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28-31

August 2014

20th Biennial Conference

20th Biennial Conference

The European Society for the Philosophy of Religion invites to its 20th Biennial Conference from 28th – 31st of August 2014 to Muenster (Germany) on Transforming Religion.

Chairman of the conference: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Muenster) - grosshans@uni-muenster.de

Co-organiser: Klaus Müller (Muenster)

News: Seven (of eight) papers are online on subpage "Login". You get username and password after full Registration


Conference Programme

(A full Programme with Speakers, Moderators and locations in PDF you'll find in "Login")

Thursday, 28th August

14.00 - 15.45 Registration
16.00 Opening and Welcome

16.15 - 18.15 Session 1: “Transformation of Religion”
- Prof. Dr. Jörg Dierken: Progress in the history of religion?
- Prof. Dr. Simo Knuuttila: Transformation of religion

18.30 - 19.30 Reception

Friday, 29th August

9.00 - 11.00 Session 2: “Dynamics of Change”
- Prof. Dr. Daphne Hampson: Religion and change
- Prof. Dr. Walter van Herck: Negotiating Pure Religion. A discussion of Olivier Roy’s thesis about the separation between religion and culture

11.30 – 13.15 Short papers (in parallel sessions)

11.30 – 12.00
- Prof. Dr. Jan-Olav Henriksen (Oslo), Struggling with historical change: The predicament of evolving religious traditions
- Younes M. Sheikh (Lusanne), Islam in West: Transforming Troubles
- Dr. Hermen Kroesbergen (Pretoria), Seeing the dynamics of change in the concept of 'vocation'; A Wittgenstein critique of Miroslav Volf's theology of vocation

12.05 – 12.35
- Prof. Dr. Janusz Salamon (Prag), Moral Imagination and Tranformation of Religion
- Prof. Dr. Samir Arnautovic (Sarajevo), Religion und Politik
- Annemarie van Stee (Leiden), Lived belief. Kierkegaard on the dynamics of believing

12.40- 13.10
- Prof. Dr. Sergio Sorrentino (Salerno), Religion as historical phenomenon
- Dr. Gianluca De Candida (Bari/Münster), Wandlungsprozesse des Christentums in Europa. Zur Neubestimmung christlicher Grundannahmen
- Dr. Ulf Zackariasson (Uppsala), Future-oriented justification and objectionable pasts: A pragmatic problem?

14.30 - 16.30 Guided Tour through Münster

17.00 - 18.40 Short papers

17.00 – 17.30
- Samuel Shearn (Oxford), Is Religion good for Society. Charles Taylor on the perils and promise of transcendence
- Prof. Dr. Jure Zovko (Zagreb), Transformation hinsichtlich der Transzendenzkonzeption
- Michael Braunschweig (Zürich), Hope and the transformation of theology: the hermeneutics of hope in Luther's interpretation of Ps 5.12 beyond mystical contemplation and metaphysical theology

17.35 – 18.05
- Sabrina Hoppe (München), Civil Religion, Public Theology and the Dynamics of Change – A Critical Review
- Prof. Dr. Svetlana Konacheva (Moskau), Religion ohne Metaphysik: Der Einfluss von Heidegger auf die Theologie
- Dr. Marco Damonte (Genova), What is “natural” in natural theology?

18.10 – 18.40
- PD Dr. Markus Schlette (Heidelberg), Between the Actual and the Ideal. John Dewey on the Transformation of Religion
- Prof. Dr. Kurt Appel (Wien), Transformation der Gottesfrage. Auf den Spuren von Robert Musil
- Leland Harper (Birmingham), A Deistic Discussion of Murphy and Tracy 's Account of God's Limited Activity in the Natural World

18.45 - 19.15
- Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers (Tilburg), From ecclesiastical doctrine to Christian wisdom. A Philosophical Interpretation of a Recent Transformation in Religion and Society
- Dr. Jiří Hoblík (Prag), Last und Gewinn der religiösen Desorientierung
- Prof. Dr. Xinzhang Zhang (Zhejiang), From Gnosticism to Apocalypticism: On the Transformation of Religious Types and its Political Relevance

19.25 - 20.30 Regional groups

Saturday, 30th August

9.00 - 11.00 Session 3: “The concept of God and Evolution”
- Prof. Dr. Niels Henrik Gregersen : God and Evolution
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Müller: A Christian Form of Universal Oneness. A Small Provocation and its Consequences

