"Transforming Religion", ESPR President: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Münster), Conference commitee: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Münster) and Klaus Müller (Münster)
On the following pages you will find information about the history, organisation and present activities of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion
If you work in the field of philosophy of religion in Europe, we invite you to participate in our activities - especially in our biannual European Conferences on Philosophy of Religion.
If you plan and organise a conference in philosophy of religion, we would be happy to advertise information about such a conference on our homepage.
Aug 28 - Aug 31, 2018
22nd conference of The European Society for Philosophy of Religion, Prague
The 22nd Conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, Aug 30- Sep 2, 2018. The topic of the Conference will be "Religious Diversity"
Few parts of the inhabited world are unaffected by religious diversity. This has often been regarded
as a philosophically, sociologically, and politically challenging fact, rather than as something to be
celebrated. Within the philosophy of religion, in particular, religious diversity has typically been
regarded as standing in need of a theoretical explanation that will defuse the challenge it seems to
present to prevailing belief systems. This conference invites exploration of philosophical responses
to religious diversity, and investigation of the epistemological, metaphysical, and socio-political
questions that it raises.
Sub-theme 1: Philosophical Responses to Religious Diversity
In the last several decades it has become common-place to regard inclusivism, exclusivism and
pluralism as the main forms of response to religious diversity. Is it time to move beyond these
familiar categories, or are they still theoretically useful today? Within the philosophy of religion,
one widely influential form of religious pluralism - Hickean pluralism, which posits a single
noumenal Reality lying behind all the world’s major religious traditions - has dominated the
discussion since the 1990s. However, it faces serious philosophical problems and other forms of
pluralist theory have been developed which seek to avoid these. How might religious pluralism, as a
theoretical response to religious diversity, best be articulated? What is the relation between it, as a
philosophical response, and other approaches to religious diversity?
Sub-theme 2: Epistemological Challenges of Religious Diversity
The fact that the world contains a number of diverse systems of religious belief and practice raises
epistemological issues that fall centrally within the range of concerns covered by the philosophy of
religion. What are the implications of religious diversity for the ways we might think about the
truth, reasonableness, or justification of religious claims? To what extent ought religious diversity
undermine confidence in all religious belief systems? Does persistent disagreement about core
religious claims among adherents of different religious traditions suggest that none of them are
justified in their beliefs? Does diversity fatally erode the view that any religious claims are true? To
what extent, if any, does religious diversity undermine claims made on the basis of religious
experience? Might the phenomenon of cognitive penetration feature in an explanation of religious
diversity? Does reflection on religious diversity suggest that philosophical approaches that do not
focus on traditional epistemological notions like ‘truth’ and ‘justification’ are more salient in the
Sub-theme 3: The Metaphysics of Religious Diversity
Religious diversity challenges philosophers of religion, and scholars in cognate disciplines, to
explore different conceptions of the divine. How might philosophy of religion have to change in
response to this challenge? Do the diverse religions of the world exhibit any common features in
their ways of conceiving the Ultimate? Does the diverse religious experience of humankind point to
an underlying Reality beyond all particular religious conceptions, as John Hick has claimed? How
might the various conceptions of the divine that are advanced by different religious traditions be
related to such an underlying Reality? Does a religious pluralist need to posit such a Reality to
make sense of the idea that all major world religions are equally capable of putting their adherents
on the path to the religious goal, however that is conceived? Is the distinction between personal and
impersonal conceptions of the Ultimate the most fundamental one, or might other categorical
distinctions be equally important to consider, such as causal and acausal, transcendent and nontranscendent?
Sub-theme 4: The Socio-theoretic Implications of Religious Diversity
How should the facts of religious diversity in different parts of the world impact philosophical
reflection on the relation of religion and politics, religion and law, religion and the state, and the
relation of religious organisations to each other? How are understandings of concepts such as
freedom of religion, secularisation, and religious neutrality, affected by the way we think about
religious diversity? How might theological or religious ethics assimilate the facts of diversity. How
might doctrinal perspectives on religious diversity be fruitfully combined with sociological ones?
To what extent does reasonable pluralism (as proposed by Rawls and Habermas) still offer an
adequate response to the current societal challenges of religious diversity?
May 31- June 2, 2017
Critique protest and reform 6th conference of the Nordic Society for Philosophy of Religion Oslo
Critique, Protest and Reform
Jon Stewart (Harvard), Jayne Svenungsson (Lund), Safet Bektovic (Oslo), Sami Pihlström (Helsinki), Marius T. Mjaaland (Oslo); further speakers TBA
31 May - 2 June 2017
University of Oslo & NSPR
Call for Papers
The NSPR invites papers and abstracts by scholars from all over Europe and beyond to its 6th conference on Critique, Protest, and Reform.
