Professor to participate in a new international initiative for philosophy of religion researchTue, Mar 3, 2020
Masahiro Morioka, a professor of philosophy and ethics at Waseda’s Faculty of Human Sciences, will be participating in the Global Philosophy of Religion Project, a new initiative hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
In the ever-globalizing world, the importance of religion is being reconsidered, and the situation is that there is a need for a deeper understanding on the nature of what religion is. The goal of this initiative is to advance research on the philosophy of religion from a global perspective. If successful progress can be made, research taken place under this initiative will shed light on issues such as what people seek for in religion and what it means to be destined to die. Funding of this initiative is funded by the John Templeton Foundation in the United States, totaling £2.15 million in amount.
It is very rare for such large-scale, international initiative to be organized in the field of philosophy. In the initiative, Professor Morioka will focus on the philosophy of life. Particularly, he intends to conduct research on the philosophical aspects of religiousness in modern-day Japan, where people’s sense of religion is regarded as weak in general.
This initiative will run from September 2020 to 2023, and three international symposiums are planned to be organized, in which one of them will be held at Waseda. Professor Morioka will act as committee chairman of this symposium. He hopes that the symposium will allow researchers and graduate-level students from related fields from Waseda and universities abroad will have the opportunity to present their research and engage in meaningful discussions.
Ever since singing an agreement for strategic partnership in 2016, Waseda University and the University of Birmingham have collaborated on a number of research projects, now in over 20 fields which include linguistics, robotics, and Shakespearean studies. Professor Morioka’s participation in this initiative started off as one of those projects, where he conducted research together with Yujin Nagasawa, a Birmingham professor who is serving as leader of the Global Philosophy of Religion Project. Together, they will be examining the nature of religion from a global perspective.