11.30 – 13.10 Short papers

11.30 – 12.00
- Prof. Dr. Markus Mühling (Lüneburg), Evolutionary Niche-Construction and a Relational God
- Friederike Rass (Zürich), Revelation under Deconstruction – An Investigation of the Significance of Christianity in post-confessional Approaches to Religion
- Prof. Dr. Marius Timmann Mjaaland (Oslo), Memory and Imagination. Transforming Religion by the Power of Imagination

12.05 – 12.35
- PD Dr. Hartmut von Sass (Zürich/Kiel), God's Being is in Becoming. An Esssay in Theological Idealism
- PD Dr. Martin Wendte (Tübingen), Hybrid Jesus. On the relationship between en-culturation and the “essence” of the Gospel in a pluralistic, globalized world, related to Katsumi Taikaswa's Christology and his understanding of history
- Prof. Dr. Tomas Sodeika/Prof. Dr. Lina Vidauskyt (Vilnius/Kaunas), Religious experience: HierophAny or HierophOny?

12.40 – 13.10
- Rajendra Ojha (Warsaw), God through Eye of (Chemistry) Science
- Dr. Damiano Bondi (Siena), GAIA or the Return of Teleology
- Roshnee Ossewaarde-Lowtoo (Tilburg), Theosis contra Transhumanism

15.00 - 17.00 Session 4: “Evolution and Religion”
- Prof. Dr. Steve Fuller: The Evolution of Religion as the Discovery of God
- Dr. Taede A. Smedes: Religious Belief Beyond Kant and Darwin. Philosophical Reflections on the evolutionary and cognitive roots of religious belief

17.15 – 18.55 Short papers

17.15 – 17.45
- Ana Honnacker (Frankfurt), Naturalism Without Reductionism. A Pragmatist Account of Religion
- Prof. Dr. Normunds Titans (Riga), Evolution, Biological Universe and the Concept of a Pesonal God
- Prof. Dr. Atle Ottesen Søvik (Oslo), Salvation for animals?

17.50 – 18.20
- Tony Pacyna (Zürich), Religion as a fundamental epistemological reference system
- Oliver Li (Uppsala), Joint Causation, Emergence Theory and Panentheism
- Katharina Opalka (Bonn), A new culture of humility? - Religious virtues and the progress of society

18.25 - 18.55
- Paolo Vullo (Glasgow), A Fictionalist Analysis on Progress in Religion and Science
- Prof. Dr. Anné Verhoef (North-West University, Potchefstroom, South-Africa), Is God evolving or dissolving
- Renée Reitsma (Essex), Sin After the Death of God: A Culture Transformed?

20.00 Conference Dinner

Sunday, 31st August

9.00 - 10.00 Worship (Dominkanerkirche, Salzstrasse 10)
10.30 - 11.30 General meeting of ESPR
11.30 - 12.30 Final Discussion

Departure


Conference Place

The Conference will take place in the main building of the University of Muenster (www.uni-muenster.de), the castle of Muenster (address: Schlossplatz 2)


Registration

Registration at the conference office: Mrs. Petra Christophersen: systheol@uni-muenster.de

The registration fee is 50 Euro (has to be paid in advance by bank transfer to the following account: Hans-Peter Grosshans, IBAN: DE58401600500083049300; BIC: GENODEM1MSC).


Accomodation and Meals

Participants of the conference are asked to organize their accommodation by themselves.

Arrangements will be made for the opportunity of joint meals at lunch and dinner in a restaurant. A conference dinner is planned.

Some hotels and hostels (all are in walking distance to the Schloss, where the conference is and close to the center as well)

  1. The main speaker of the conference (among others) will stay in the "Stadthotel" (www.stadthotel-muenster.de) - see: http://www.stadthotel-muenster.de/ - Some rooms are reserved there for participants of the conference to a price with little reduction (78 or 83 Euro/night incl. breakfast). Those who book there should use the password "Religionsphilosophie". The number of these rooms is finite; therefore early booking may be helpful.
  2. Überwasserhof (www.ueberwasserhof.de) - see: Überwasserhof
  3. Hotel Agora (www.agora-muenster.de) - see: http://www.agora-muenster.de/
  4. Seehotel (www.agora-muenster.de) - see: http://www.agora-muenster.de/ (This hotel has as well a "Gästehaus" - guest house - with low prices especially for students (36 Euro without breakfast)
  5. Hotel Busche (www.hotel-busche.de) - see: http://www.hotel-busche.de/ (A small hotel in the very center of town, directly beside the cathedral)
  6. Youth-Hostel - see: http://www.djh-wl.de/de/jugendherbergen/muenster (the youth-hostel is very popular; early booking is recommended)

Further possibilities of accomodation see Muenster tourist information: http://www.muenster.de/stadt/tourismus/en/index.html


Information about Muenster

see http://www.muenster.de/stadt/tourismus/en/index.html


Travelling to Muenster

Muenster has a small airport (http://www.fmo.de) with bus shuttle to the center.

