New directions forphilosophy of religion:Introduction andacknowledgementsStudies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses000(00) 1–2ª The Author(s) / Le(s) auteur(s), 2011Reprints and permission/Reproduction et permission:sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.navDOI: 10.1177/0008429811430053sr.sagepub.comBryan RennieWestminster College, Pennsylvania, USAThe following papers originated in a panel session on ‘Possible Futures for Philosophy ofReligion’ at the 20th World Congress of the International Association for the History ofReligions held in Toronto in August of 2010. The original remit of the panel was a proposalto consider the possible future of the philosophy of religion by examining questionsconcerning the relations of philosophy to the academic study of religion and thefunction of philosophy within such a study. What precisely is the current situation? Isthe current situation adequate or can it be improved upon? Could philosophy be moreeffectively integrated into the study of religion? If so, how? What might ‘properlyconstituted philosophical thinking’ about religion entail? What might a more integratedphilosophy of religion look like? What types of scholarship best merit the description‘philosophy of religion?’Papers came from Ivan Strenski, who holds the Holstein Family and CommunityEndowed Chair in Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and specializesin the history of religions, method and theory in the study of religion, and intellectualhistory of the social scientific study of religion; Gregory Alles, who is professorof religious studies at McDaniel College, and whose special interests include religions ofAsia, especially south Asia, as well as theories of religion and the academic study ofreligions; Bryan Rennie, the Vira I. Heinz Chair of Religion at Westminster Collegein Pennsylvania, who specializes in the history of the study of religions and method andtheory in the study of religion; and Marsha Hewitt, who is Professor of Social Ethics andCorresponding author / Adresse de correspondance:Bryan Rennie, RHPC, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA 16172 USAEmail: email@example.com
2 Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses 000(00)Religion at Trinity College and the University of Toronto and does research on thepsychoanalysis of religious experience. She is currently working on a book on Freudianpsychoanalytic theories of religion and the ways in which they are relevant to contemporarywork in developmental and neuro-psychology.Kevin Schilbrack of Western Carolina University, who is currently working on abook-length consideration of the future of the philosophy of religion, responded to theirwork. Although the individual emphases of each paper may have shifted slightly fromthe original proposal, the papers nonetheless make focused and potentially useful suggestionsfor the development and improvement of the philosophy of religion. Benefittingfrom the commentary and response given by Kevin Schilbrack in Toronto the paperswere modified and updated and Schilbrack re-worked his response for publication here.The original contributors were given one last chance to reply briefly to Kevin Schilbrack’sresponse. No doubt the conversation will go on through many further iterations;however, for the purposes of publication we had to end at some definite point and thiswas it.The participants would like to express their gratitude to the journal’s anonymousreviewers, whose comments further helped to focus and refine our work. As the convenerof the session and the editor of the papers, I would like to thank Ivan Strenski, GregoryAlles, and Marsha Hewitt for their time and effort and for their valuable and helpful contributions.Special thanks go to Kevin Schilbrack for his successive responses and toPatricia Caillé of the University of Strasbourg for providing translations of the abstracts.I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers of the IAHR Congress inToronto, especially Donald Wiebe and Sydney Yeung. Finally, our thanks go to FrancisLandy of Studies in Religion for suggesting the publication of this collection.