About the Project
God and Consciousness in Indian Traditions
The project Concepts of God and the Variety of Theisms in Indian Traditions: Towards a Theistic Theory of Consciousness is an initiative that has as general goals (1) to philosophically reconstruct concepts of God in Indian theistic (or theistically inclined) traditions such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism, and (2) to investigate the extent to which issues explored by these traditions can contribute to the philosophy of consciousness. It is supported by funding totaling $260,000 from the John Templeton Foundation.
As part of the project, we will publish articles, edited volumes, and journal special issues and also organize conferences, non-academic roundtables, and a paper incubator meant to help early career researchers produce high quality publishable papers on our research themes and questions. The project will help consolidate cross-cultural research within the analytic philosophy of religion that takes seriously the contributions and insights of underrepresented religions, such as those of the Indian subcontinent. It will also help sensibilize religious studies scholars about the usefulness of analytic philosophy and analytic theology.
Our Questions and Goals
Regarding our first general goal (to philosophically reconstruct concepts of God in Indian theistic traditions), research questions include but are not limited to: Are any of the traditions’ concepts of God monotheistic? Or are they closer to panentheism, henotheism or polytheism? What divine properties do the traditions ascribe to their respective divinity? Can the corresponding concepts of God be described in a consistent way? Do any of these concepts of God possess an advantage over Western philosophical accounts of God?
Regarding our second general goal (to investigate the extent to which issues explored by these traditions can contribute to the philosophy of consciousness), research questions include but are not limited to: Which views on consciousness are presupposed by those concepts of God? How can these views be philosophically articulated? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Are they compatible with the modern scientific worldview? Can (the concept of) God contribute to a scientifically-consistent theory of consciousness?
This project was made possible through the support of Grant 62954 from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in the outcomes of the project do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. The project is hosted by the Brazilian Association for the Philosophy of Religion in cooperation with the Logic and Religion Association (LARA). The project is a continuation and expansion of the project A Philosophical Approach to the Vaiṣṇava Concept of God, funded by John Templeton Foundation through The Global Philosophy of Religion Project (#61613).