Better flight connections may be to Dusseldorf airport (http://www.dus.com/dus/), which has an own train station with direct trains to Muenster.

For trains to Muenster see: Deutsche Bahn


Presentation of the Subject

The conference will deal with one of the most important controversies of present day philosophy of religion: in recent years religion has been interpreted with a new emphasis as being part of the cultural evolution of the human being. Scholars from social sciences and evolution theories have intensified their research on religion, especially in relation to evolution. Already in 1964 Robert N. Bellah has established this perspective on religion in an article on “Religious Evolution”. He had concentrated especially on the evolution of the religious symbol systems and only hinted to the relation of an evolution of religion with the general socio-cultural evolution of humankind. Research on this dimension of the subject has been intensified in the following decades, especially in recent years. The basic questions are: Does religion result from the evolution of humankind? How has religion contributed and how does religion contribute to the evolution of humankind, to its survival, to its reproduction and to its cultural development? If religion would have been an evolutionary advantage – and still is –, then all religious beliefs and practices may possibly be shaped by an inherent logic of adaptation. And then this logic of adaptation may even be the true regulative of religion. Religion then would have to be described as a natural result of cultural evolution and the evolution of humankind in general. Philosophy of religion has to discuss the consequences, if the mentioned hypotheses would be true. How does the understanding of religion, philosophical reflection on religion and all academic research on religion have to change, if religion is seen as an aspect of the socio-cultural evolution of humankind? Because the whole issue is very controversial within European philosophy of religion today (this is part of its actuality), the conference discusses these questions within a wider horizon, which is expressed in the conference title “Transforming Religion”. This may contribute to keep the discussion open. The term “transforming” is taken up in its ambiguity: Religion is seen on the one side as object of transformation, development and even of evolution; but on the other side religion will also be perceived in its active role in socio-cultural transformations and developments.

The overall subject will be discussed in four sections, each one with a specific focus.

  1. Transformation of Religion (in the history of religion). Has there been a development of religion within history? Do religions stand for a solid and substantial metaphysical order of natural and moral reality amidst a world which is permanently changing, or are religions themselves in a process of inner (essential) transformation? How do religions integrate the concept of transformation in their own doctrines? How is religion related to history and change? How does the differentiation of religious symbol systems proceed? Speaker: Prof. Dr. Jörg Dierken (Halle-Wittenberg); Prof. Dr. Simo Knuuttila (Helsinki)
  2. Evolution and Religion. In what sense do we have to understand religion as being part of the evolution of humankind (of evolutionary history)? What follows from such an analysis of the origin of religion? What kind of critique of religion emerges from this understanding (for example, a genetic critique of religion)? What is the significance of such a critique for a contemporary concept of religion? Speaker: Prof. Dr. Steve Fuller (Warwick); Dr. Taede A. Smedes (Nijmegen)
  3. The Concept of God and Evolution. What are the implications of our understanding of the evolution of humankind, of creatures and of the universe for our reasoning about and conceiving of God? Does it make sense to think of God as evolving? How do process theology and panentheism in general contribute to answering this question? Speaker: Prof. Dr. Niels Henrik Gregersen (Kopenhagen), Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Müller (Münster)
  4. Dynamics of change. How can religions contribute to transformations, development and progress in societies? Does religion restrain or promote transformation, development and progress in societies? Can and do religions include a dynamic of their own transformation and development? Speaker: Prof. Dr. Daphne Hampson (St. Andrews), Prof. Dr. Walter van Herck (Antwerp).

President of the ESPR is Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans; Vice-Presidents are Dr. Victoria Harrison, Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers and Prof. Dr. Marius Timman Mjaaland.

