Philosophy of Religion [ed: Beau Branson]

This thread is for discussions related to the Philosophy of Religion part of Introduction to Philosophy. See the full project summary.

[Updated July 2019]

Book Summary:
Take a look at the full book outline in Google Docs.

Current call for participation
This book is currently under peer review, and after the authors revise their chapters after the review we will need copyeditors and volunteers to help with importing the chapters into Pressbooks. If you might be interested to help with that, please let us know in the discussion thread below!

Relevant Documents:
Book Outline – This doc gives an overview of the part and details each of the chapters to be written
Chapter Assignments – See who has written which chapters
Author Guide – Read this guide to find out more about what committing to author a chapter involves.

Team: @beau-branson (book editor), @clhendricksbc (lead editor), @zoe (Rebus project manager) … and you?

Thanks to everyone who provided their feedback on the outline for this part! It is now closed for comments. We will start looking for chapter authors very soon, and if you’re interested, just add your name to the spreadsheet at the top of the page.

An update, after quite a long time! The editor and authors have been working on writing this book, and we are happy to report that we will have a draft ready for peer review around end of May or early June! Most of the chapters were written awhile ago, but it has taken quite some time to get a volunteer for one last chapter. We now have one, and are excited to see this book near completion!

Here is an outline of chapter titles:


Chapter 1: Theoretical Arguments For Belief in God

Chapter 2: Non-standard Arguments For Belief in God

Chapter 3: Traditional Arguments Against Belief in God

Chapter 4: Cognitive Science of Religion and Contemporary Challenges to Religious Belief

Chapter 5: From Philosophy of Theism to Philosophy of Religions

We are looking for two peer reviewers for this book. Peer reviewers would start when the last chapter is finished (end of May or early June), and then will have 4-6 weeks to review the book. If you might be interested, please let us know here or on the volunteer sign up thread. We are looking for people with a PhD in philosophy (ideally), some level of expertise in the area of philosophy of religion, and if possible, teaching experience at the first-year level.

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And update: we have two peer reviewers! They will be reviewing the book in the next number of weeks. The peer reviews should be completed around mid-to-end July 2019, and then the authors will have time to revise their chapters after that.


That’s terrific. :boom: Do you mind if I share the news on Twitter? #SmallWins!

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Yes, that would be great. Thanks!


Hi! I’m very interested in contributing to this particular project, do you need any more help/volunteers?

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Hello and thank you for your interest!

There might be ways to contribute, yes–we are hopefully finishing peer reviews by the end of this month, and then there are some other things that need to be done before we publish the book. We may need help copyediting and also inputting the chapters into Pressbooks, the publishing platform we’re using (based on WordPress, so if you know WP then PB is pretty straightforward).

Can you tell us a bit about your background in philosophy of religion? Or philosophy more generally? Actually, depending on how you’d like to help, such background may not be required at all! Just curious if you could tell us a little more about yourself and your interest in the project.

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Hi @hsgfisher! Not sure my previous reply went to you because I forgot to tag your name. Please see above! :slight_smile:

Hi Christina!

Sorry, I didn’t see that you had responded! Thank you for following up :slight_smile:

A bit about me: I’m going into my final year of Philopsophy BA at UCL, London, I have scored a 1st so far. I scored 4A*s in my A levels at school. I specialise in Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Religion. At the moment I am particularly interested in the philosophy of the “self”, analysing how different religions play with this philosophical concept. I believe that I have a lot to contribute. I can give a fresh perspective given that the textbook is aimed towards undergraduates. I know what we need and I know what is successfully received by my contemporaries. I also have knowledge of word press so I can definitely help you there. I have recently been published in the IJPTS journal (in which I believe I am the first undergraduate to be published). My paper is entitled “is it coherent to conceive of God as a free, personal agent that humanity can freely interact with?” I had no help from UCL or any contempories in this publication. It was purely based on independent research and thought. My future plan is to undertake a Masters at Cambridge in “Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion”, then hopefully onto a PhD. If there is anything I can do, please let me know-I’d love to contribute to this project!

Best wishes,

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Hi Helena,

Thank you for the further information! I’ll talk with the editor of the Philosophy of Religion book, Beau Branson, and either he or I will get back to you soon. I am excited to have students contribute to the book!

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Hi @hsgfisher,

Beau and I think it would be great if you would be willing to read through the drafted chapters and give feedback from the perspective of a student. The chapters have just been peer reviewed, and I’m finishing up my own comments on them as series editor. I wonder if you’d be able to read and comment on them relatively soon, if you’re willing to do that? There are 5 chapters plus an introduction, so 6 chapters, really.

If you don’t think this will be feasible, it’s totally fine! We can use other help after the authors have finished revising their chapters and we move towards publication.

If you would like to help in this way, can you send me an email so I can give you access to the draft chatpers?

Thanks again for your offer of help!


@metatechne Hi Colleen! I wanted to give you a heads up on where we’re at with materials being ready for copy editing for this book.

I just finished reading through all the chapters in the “publishing copies” folder for this book. There are a couple of questions and suggestions for the book editor to take a look at in the Introduction, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 (the last two are quite small so Chapters 4 and 5 are pretty much ready to go). I also need to add my portion to the Acknowledgements, so that’s not ready to yet.

Thank you!

Hi @metatechne–another update! After talking with the book editor, we have decided to take out part of the long introduction and turn it into a new chapter. It is now in a new google doc labeled “Chpt 1 The Intertwining of Philosophy and Religion.” I think you had started to review that chapter but I’m not sure how far along you had gotten. I started resolving your comments but then re-opened them so you could see how far along you had made them!

The “Chpt 0 Introduction” file now just has the summary of chapters and a section on “how to use this book.”

The other chapters have been renumbered accordingly (it used to be there were chapters 0-5, and now there is 0-6).

Thank you so much for helping us with this book!

Another update, @metatechne! I believe all of the chapters in the “publishing copies” folder for Philosophy of Religion are ready for copy editing. You had done the “About the contributors” and “Acnowledgements,” but I then added a little bit to each (see comment on top of each document). Everything else should be ready for copy editing with no more additions or revisions planned.

There will be one more section, with a blurb of praise or two, but we’re still working on getting that.

Thank you!

@christina.hendricks Great!

Got Contributors and Acknowledgements done.

Left a note in ‘Back Cover’ to ping me when the text is settled.

Now I’ll go back to the chapter copyedits. I’ll update you tonight with a progress report.

Edit: OK, also got Chapter 0/Introduction done tonight. Finishing Chapter 1 tomorrow, and will continue on from there.

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Thanks, @metatechne! We now have someone helping out with importing the content into Pressbooks, @chrs229. Thank you, Chris! You can see, once you have access to the google drive folder with the chapters, which ones Colleen has said are ready to start importing.

It’s exciting we’re moving along on getting this book ready for publication!


Just keeping track here of where we are with copyedited chapters that are ready to go into Pressbooks. Here’s what’s ready.

  • About the Contributors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction (after one small comment is addressed)–UPDATE: addressed, so this is all ready to go now (as of Aug 22)

Also copyedited:

  • Back Cover

…and with very minor marginal notes for you to look at @christina.hendricks:

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3

@chrs229 You should have access to Pressbooks now! I had already copied over some of the front matter and back matter that’s the same across books, so that’s there already.

Updating what’s ready go go in:

  • About the Contributors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction to the book (the series intro is already there)
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2

@metatechne and I are still working on the reference list/further reading list for chapter 3, so that’s not quite ready yet.

Thank you!