Theology, Religious Studies, and Philosophy of Religion as Humanistic Disciplines: Critical Reflections on Realism


  • Sami Pihlström University of Helsinki



theology, religious studies, philosophy of religion, philosophy of the humanities, transcendental philosophy, realism, pragmatism


This metaphilosophical paper discusses the nature of the philosophy of religion as an academic discipline. It may seem self-evident that the philosophy of religion is one of the humanities – along with neighboring fields of research within theology and religious studies – but it may also be argued that this is not obvious at all, as philosophical investigation can study the way the world is at the fundamental metaphysical level. Philosophers of religion, in particular, may claim to “directly” discuss the question of God’s existence vs. non-existence. The paper argues that settling the metaphilosophical question about the nature of the philosophy of religion presupposes considering the underlying issue of realism. From a transcendental-pragmatist perspective, the philosophy of religion is a humanistic discipline, but this cannot be non-circularly demonstrated to those presupposing metaphysical realism.


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How to Cite

Pihlström, S. (2024). Theology, Religious Studies, and Philosophy of Religion as Humanistic Disciplines: Critical Reflections on Realism. AGATHEOS – European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 1(1), 116–136.