Friday, September 30, 2005

Reasonability and Believability

In my university mailbox on Wednesday, I found a flyer announcing an upcoming talk on religion:

"Vernuenftigkeit und Glaubwuerdigkeit monotheistischer Religiositaet"

The speaker will be Reiner Wimmer, who is German and in the title rightly used an umlaut where I've had to make do with an "e."

Wimmer teaches in the Philosophy Department at Eberhard Karls University, where I spent the six years from 1989 to 1995 pursuing my doctoral research as first a Fulbright then a Naumann Scholar.

The presentation's title translates as:

"Reasonability and Believability of Monotheistic Religiosity"

Believe me, this monstrosity of a title sounds a lot better in German, but in either tongue, it sounds interesting . . . at least to me. I'm looking forward to the talk, which will take place on October 5 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in . . . 인 촌 기 념 관 제 5 회 실. I think that this means somewhere in Inchon Memorial Hall, but I'll have to ask my wife.

I'm curious about the contents of Wimmer's lecture. He's done work on Kant, so he might be speaking from the Kantian tradition and concern himself primarily with abstract philosophical issues of epistemology and ontology. Maverick Philosopher Bill Vallicella would be interested in these issues and might be able to comment.

But I wonder if he might not also touch on political and social issues of religion in Europe these days, where Christianity seems largely dead in the water while Islam appears to be surging ahead. I'd like to know how Wimmer would judge Islam's capacity for critical self-reflection.

I'll probably post on this again.


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