Shadows on the Street

Episode 076: Street Epistemology

“Christians may find themselves approached on the street being asked to consider religious faith. Sounds like Christian street witnessing, right? Well, it may be you’re face-to-face with an atheist (and often a GoPro video recorder) being engaged in what’s come to be known as ‘street epistemology.’

What is street epistemology? According to Peter Boghossian (atheism advocate and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Portland State University), this is an activist approach for engaging ‘the faithful in conversations that help them value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their beliefs, and mistrust their faith.’ He wants ‘people equipped with an array of dialectical and clinical tools who actively go into the streets, the prisons, the bars, the churches, the schools, and the community — into any and every place the faithful reside — and help them abandon their faith and embrace reason.’

Street epistemology has two main goals. First, the street epistemologist aims to get religious folks to apply reason to faith. But this isn’t the primary goal of street epistemology. The ultimate goal is to eradicate the ‘virus of faith.'”

This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with JOURNAL author Travis M. Dickinson about his Volume 40, No. 6 feature article, “Street Epistemology: The New Atheist Evangelism.”

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Article related to this episode:
Street Epistemology: The New Atheist Evangelism