Members of the Board of the Society are:

University of Münster, Germany

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans

grosshans@uni-muenster.de

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Dr. Victoria Harrison

victoria.harrison@glasgow.ac.uk


University of Tilburg, Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers

p.h.a.i.jonkers@uvt.nl

University of Oslo, Norway

Prof. Dr. Marius Timmann Mjaaland

mjaaland@absconditus.de

The Society was founded in 1976 with the aim to arrange regular biennial European conferences on the philosophy of religion. These conferences are intended to further the study of the philosophy of religion and the cooperation between philosophers of religion in Europe. Originally the conferences were set up as joint meetings of the British Christian Philosophers Group (later to become the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion), the GermanScandinavian Society for Philosophy of Religion and the Netherlands Society for Philosophy of Religion. However, from the very beginning, philosophers of religion who were not members of these organizations, also from outside Europe, were always welcome.

At the 9th conference in Aarhus, it was decided to have official statutes drawn up for the Society and to have the Society officially registered as such. The draft statutes were approved by the general meeting of the Society in Swansea in September 1994 and officially registered before a notary on the 24th of June 1996 by professors Vincent Brümmer and Henk Vroom, who at the time were president and treasurer of the Society. Included below is a copy of the official statutes of the Society as these are entered in the Register of Societies at the Utrecht Chamber of Commerce [Kamer van Koophandel en Fabrieken], as well as an English translation for use in the Society.

  • 2014

    "Transforming Religion", ESPR President: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Münster), Conference commitee: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Münster) and Klaus Müller (Münster)

  • 2012

    "Embodied Religion", ESPR President: Peter Jonkers (Tilburg), Conference commitee: Peter Jonkers (Tilburg) and Marcel Sarot (Utrecht)

  • 2010

    "Religion in the Public Sphere", ESPR and conference President: Roger Trigg (Oxford)

  • 2008

    "Sacrifice", ESPR President: Marius Timmann Mjaaland (Oslo), Conference commitee: Marius Timmann Mjaaland (Oslo) and Jan-Olav Henriksen (Oslo)

  • 2006

    "Religion after Metaphysics", Ingolf U. Dalferth (Zürich), Conference commitee: Ingolf U. Dalferth (Zürich) and Hans-Peter Grosshans (Tübingen)

  • 2004

    "The Criticism of Enlightenment", ESPR President: Henk Vroom (Amsterdam), Conference commitee: Henk Vroom (Amsterdam), Lieven Boeve (Leuven), Joeri Schrijvers (Leuven)

  • 2002

    "Religion, Aesthetics and the concept of the Imagination", ESPR and Conference President: Douglas Hedley (Cambridge)

  • 2000

    "The Future of Religion and the Future of Suspicion", ESPR and conference President: Reijo Työrinoja (Helsinki)

  • 1998

    "The Concept of Religion", ESPR and conference President: Ingolf U. Dalferth (Zürich)

  • 1996

    "Revelation and Experience", ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

  • 1994

    "The Concept of 'Person', human Subjectivity and its Consequences for the Philosophy of Religion", ESPR and conference President: Michael Durrant (Cardiff)

  • 1992

    "Traditional Theism and its modern Alternatives", ESPR and conference President: Svend Andersen (Aarhus)

  • 1990

    "Divine Agency", ESPR and conference President: Ingolf Dalferth (Tübingen)

  • 1988

    ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

  • 1986

    ESPR and conference President: Michael Durrant (Cardiff)

  • 1984

    ESPR and conference President: Hampus Lyttkens (Lund)

  • 1982

    ESPR and conference President: Eilert Herms (Munich)

  • 1980

    ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

  • 1978

    ESPR and conference President: Donald Hudson (Exeter)

  • 1976

    ESPR and conference President: Hampus Lyttkens (Lund)

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Article 1
1. The name of the society is the European Society for Philosophy of Religion.
2. The Society is registered in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
3. The Society is founded for an unlimited period of time.

Article 2
1. The aim of the society is to promote the study of the Philosophy of Religion in Europe and to undertake actions which directly or indirectly further or have a bearing on this aim.
2. The Society will try to achieve this aim by means of biennial European conferences for scholars engaged in teaching and/or research in the philosophy of religion, and by all other legal means which are considered necessary or useful in order to realize its stated aim.
3. The location of these conferences will rotate between the following geographical area: (a) the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, (b) the Benelux, (c) German speaking central Europe and (d) Scandinavia.

Article 3
The Society year consists of two consecutive calender years. The first Society year started on the first of September nineteen hundred and seventy six and ended on the thirty first of December nineteen hundred and seventy eight.

Article 4
1. Membership of the Society is open to scholars engaged in teaching and/or research in the Philosophy of Religion. Members are appointed by the Board, to whom applications for membership should be submitted.
2. The Board keeps a register of the names and addresses of all members. Members are required to inform their representative on the Board directly of any change in address.

