Centre for Philosophy of Religion seminar

John Schellenberg (Mount Saint Vincent University) will give a presentation on 'Truth-triggered religious commitments'.

John Schellenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Vincent University. His books include The Hiddenness Argument: Philosophy's New Challenge to Belief in God (Oxford UP, 2015) and Evolutionary Religion (Oxford UP, 2013).


It has generally been assumed that to make a religious commitment is to give oneself unconditionally to a single religious possibility, rejecting others. Here I explore the idea that a more basic commitment to truth, goodness, and beauty invites us to choose all the possibilities, conditionally, letting the truth of the matter determine which religious commitment, if any, is realized. The notion of conditional intentions provides the mechanism for this new understanding of religious commitment, and the notion of human religious immaturity gives it salience. With its broad evolutionary grounding, the view promises to bring illumination to a number of problems in the philosophy of religion, and may also supersede certain older stances such as Pascal's Wager.