The Reformation represented one of the major historical shifts in philosophy, religion, and society during the second millennium; e.g. the modern philosophical idea of Critique and the political ideals of Protest and Reform are decisively formed by Luther and the other reformers. In Northern Europe, its influence on thought, mentality, and society is so pervasive that it can hardly be over-estimated.
This conference will emphasise the continuous and current influence of philosophical and religious Critique from the 16th to the 21st century, the question of Certainty, the rhetoric of Protest, and the quest for Freedom in philosophy, politics and society. New angles are explicitly welcomed, including inter-religious perspectives from Judaism, Islam, Secularism, and Hinduism – and inter-disciplinary perspectives from philosophy, theology, sociology, literature, and religious studies.
Key topics include: On certainty, on freedom, political philosophy of reform and revolution, critique of tradition and perception, gender critique and liberation, on subjectivity, blasphemy and critique of religion, caricatures, religion and violence, Kant and German Idealism, Kierkegaard and Nordic philosophy, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Ricoeur, Levinas, the foundations of phenomenology, Jewish philosophy and the ambivalence of exclusion, Islamic reflection on the notion of God, bhakti and grace, Scripture and writing, Luther and Pascal on the hidden God…
Deadline: Abstracts up to 300 words are due by December 1st to email@example.com
Further and updated information at: www.tf.uio.no/nspr
International Summer School 2017
CALL FOR PAPERS
of the Research Project “ANALYTIC THEOLOGY AND THE NATURE OF GOD”
for an INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL: ADVANCING AND CHALLENGING CLASSICAL THEISM from 27th of July - 6th of August 2017
Deadline for application: 15. November 2016
Funded by the John Templeton Foundation and in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck and the Munich School of Philosophy, the University of Regensburg is conducting a specific research project in order to examine the potentials and the boundaries of classical theism as well as the legacy of alternative concepts of God.
The project funds systematic research and promotes an interdisciplinary cooperation between analytic philosophers and theologians. It therefore explores the intersection of both fields and seeks to establish links between the traditions of classical European theology and philosophy and analytic thinking.
Based on this framework the University of Regensburg is hosting a summer school specifically dedicated to challenges, advancements, and alternatives to classical theism as well as personal theism.
The summer school will take place at the famous Weltenburg Abbey, near Ratisbon.
In connection with the summer school an international conference at Fürstenried Castle (Munich) will discuss the same topic (August 8th – August 11th, 2017), where leading scholars in analytic philosophy of religion and systematic theology will present papers. Applicants for the summer school are expected to attend the conference, as well.
The summer school will be taught by:
Thomas SCHÄRTL (University of Regensburg, Germany)
John BISHOP (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Ken PERSZYK (University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Anna CASE-WINTERS (McCormack Theological Seminar, Chicago, USA)
The language of the summer school will be English.
Recent PhDs (2010 or later), PhD candidates, and current graduate students in philosophy and theology are invited to apply. We welcome applications from individuals of any philosophical and theological persuasion with a strong interest in analytic philosophy of religion and systematic theology, which are related to the overall topic of the Summer School: Classical Theism (metaphysical presuppositions and religious implications), personal theism (prospects and boundaries), panentheism, process theism and alternative concepts of God. The four instructors will teach courses on the above topics. Up to three full days will be devoted to one topic. The instructors will organize the first half of the respective days in a more course-oriented or lecture-like style; the afternoon will resemble a doctoral seminar with students presenting their own paper.
For instance, the papers could cover the following topics:
Classical Theism and its Possible Revisions
• Are God’s properties consistent with each other in classical theism (against a Christian, Jewish or Islamic background)? (e.g. the debate on the plausibility of an Omni-God-concept)
• How can God’s relationality be determined against the background of his aseity in classical theism? And how is God related to his own nature, to abstract entities/objects, to the variety of possible worlds or to contingent individuals within this concept?
• By means of which metaphysical models can God’s relationality be shaped?
• Do specific contents of Christian faith (theology of revelation, Trinity or Incarnation) require a transformation of the metaphysical framework, which is crucial for classical theism? And are there metaphysical models (substance, subject or event metaphysics), which meet these contents in a more appropriate way?
• Which internal (problem of theodicy) or external (naturalistic objections) factors require a revision of classical theism? Why would such a revision be inevitable, and which direction would a revised concept of God take?
Alternative Concepts of God
• What plausibility do “naturalistic”, panentheistic or pantheistic concepts of God have? What are their benefits compared to classical theism? How could Jewish, Christian, or Islamic religious beliefs be integrated into such an alternative framework?
• How could monistic, dualistic or pluralistic conceptions of the God-World-relation be defined, compared to each other, and evaluated with regard to their metaphysical and theological effectiveness?
