Sample Research Projects

Here are three examples of eligible research topics for the Center's fellowship in early modern philosophy of religion:

  1. Examination of the response of key individual figures in the early modern period to the problem of evil.
  2. Examination of the way in which changing conceptions of God in the post-Reformation period affected ways in which evil was understood and explained. For example, Calvinists, Socianians, Hobbesians, Spinozists, Leibnizians, etc. deployed widely divergent concepts of God that in turn spawned distinctive reflections on and solutions to the problem of evil. Funded projects might consider the role that those frameworks played in these reconceptualizations.
  3. Examination of the way in which novel intellectual trends in science, political theory, or theology transformed conceptions of the problem of evil and its solution. For example, the Scientific Revolution inspired theologians as well as philosophers interested in religion to conceive of the universe in clockwork fashion. For some, these mechanistic conceptions of nature both redounded to the glory of the Creator, and provided a buffer between the Creator and the natural evil sometimes spawned by the mechanism. Funded projects might consider ways in which changing intellectual trends of this sort fundamentally shifted the way in which evil was conceptualized and explained.