, Latin American philosophers fighting against this are currently unaided by the resources produced in the last 50 years of analytic philosophy of religion. In response, our project will facilitate their access to the wealth of contemporary insights into the epistemology of religion in particular.
Our project consists in a series of activities that will create bridges between Latin American and North American philosophers. We will (a) organize Summer seminars in three Latin American countries, (b) competitively select scholars for mentoring and research fellowships, (c) establish prizes in order to incentivize scholarly activity, and (d) host a capstone conference.
All in all, we will have exposed and trained a group of roughly 30-45 young scholars with the tools to carry on serious work in the epistemology of religion in their own universities. We will also have provided an opportunity for further exposure and training in the epistemology of religion to 16 scholars who will return to key roles in Latin American academia and culture; these scholars will have completed around 28 individual research projects, 24 of these with the help of North American faculty mentors. Through the seminars and fellowships, moreover, this core group of Latin American philosophers will have developed important academic relationships with the North American philosophical community, and will be ready for further partnerships and collaborations.
By achieving these goals, we hope to increase the number of philosophers working in the epistemology of religion, the number of classes taught in it, and the number of majors and grad students introduced to it in the following years. In this way, we hope to help undermine Latin America’s antagonism between science and religion, primarily by infiltrating and eroding the anti-religious skepticism of the cultural elite.