• Which metaphysical and/or theological and/or philosophical arguments are reasons for the development of non-standard concepts of God?
• Which resources does Jewish, Islamic, or Christian theological and philosophical tradition supply for the formation of non-standard concepts of God and also for the modification of classical theism?
Funding: In most cases the organizers will be able to cover the full expenses of successful applicants, including travel, lodging, and full-board (for both the summer school and the international conference). The specific terms will be negotiated on an individual basis.
1. a short academic CV
2. a letter of intent (max. 500 words)
3. an abstract of the paper/topic to be presented at the summer school (c. 750 words).
Please note: It is not required that the paper to be presented has been fully worked out at the day of the application; a significantly precise draft will suffice.
To apply for the summer school, please send an e-mail with your contact data and affiliation to
by November 15th, 2016.
We will let you know of our decision by January 15th, 2017.
President of the ESPR is Dr. Janusz Salamon; Vice-Presidents are Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans. Dr. Victoria Harrison, Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers and Dr. Ulf Zackariasson.
Members of the Board of the Society are:
University of Münster, Germany
Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans
University of Macau, SAR
Prof. Dr. Victoria Harrison
University of Tilburg, Netherlands
Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers
Charles University Prague, Czech Rep.
Dr. Janusz Salamon
University of Uppsala, Sweden
Dr. Ulf Zackariasson
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.
"Transforming Religion", ESPR President: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Münster), Conference commitee: Hans-Peter Grosshans (Münster) and Klaus Müller (Münster)
"Embodied Religion", ESPR President: Peter Jonkers (Tilburg), Conference commitee: Peter Jonkers (Tilburg) and Marcel Sarot (Utrecht)
"Religion in the Public Sphere", ESPR and conference President: Roger Trigg (Oxford)
"Sacrifice", ESPR President: Marius Timmann Mjaaland (Oslo), Conference commitee: Marius Timmann Mjaaland (Oslo) and Jan-Olav Henriksen (Oslo)
"Religion after Metaphysics", ESPR President: Ingolf U. Dalferth (Zürich), Conference commitee: Ingolf U. Dalferth (Zürich) and Hans-Peter Grosshans (Tübingen)
"The Criticism of Enlightenment", ESPR President: Henk Vroom (Amsterdam), Conference commitee: Henk Vroom (Amsterdam), Lieven Boeve (Leuven), Joeri Schrijvers (Leuven)
"Religion, Aesthetics and the concept of the Imagination", ESPR and Conference President: Douglas Hedley (Cambridge)
"The Future of Religion and the Future of Suspicion", ESPR and conference President: Reijo Työrinoja (Helsinki)
"The Concept of Religion", ESPR and conference President: Ingolf U. Dalferth (Zürich)
"Revelation and Experience", ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)
"The Concept of 'Person', human Subjectivity and its Consequences for the Philosophy of Religion", ESPR President: Michael Durrant (Cardiff), Conference commitee: Michael Durrant (Cardiff) and Dewi Zephania Phillips (Swansea)
"Traditional Theism and its modern Alternatives", ESPR and conference President: Svend Andersen (Aarhus)
"Divine Agency", ESPR and conference President: Ingolf Dalferth (Tübingen)
"Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Language and their Relevance for the Study of Religious Discourse", ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)
"Philosophy and Eschatology", ESPR and conference President: Michael Durrant (Cardiff)
"The Concept of Revelation", ESPR and conference President: Hampus Lyttkens (Lund)
"The Concept of Sin", ESPR and conference President: Eilert Herms (Munich)
"Religion and Understanding", ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)
"Transcendence and Religious Experience", ESPR and conference President: Donald Hudson (Exeter)
"Recent Subjects in Philosophy of Religion", ESPR and conference President: Hampus Lyttkens (Lund)
If you want to be on the Mailing-list of the European Society for the Philosophy of Religion you can register with this formula, which will be send to the secretary of Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans, who is one of the Vice-Presidents of ESPR.
Selection of Short Papers at the ESPR Conference 2014
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.
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 various European geographical Areas including at least: (a) the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, (b) the Benelux, (c) German speaking countries, (d) Nordic and Baltic region, and (e) Central and Eastern Europe.
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.
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.
Members are required to pay a biennial membership fee as determined by the General Meeting of the Society.
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.
The Board of the Society consist of at least four and not more than six members elected by the General Meeting of the Society from among its members. Each of the geographical areas mentioned in article 2.3 should 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Society is legally represented by the Board. It can also be represented by two Board members acting jointly.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Statutory changes take effect after these have been legally registered. Any Board member is empowered to sign the relevant registration documents.
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. A revision of these statutes was approved by the General Meeting of the Society in Muenster in August 2014.)