LOGIC AND RELIGION?
Although logic, a symbol of rationality, may appear to be opposed to religion, both have a long history of cooperation. Philosophical theology, from Anselm to Godel, provided many famous attempts to prove the existence of God. On the other hand, many atheologists, such as Hume, for example, have developed powerful arguments designed to refute the existence of God. These arguments have been examined and developed in various ways by twentieth-century analytic philosophers of religion. In addition, logic concepts and tools have played important roles in the world's religious traditions. In the Bible, God is identified with the concept of logos; other religions, such as Buddhism, Islam, and many Indian Orthodox schools, such as Nyaya and Vedanta, are strongly linked to reasoning. Nevertheless, it seems that as an academic field, the area of logic and religion has not yet been consolidated.
The goal of the Logic and Religion Association (LARA) is to fill this gap by providing conditions where logicians from all fields, as well as theologians of all religions, can come together to hear from one another about the latest developments in logic and religion. This is being achieved through the World Congress of Logic and Religion (WoColoR) and other scientific events, as well as trought the publication of manuscripts.
WHY LOGIC AND RELIGION?
THE ROLE OF FORMAL LOGIC IN THEOLOGICAL INQUIRY
There is a perennial philosophical debate on the relation between reason and religion. Many theologians have struggled to show that there is a place, and perhaps a need, for rational thinking in religion. Indeed, it can reasonably be argued that only by making use of critical rational thinking could we hope to develop theology into a mature and fruitful discipline.
Logic is the discipline that studies sound arguments. In one sense, it is the canon of rationality. As such, it is essential for critical reflection on religion. As with physics in the 16th and 17th centuries, logic was mathematized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This gave it impressive power to deal with its basic issues as well as a remarkable interdisciplinary cross-fertilization. It also turned it into a powerful theory of representation, able to foster our understanding of a wide range of concepts and principles, such as those present in the living religious traditions.
Is the concept of God consistent? How successful are the arguments for and against the existence of God? To what extent do different religions agree and contradict each other? Can there be a logical and scientific account of religion? Academic work carried out over the last half century, of which Gödel's famous proof of the existence of God is one of the best examples, supports the thesis that the tools developed within the field of logic can help us to accurately articulate the central theological questions and move towards answering them.
Mosque at Hyderabad, Pakistan
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