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Philosophy/Theology


westontd
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Hello, I'd like to get into a Ph.D. program that intersects Philosophy and Theology.

My primary interests are Philosophical Theology, Philosophy of Religion, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology and Christian Apologetics.

 

What I've mostly found are programs that are exclusively philosophy or exclusively theology.

I'd like to teach and research in the future, but definitely do not want to be limited to only teaching philosophical or theological studies exclusively.

 

I'd love to teach courses and research in the range of all my interests that I've listed and I was wondering if anyone could help me find Ph.D. programs that would help me get closer to this goal. Thanks!

 

 

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Yeah, checking out Fuller is not be a bad idea. However I would probably look into the work of Nancey Murphy or Veli-Matti Karkkainen rather than Crisp...But only because Crisp seems pretty committed to dualist perspectives; also Murphy and Karkkainen seem to engage more straightforwardly with philosophy of science, mind, etc. (i'm showing my personal preferences, I know…)

I am also interested in theology and philosophy programs and am just finishing a theology degree... However I did not have much luck with being admitted to PhD philosophy programs; I have only been admitted to the MA programs I applied to. ... I'm still waiting on funding information for a couple of them, and depending I may have to do another MA before being admitted to PhD (unless, of course, I decided to just do systematic theology for PhD). It seems to be a more difficult switch then I first expected--moving from theology to philosophy.

Edited by Muska11
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If you're willing to entertain a different route, I suggest you check out some divinity schools which offer master degrees, like Yale and Chicago. You'd also be able to take seminars in both the philosophy and religious studies departments as a divinity school student, so it seems like a good deal.

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You could probably do the kind of work that you're looking to do at Notre Dame, either in the philosophy or theology department. The theology department has guys like Matt Ashley doing work in political theology, which is heavily influenced by the work of Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Arendt etc. (a lot of philosophical theology in catholic theology departments leans pretty continental). If you're more interested in philosophical theology from an analytic perspective, ND's philosophy department has plenty of people working in the vein of Swinburne, Plantinga, etc. 

 

Catholic University might be worth looking into... but, again, it is fairly continental in orientation.

 

Loyola Chicago might be a good option. It's a pretty diverse environment as the continental/analytic stuff goes. Based on what you've presented, it might be worth looking into the work of Paul Moser at Loyola. He works pretty broadly within the field of philosophy of religion. He's done work on religious epistemology, divine hiddenness, theological perspectives on the problem of evil, and so on etc.

 

Hope this helps. 

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I should clarify, 'homework' in my earlier post is supposed to be taken literally. The original poster is a good friend of mine.

Edited by philadam
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Well, there's no perfect answer here. I do think that some of the programs in religion offer more than most of the programs in philosophy. Truly there isn't a lot of quality philosophy of religion among mainstream PhD programs in philosophy. A few people at Cornell are good. Notre Dame, obviously. Also the answer to this question may depend on your views and goals. There are some unranked departments that take religion seriously. Baylor? Texas A&M? Saint Louis University? SLU is nice, because you have WUSTL down the road -- a solid academic community. The reason I sound so hesitant about these is that placement isn't quite as strong, depending on how one measures placement. I know some folks at SLU, and it's a department that manages to attract some bright people.

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I'm not sure I agree with your statements as to the state of phil religion in the "mainstream." UT Austin, Georgetown, Yale, UNC Chapel Hill, Oxford, Cambridge, Wisconsin and others all have people doing good work in phil religion. I tend not to agree that mainstream philosophy is best defined by the Leiter Top 50, and so I would also say that Oklahoma, Purdue, and Loyola Chicago are great places to study (My list of schools betrays my bias).

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I'm not sure I agree with your statements as to the state of phil religion in the "mainstream." UT Austin, Georgetown, Yale, UNC Chapel Hill, Oxford, Cambridge, Wisconsin and others all have people doing good work in phil religion. I tend not to agree that mainstream philosophy is best defined by the Leiter Top 50, and so I would also say that Oklahoma, Purdue, and Loyola Chicago are great places to study (My list of schools betrays my bias).

 

I do think much of this depends on one's views. I don't mean to represent what everyone would say.

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Consider southern Baptist theological seminary. They have a phd program in christian philosophy, Christian ethics, and a few others. In addition to philosophy courses, they require many theology courses--making you a research and teach in both areas. You might also check out southern evangelical seminary. They offer a similar degree in phil of religion.

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In a lot of religion departments, you have to declare a primary focus, and often one option is philosophy of religion.  This might be a good option for you, since you'd be situated in a religion department, but a lot of your coursework would be philosophy focused.  See for example Chicago (http://divinity.uchicago.edu/philosophy-religions), Yale (http://religiousstudies.yale.edu/philosophy-religion), and Harvard (http://studyofreligion.fas.harvard.edu/pages/philosophy-religion).   

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In a lot of religion departments, you have to declare a primary focus, and often one option is philosophy of religion.  This might be a good option for you, since you'd be situated in a religion department, but a lot of your coursework would be philosophy focused.  See for example Chicago (http://divinity.uchicago.edu/philosophy-religions), Yale (http://religiousstudies.yale.edu/philosophy-religion), and Harvard (http://studyofreligion.fas.harvard.edu/pages/philosophy-religion).   

This isn't a bad suggestion, but also know that phil religion in a philosophy department and phil religion at a divinity school can be very different things. A lot of divinity schools gravitate heavily toward phenomenoligical perspectives on phil religion, for instance. There's nothing wrong with that, but do make sure you look into the kind of work being done in these departments first. Chicago's department, for instance, has been heavily influenced by Jean-Luc Marion and David Tracy which won't be very interesting to someone interested in analytic issues. Harvard tends to focus heavily on issues revolving around pluralism in the Abrahamic traditions and epistemological pluralism in general (think John Hick). Just know that with divinity schools and religious studies programs, "philosophy of religion" can be a pretty idiosyncratic subfield. 

Edited by dgswaim
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This isn't a bad suggestion, but also know that phil religion in a philosophy department and phil religion at a divinity school can be very different things. A lot of divinity schools gravitate heavily toward phenomenoligical perspectives on phil religion, for instance. There's nothing wrong with that, but do make sure you look into the kind of work being done in these departments first. Chicago's department, for instance, has been heavily influenced by Jean-Luc Marion and David Tracy which won't be very interesting to someone interested in analytic issues. Harvard tends to focus heavily on issues revolving around pluralism in the Abrahamic traditions and epistemological pluralism in general (think John Hick). Just know that with divinity schools and religious studies programs, "philosophy of religion" can be a pretty idiosyncratic subfield. 

 

All very good points. It wasn't clear to me what the westontd's methodological preferences or preferred theoretical frameworks were, so I figured I'd throw this option out there.

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Don't consider Southern Baptist Theological Seminary... Just don't.

Im curious why you say this, Alex. It seems to be a great place to pursue his interests, assuming of course, that he belongs to or is at least comfortable with the SBC. And though I dont have any hard data to back it up, it seems that they place their graduates well--at least in other more conservative academic posts. I considered applying there but they require phd applicants to have an mdiv.

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