Navigating the Nexus: Epistemic Injustice, Religious Identities, and Democratic Resilience in Nigeria
Ilemobayo John OMOGUNWA

part of: Epistemic Injustice and Religious Identities
March 6, 2024, 2:00pm - 2:30pm
McGill University

Leacock 429
855 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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This event is available both online and in-person


  • Canada Research Chair in Applied Epistemology
  • Canada Research Chair on Epistemic Injustice and Agency
  • Centre de recherche en éthique
  • Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire sur la normativité (GRIN)
  • Société de philosophie du Québec


McGill University
Maëlle Turbide
Université de Sherbrooke

Topic areas


The Canada Research Chair on Epistemic Injustice and Agency and the Canada Research Chair in Applied Epistemology are inviting submissions for the upcoming workshop: 

“Epistemic Injustice and Religious Identities”

McGill University, March 6-7, 2024.

Epistemic injustice and epistemologies of ignorance are powerful tools to uncover the epistemic dimensions of oppression and domination. These tools, developed by critical race theorists and feminist scholars, have exposed many ways in which the credibility and intelligibility of social groups can be linked to social power and how dominant groups can avoid resistant knowledge and silence knowers to preserve their privilege. 

Miranda Fricker’s (2007) account of testimonial and hermeneutical injustice is now a common starting point to talk about epistemic injustice, and José Medina’s Epistemology of resistance (2013) offers an expanded, more contextualized and polyphonic account. From there, many other concepts have been developed to capture the complex and manifold epistemic wrongs that marginalized people can suffer, including testimonial quieting and smothering (Dotson 2011), willful hermeneutical ignorance (Pohlhaus 2012), hermeneutical domination (Catala 2015), agential epistemic injustice (Lackey 2020; Medina 2021), testimonial void (Carmona 2021), etc. Epistemologies of ignorance (Mills 1997; 2007; Tuana 2006; Sullivan and Tuana 2007) also have contributed to uncover the epistemic wrongs of domination and have many points of overlap with epistemic injustice. 

Yet, in this rapidly growing literature little has been said about religion and how someone can suffer epistemic wrongs on the basis of one’s religious identity. Though some work has addressed how epistemic injustice can happen in the field of philosophy of religion (De Cruz 2020a; 2020b; Panchuk 2020b), within religious education classrooms (Moyaert 2019a; 2019b; Stones and Fraser-Pearce 2021; 2022; Strhan and Shillitoe 2022), in relation with religious trauma (Panchuk 2020a), more specifically because of someone’s religious identity (Kidd 2017; Lougheed 2020; Lynch 2022; Beauchamp 2023), and also how one can ignore one’s religious privilege (Markowitz and Puchner 2018; Ferber 2012), much work remains to be done. 

This workshop is an invitation to remedy this lacuna and encourage scholars of epistemic injustice to engage with religious identity and scholars of religion to engage with epistemic injustice. It is also an opportunity to build a network of scholars interested in the topic.

Preliminairy schedule

Day 1 - March 6, 2024

McGill - Leacock (855 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal), room 429

8h30: Coffee

9h00: Welcome and preliminary remarks 

Religious identities in the political realm 

Chair: Maëlle Turbide

9h10 - 10h00: Rethinking Democratic Deliberation Religion, Secularism and Epistemic Injustice - A. Sophie Lauwers (KU Leuven) - Online

10h10 - 11h00: Whose Freedom of Conscience Should Laicity Protect? - Gilles Beauchamp (McGill)

11h10 - 12h00: Obstacles to the Epistemic Agency of Atheists in Islamic Countries - Zoheir Bagheri Noaparast (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt) - Online

12h00 - 13h00: Lunch

Normativity and religion

Chair: Gilles Beauchamp

13h15 - 14h05: Philosophy Religion on Trial - A Problem of Epistemic Injustice - Zoe Longworth (University of Groningen)

14h15 - 15h05: The Concept of Religion as a Tool of Hermeneutical Marginalization - David Spewak (Marion Military Institute)

15h15 - 16h05: Mitigating Epistemic Injustice in the Realm of Normative Explanation - Rachel Finlayson (Columbia)

McGill, Birks (3520 Rue University, Montreal), Senior Common Room 

17h00 - 18h00 (Keynote address): All Things Work Together For Good: Theodicy as Gaslighting (co-authored with Blake Hereth) - Michelle Panchuk (Murray State University)

  • Abstract: Nora Berenstain describes the practice of structural gaslighting as “invok[ing] epistemologies and ideologies…that actively disappear and obscure the actual causes, mechanisms, and effects of oppression” (2020, 2). In this paper, we argue that theodicy—the attempt to identify and describe God’s morally justifying reason(s) for allowing suffering of the kinds and degrees that we see in our world—both within concrete religious traditions and within academic philosophy of religion constitutes a form of structural gaslighting by aiming to convince sufferers and their co-religionists that suffering is not as bad for individual sufferers, on the whole, or from the “God’s eye point of view” as their lived experience reveals it to be.  Borrowing from Berenstain’s description of white feminist gaslighting, the implications of theodicy for sufferers is that “if [the theory] does not fit your lived experience, there must be something wrong with your experience, your interpretation of your experience, or your understanding of reality” (2020, 5).  Such theories can rob sufferers of their knowledge of their own suffering, of its badness, and of its connections to structural injustices within their religious traditions and cultural contexts.  As such, it is epistemically unjust.  We begin by identifying the common moral claim of theodicies and the central epistemic claim of Skeptical Theism.  We then present an account of the epistemic injustice of gaslighting and argue that any theodicy or version of skeptical theism that includes the identified claims will necessarily engage in an epistemically unjust form of gaslighting. We conclude by arguing that even if true, our thesis does not entail that theistic belief is itself epistemically unjustified.

18h - 19h: Cocktail 

Day 2 - March 7, 2024

McGill - Leacock (855 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal), room 429

8h30: Coffee

Religious insights on epistemic injustice

Chair: Maëlle Turbide

9h00 - 9h50: Vandalization of a world-picture: Religious Offense and Hermeneutical Injustice - Mehdi Ebrahimpour (Independent Scholar)

10h00 - 10h50: Intercepting Epistemic Domination of Religions: An Indian Perspective - Baiju P. Anthony (BITS Pilani) - Online

11h00 - 11h50: Jain Perspectivalism and (Religious) Epistemic Justice - Raja Rosenhagen (Ashoka University, University of Pittsburgh)

12h00 - 13h00: Lunch

Religion in education and in the media

Chair: Gilles Beauchamp

13h15 - 14h05: Epistemic injustice in the RE classroom - Lina Snoek Hauan (University of South-Eastern Norway) - Online

14h15 - 15h05: Risks of structural epistemic injustice when reporting religious testimony in the news - Maëlle Turbide (Université de Sherbrooke)

15h15 - 16h05:  Religious Freedom, LGBTQ+ Non-Discrimination, and Epistemically Vicious Media - Louise Richardson-Self and Sharri Lembryk (University of Tasmania)

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