The Macksey Journal


A current debate in the philosophy of religion (PoR) is about future routes for scholarship. While many scholars have assessed where the subfield could expand, few have consulted the discipline’s modern history in their evaluations. Thus the aim of “Mapping the Modern History of the Philosophy of Religion” is to propose a computationally-based history of PoR as a foundation for future growth. To that end, this research processes over three-thousand articles from three journals in PoR with latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), a machine-learning algorithm. LDA creates groups of related terms, exhibiting the most historically significant topics in the philosophy of religion. Within each group, additional programming techniques highlight key documents, authors, and citations. “Mapping the Modern History” represents the novel application of digital tools to philosophical source material, and builds upon these computational approaches to demonstrate the dominant trends in PoR: namely, analytic approaches to theistic subjects.