News and Events

27 June 2022

Within the framework of the project "Resilient Beliefs", a workshop on Trust, Delusion, and Dissent with Cord Friebe (University of Siegen and Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Religious Studies) and Eugenia Lancellotta (postdoctoral researcher) will be held in the Aula Piccola of the Fondazione Bruno Kessler on Monday 27 June, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In his paper entitled “Trust in Science, Unfruitful Dissents in Science?”, Friebe will examine the criteria for determining when scientific dissent can become counterproductive and whether the efforts to distinguish fruitful from detrimental dissents may not sometimes foster distrust in science.

Eugenia Lancellotta’s contribution (“Delusions: An Overview”) will instead present the most important theories about the formation and maintenance of delusions and will begin to discuss the similarities and differences with religious beliefs.

More info

19 November 2022

The first workshop of the research group REBE - Resilient Beliefs: Religion and Beyond will be held at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule in Brixen/Bressanone on November 19. This is the programme for the day.


Morning Session (9.00 – 12.30)

  • Scott Hill (Innsbruck): “Are Conspiratorial Beliefs Bad Beliefs?”

  • Eugenia Lancellotta (Trento): “Religious Beliefs, Religious Delusions and Cultic Beliefs: Epistemic and Legal Differences”

  • Gloria Dell’Eva (Brixen/Bressanone): “Metaphors and Dogmas: Two Possible Lines of Research”

  • Winfried Löffler (Innsbruck): “Good and Bad Belief Resilience: Candidates and Criteria”

  • Paolo Costa (Trento): “‘Relusion’: Is There Something Inherently Delusional about Religious Beliefs?”

  • Boris Rähme (Trento): “Belief Polarization and Disagreement”


Afternoon Session (14.30 – 16.00)

Resilient Beliefs and Beyond: What’s Next? (Open Discussion)

23 November 2022

“RESILIENT BELIEFS: AN OVERVIEW”

STRONG OPINIONS DEBATED IN BRIXEN

The first workshop of the interregional and interdisciplinary research project REBE – “Resilient Beliefs: Religion and Beyond” (2022-2024), was held in Brixen / Bressanone on 18-19 November.

At the heart of the research, as users of this website already know, are those beliefs that, for good or bad reasons, often difficult to make explicit, are particularly resistant to change, sometimes even in the face of glaring contrary evidence. Examples are well known and range from common sense certainties to political opinions, sports partisanship, scientific notions gathered during the school years, and life insights around which people build their own sense of integrity or moral rectitude.

Many of these topics were discussed during the workshop: from conspiracy theories (Scott Hill – Innsbruck) to pathological delusions and their legal implications (Eugenia Lancellotta – Trent), from the role of dogma in Christian faith and theology (Gloria Dell’Eva – Bressanone) to the distinction between good and bad doxastic resilience (Winfried Löffler – Innsbruck), from the relationship between religion and delusion (Paolo Costa – Trento) to the epistemic relevance of disbelief (Boris Rähme – Trento).

The atmosphere of the discussion was both easygoing and passionate: an ideal context for developing new thoughts and ideas on central contemporary issues such as epistemic pollution of the public sphere, the distinction between conspiracy theories and conspiracies as actual causes of historical events, the similarities and differences between psychological delusions and delusions typical of esoteric cults, the function of theologically bold metaphors such as the womb of the Father in facilitating the adaptation of religious belief to changing historical circumstances, the nature of doxastic resilience in science, meaningful existential change as an example of nondoxastic resilience, faith, trust and commitment as different facets of belief resilience in the religious domain.

Already in the pipeline for the coming months are, in addition to publications, more workshops and a final conference in which the investigation of this enigmatic aspect of human mental life will be further developed.