Resilient Beliefs: Religion and Beyond (REBE) final conference

FBK Aula Grande

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula Grande

FBK Aula Grande

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula Grande

Resilient opinions or beliefs are beliefs that people would vehemently defend against objections and counterarguments. Some of these beliefs – such as the belief that one cannot breathe under water – appear completely rational. However, the Corona crisis has shed light on questionable forms of belief resilience, such as those that call into question science as a whole. What is it then that distinguishes “rational” from “irrational,” “good” from “bad” forms of belief resilience? And at which point along the spectrum can extremist, conspiratorial, delusional and religious beliefs be found?

The final conference of project REBE will cast light on these issues by presenting the results of two years of research on the topic and thanks to the participation of international experts.

The conference will focus on three questions:
1) the normative question: Is there such a thing as epistemically good vs. epistemically bad ways of being resiliently committed to a pivotal belief?
2) The social-impact question: What is the social impact of resilient beliefs in societies marked by diversity, religious and non?
3) The difference question:  Is it possible to distinguish religious from non-religious resilient beliefs in a principled and convincing way?



Day 1 | 11th of April 2024

h 9.00-9.30 | Intro
Paolo Costa, Winfried Loeffler, Martin Lintner


Innsbruck panel: Fundamental and conspiratorial beliefs
Chair: Winfried Loeffler

9.30-10.30 | Problems for a Prominent Study on the Use of ‘Conspiracy Theory’
Scott Hill (University of Innsbruck)

10.30-11.30 | Resisting the Evidence of Others
Anna-Maria Asunta Eder (Universität zu Köln)

11.30-12.00 | Break

12.00-13.00 | Epistemology without hinges. The search for fundamental beliefs and the structure of justification
Gerhard Ernst (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen)


Trento panel: Religious beliefs, extremism and delusions
Chair: Boris Raehme

14.15-15.15 | The resiliency of extravagant beliefs: the case of relusion
Eugenia Lancellotta (Fondazione Bruno Kessler)

15.15-16.15 | How to take a person with extreme beliefs seriously
Naomi Kloosterboer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

16.15-16.45 | Break

16.45-17.45 | The Resilience of Extreme Beliefs and the Resilience of Religious and Secular Faith
Rik Peels (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

17.45-18.00 | Break

18.00-19.30 | The resilience of delusional beliefs and conspiracy beliefs
Keynote: Lisa Bortolotti (University of Birmingham)


Day 2 | 12th of April 2024


Brixen panel: Faith and doubt
Chair: Martin Lintner

9.30-10.30 | Varieties of belief in God: From theistic to atheistic faith
Gloria Dell’Eva (PTH Brixen)

10.30-11.30 | Warranted faith despite serious doubt? A re-evaluation
Veronika Hoffmann (Freiburg)

11.30-12.00 | Break

12.00-13.00 | Relational theism and pan-en-theism. Necessary differentiations in the God-world relationship
Bernhard Nitsche (Münster)

13.00-13.15 | Closing remarks


The conference will be held in person, but it can also be followed online here (11th of April) and here (12th of April).



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