Donnerstag, 14.03.2013 – Freitag, 15.03.2013

Reasoning from different religious perspectives


What kind of reasons do Christians, Muslims, Jews, and secularists have for holding beliefs uniquely associated with their religious (or non-religious) perspective, especially when these beliefs logically exclude other perspectives? Let us call this the 'Reasons' Question.

There is a stream in Western Enlightenment thought which appeals to a notion of ‘capital-R’ Reason to answer this question, saying that reasonable arguments employ premises which all parties can (or should) accept. But arguments in this stream rely on considerations which are germane to Western Enlightenment thinkers, and hence are themselves at least partly the product of a particular perspective which many may not – and perhaps even should not – share. We propose to ask whether, instead, reasons for perspective-specific beliefs can be given from within the framework of one’s own perspective, by explicit and unabashed appeal to sources such as texts and tradition, and whether it can ever be rational for adherents of other perspectives to accept such reasons.

We do not suppose that each perspective generates a single answer to the Reasons Question. Indeed, as recent debates among (for example) Christian philosophers have shown, very different answers can be defended within the same or similar perspectives. We thus intend to work out answers to the Reasons Question which differ from one perspective to another, but also to uncover answers which compete within the same perspective. It is for this reason that we have invited contributions from specifically Jewish, secular, Christian, and Muslim traditions, and have encouraged them to appeal to sources and assumptions within their own particular perspectives.

Our aim is to understand the extent to which reasons for belief are or should be derived from within individual takes on reality. We also hope to illuminate any ways in which so-called religious perspectives might present unique problems or opportunities in answering the Reasons Question. Human beings are epistemically situated agents, but we hope that our workshop will show this situatedness to be not a limitation but an epistemic boon.

Conference language:  English

Registration: There is limited space for further attendants. Please email to glaubeundgruende [ *** at *** ] indicating your affiliation and your interest in the themes of the workshop in a sentence or two.

Ort: Katholische Akademie in Berlin

Teilnahmegebühr: 40 €, ermäßigt 25 €


Katrin Visse

Islam // Theologie
Tel. (030) 28 30 95-114

E-Mail schreiben


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Reasoning from different religious perspectives

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Tel. (030) 28 30 95-0, Fax. (030) 28 30 95-147