Article 5
Members are required to pay a biennial membership fee as determined by the General Meeting of the Society.

Article 6
1. Membership is terminated by:
1. The death of the member;
2. Cancelation of membership by the member;
3. Cancelation of membership by the society;
4. Expulsion from the Society.
5. Nonpayment of membership fee within six months after the end of the society year.
2. Cancelation of membership and expulsion from the Society occur in accordance with Dutch law.

Article 7
The Board of the Society consist of at least four members elected by the General Meeting of the Society from among its members. Each of the four geographical areas mentioned in article 2.3 will be represented by one member in the Board. The member in whose area the next biennial conference is to be held, will act as President of the Society.

Article 8
1. Board members are elected for a period of four years, except when the General Meeting of the Society should decide otherwise. At the end of this period, Board members are eligible for reelection. In accordance with Article 7, the president is appointed for the period between two conferences.
2. Membership of the Board is terminated when a Board member: 1. ends his/her membership of the Society 2. resigns from the Board in writing 3. loses his/her capacity to function as Board member.
3. If a vacancy should occur in the Board during the period between two General Meetings of the Society, the Board will be entitled to appoint a temporary representative for the geographical area not represented on the Board. This representative will serve on the Board until the next General Meeting of the Society, when the vacancy will be filled.
4. Any Board member can be dismissed at any time by the General Meeting of the Society.

Article 9
1. The function of president rotates among Board members in the sense that the Board member in whose area the next biennial conference is to be held, functions as president. The remaining board members function as vice presidents.
2. Decisions can only be taken in the Board when at least half the members are present. Decisions can also be taken without a meeting, provided that all Board members express their views on the relevant issue in writing.
3. All decisions in the Board are taken by majority vote.

Article 10
The management of the Society is vested in the Board. The Board is entitled to delegate any of its tasks provided these are clearly circumscribed. Persons to whom such tasks are delegated, act under the responsibility of the Board.

Article 11
The Society is legally represented by the Board. It can also be represented by two Board members acting jointly.

Article 12
1. The Board shall conduct the financial administration of the Society in such a way that the rights and duties of the Society can be made known at all times.
2. At the General Meeting of the Society the Board shall report on the activities of the Society and submit a financial report for the period since the previous General Meeting

Article 13
1. A General Meeting of the Society will be held during every biennial conference of the Society referred to in Article 16 below.
2. Further General Meetings of the Society may be convened whenever the Board deems this necessary.

Article 14
1. The General Meeting of the Society is convened by the Board. At least fourteen days before the General Meeting all members are invited to attend. Convocations are sent in writing to the members' addresses as these occur in the register kept by the Board.
2. Convocations for the General Meeting are accompanied by a written agenda.
3. All members of the Society are admitted to the General Meeting. The Board may also invite others to attend the General Meeting.

Article 15
1. All members are entitled to vote at the General Meeting of the Society Each member can cast one vote.
2. Decisions are taken by majority of the valid votes cast.

Article 16
1. The Board shall convene a biennial conference of the Society, by rotation in the area from which the current president comes.
2. The president shall be responsible for organizing the conference. In this heshe shall be assisted by the other members of the Board in working out the programme and inviting the speakers. Each Board member shall be responsible for the contacts with the members from the area which heshe represents.
3. In organizing the conference, the president shall be assisted by a secretary and a treasurer from the area where the conference is to be held. Together they form the conference committee. The secretary and treasurer are nominated by the president and appointed by the Board.
4. The Board can invite scholars from other countries who are not members of the Society to take part in the conference.

Article 17
1. Changes in the statutes of the Society can only be made by decision of the General Meeting of the Society.
2. The written text of proposed changes are to be sent in advance to the members with the convocation for the General Meeting.
3. A decision to change the statutes can only be taken by a twothirds majority of the valid votes cast at the General Meeting of the Society.

Article 18
Statutory changes take effect after these have been legally registered. Any Board member is empowered to sign the relevant registration documents.

Article 19
1. The Society can be dissolved by a decision of the General Meeting taken in accordance with Article 17 above.
2. The Board members function as liquidators of the Society. Wherever applicable, the statutes remain valid during the period of liquidation.
3. In the event of dissolution of the Society, any accounts remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts shall be applied to charitable purposes of a like nature of those of the Society, such at the discretion of the General Meeting.
4. After dissolution the accounts of the Society shall be held in safe keeping for a period of ten years by some person nominated by the General Meeting. (These statutes were approved by the General Meeting of the Society in Swansea in September 1994)

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