Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The power of humility in sceptical religion: why Ietsism is preferable to J. L. Schellenberg's Ultimism


J. L. Schellenberg's Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism.

Corresponding author
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Andrew Chignell (2013) ‘Prolegomena to any future non-doxastic religion’, Religious Studies, 49, 195207.

Thomas Crisp (2013) ‘On coercion, love, and horrors’, Religious Studies, 49, 165179.

Jeannine Diller (2013) ‘The conceptual focus of ultimism: an object of religious concern for the nones and somes’, Religious Studies, 49, 221233.

Andrew Dole (2013) ‘Is sceptical religion adequate as a religion?’, Religious Studies, 49, 235248.

Paul Draper (2011) ‘Faith without God: an introduction to Schellenberg's trilogy’, Philo, 14, 5965.

Daniel Howard-Snyder (2013) ‘Schellenberg on propositional faith’, Religious Studies, 49, 181191.

J. J. Macintosh (2011) ‘Sceptical ultimism, or not so sceptical atheism?’, Philo, 14, 6676.

Wes Morriston (2013) ‘Is faith in the ultimate rationally required? Taking issue with some arguments in The Will to Imagine ’, Religious Studies, 49, 209220.

Terence Penelhum (2013) ‘Religion after atheism’, Religious Studies, 49, 249255.

J. L. Schellenberg (2007) The Wisdom to Doubt: A Justification of Religious Skepticism (Ithaca: Cornell).

J. L. Schellenberg (2009) The Will to Imagine: A Justification of Skeptical Religion (Ithaca: Cornell).

J. L. Schellenberg (2011a) ‘A reply to Wykstra’, Philo, 14, 101107.

J. L. Schellenberg (2011b) ‘Reactions to MacIntosh’, Philo, 14, 7784.

J. L. Schellenberg (2013a) Evolutionary Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

J. L. Schellenberg (2013c) ‘Replies to my colleagues’, Religious Studies, 49, 257285.

J. L. Schellenberg (forthcoming) ‘God for all time: from theism to ultimism’, in A. Buckareff & Y. Nagasawa (eds) Alternative Conceptions of God (New York: Oxford University Press).

Stephen J. Wykstra (2011) ‘Facing MECCA: ultimism, religious skepticism, and Schellenberg's ‘meta-evidential condition constraining assent’’, Philo, 14, 85100.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 87 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 271 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.