2.11 Faith and Theism

Category: Philosophy of Religion

Keywords: theism, faith, christian, theological, theology, divine, sin, religion, religious, god, gods, kierkegaard, eternal, evil, creation

Number of Articles: 308
Percentage of Total: 1%
Rank: 48th

Weighted Number of Articles: 270
Percentage of Total: 0.8%
Rank: 61st

Mean Publication Year: 1957.3
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1956.7
Median Publication Year: 1959
Modal Publication Year: 1958

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0527)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Ontological Argument (0.0603)
Topic with Least Overlap: Cognitive Science (0.00054)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Models (0.00012)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the faith and theismtopic. The x-axis shows the year, the y-axis measures the proportion of articles each year in this topic. There is one dot per year. The highest value is in 1920 when 3.4% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 2002 when 0.1% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.11 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.33: Faith and theism.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Faith and Theismtopic. There is one scatterplot for each of the twelve journals that are the focus of this book. In each scatterplot, the x-axis is the year, and the y-axis is the proportion of articles in that year in that journal in this topic. Here are the average values for each of the twelve scatterplots - these tell you on average how much of the journal is dedicated to this topic. Mind - 0.8%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 1.1%. Ethics - 1.0%. Philosophical Review - 1.3%. Analysis - 0.6%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.2%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.9%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 1.3%. Philosophy of Science - 0.1%. Noûs - 0.7%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 1.0%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.2%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1920 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 3.3% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 2002 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.1% of the articles.

Figure 2.34: Faith and theism articles in each journal.

Table 2.29: Characteristic articles of the faith and theism topic.
Table 2.30: Highly cited articles in the faith and theism topic.


This is largely traditional philosophy of religion, with the exception of work on the ontological argument, which is topic 28. It isn’t a huge part of the journals over the years. There is a bit of interest in idealism and Christianity in the later parts of the Idealism boom. Several of the papers that make up those dots around 1920 are about Royce or Bosanquet, for example. Then there is more sustained attention to something like analytic philosophy of religion in the middle of the century, but that slowly peters out. Partially what’s happening here is that the journals are losing interest in philosophy of religion, and what little interest they have is taken up with the ontological argument.

I don’t have a way of sorting articles by an author’s gender that I’m happy with, so this is very impressionistic, but this feels like a very male set of authors. Just eyeballing the data, I’m not sure there are any articles in this topic by women in any of the US journals. There are a few recent articles by women in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, and some in Philosophical Quarterly, but after that it gets very thin.