February 12th and 13th 2010
Albrecht Auditorium, Claremont Graduate University
Southwest corner of Tenth Street and Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont, California
Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University, Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College
Conference Chair: Ingolf U. Dalferth
Danforth Professor of the Philosophy of Religion, Claremont Graduate University
John Schellenberg’s recently published book The Will to Imagine. A Justification of Skeptical Religion raises the issue of the relationship between faith and skepticism. Is belief in God necessary for faith in God to be possible? Is it impossible to believe in God without having faith in God? Is faith in God based on experience, and what kind of experience supports or undermines faith in God? Is faith in God dependent on a proper understanding of ‘God’, or is it rather a prerequisite for a proper understanding of ‘God’? Is faith in God an instance of having faith in x, and is faith in God analogous to having faith in the new administration? Is it true that without understanding what ‘God’ means one cannot meaningfully believe or not believe in God? Does one need to have sufficient reasons for believing that x before one is rationally entitled to having faith in x? In short, what is the relationship between faith and belief, belief and understanding, understanding and experience, and experience and skepticism?
This conference is an invitation to rethink our usual understanding of the relationship between faith, belief and skepticism. For some, ‘skeptical faith’ is an oxymoron and faith and skepticism are mutually exclusive states or attitudes. Others argue that there is no proper faith without skepticism about faith. True faith is not merely skeptical about skepticism but also skeptical about itself. If skepticism is skeptical of faith and belief, and if faith is skeptical of belief and skepticism, how are we to construe the relationship between faith, belief, and skepticism if we seek to understand what is characteristic of a life of faith, or of unfaith?
The conference is free for faculty, staff, and students of the Claremont Colleges and Claremont School of Theology, but registration is required. For all other registrants, the standard fee is $50, and the fee for students is $20.
Friday, February 12th
Ingolf Dalferth: Opening Remarks
John Schellenberg: Skepticism as the Beginning of Religion Response: Michael Rodgers
Adriano Fabris: Skepticism, Involvement, Faith: from Weischedel to Schellenberg Response: Marlene Block
Stephen T. Davis: Christian Skepticism: Can We Really Know God? Response: Ryan Falcioni
Jure Zovko: Skeptical Faith as an Aspect of Conscious Life Response: Deena Lin
Saturday, February 13th
Philip Clayton: Between Skepticism and Faith: Evolution, Peirce, and Religious Belief
Randy Ramal: Skepticism and the Grammars of Evidence and Causality in Religion
John Whittaker: Why God's Existence Cannot Be Proved: The Real Reasons Response: Sanjay Merchant
Patricia Easton: Was Pierre Bayle a Religious Skeptic? Response: Eric Hall
John Cottingham: Faith and the “Epistemic Bias” Response: Andreas Hunziker