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.

3 - 5

September 2020

23rd ESPR Conference on "God, Time and Change" in Leeds (UK)

23rd ESPR Conference on "God, Time and Change" in Leeds (UK)

The next ESPR conference will be held at the University of Leeds (UK) from 3rd - 5th September 2020, organised by Prof. Dr. Victoria Harrison and Prof. Dr. Mark Wynn.

The subject of the conference will be "God, time and change".

See the conference website: https://www.godtimeandchange.com/ - click the following invisible link https://www.godtimeandchange.com/

The Subject "God, Time and Change"

This conference investigates the impact of time and change, as two facets of human experience and cognition, on conceptions of God, the divine and ultimate reality. While being a rich source for metaphysical speculation, questions about time and change also provoke discussion of what it means to be human, thereby having profound ethical and social implications. Reflection on time and change in relation to God, the divine or ultimate reality forms the philosophical core of many religious traditions, both theistic and non-theistic. The question, for instance, of whether or not temporality and change should be conceived as inherent attributes of God has been a focus of debate within philosophy of religion since antiquity. Time and change continue to be topics of ongoing research within many academic disciplines. The conference brings current philosophical and scientific theories of time and change into conversation with perspectives from the philosophy of religion. Encouraging diverse philosophical approaches, this conference invites papers that explore these issues within any of the following sub-themes.

Sub-theme 1: Time and Change in Philosophy and Science

In an attempt to provide a theory that fits with our actual experience of time, some philosophers and scientists have argued that only the present is real. Given such approaches, can we retain the view of ourselves as beings that persist through time? Might an understanding of persons influenced by Asian philosophy be a better fit with recent theories of time? Do some contemporary views of time or change/causation require us to alter traditional religious conceptions of God, the divine or ultimate reality? Can recent scientific or philosophical theories of time, or of change, help us to answer questions within philosophy of religion? Are some recent scientific or philosophical views of time or change incompatible with, or supportive of, established conceptions of God, the divine or ultimate reality? How might arguments about the existence of God, or concerning human persons, be affected by current thinking about time and change?

Sub-theme 2: Religio-Philosophical Questions concerning Time and Change

In what ways are conceptions of God, the divine or ultimate reality shaped by temporal experience structured by causality? How do philosophical ideas of ontological independence and necessary existence interact with religious perspectives concerning time and change (especially those involving the idea of creation)? Should temporality be conceived as an attribute of God, the divine or ultimate reality? Alternatively, can the view that God, the divine or ultimate reality, is non-temporal and unchanging be supported? Are understandings of time and change logically prior to conceptions of God, the divine or ultimate reality? What properties might something non-temporal and unchanging possess? What might it mean for something to exist necessarily and permanently? Is timelessness a perfection? Could a timeless being or ultimate reality be causally active? How can something eternal be related to something finite? What can be said about freedom, determinism and foreknowledge in relation to different theories of time or change?

Sub-theme 3: Religious Life, Language and Experience

In what ways does the experience of time and change impact religious life and understanding? Why might someone hold that to exist in time, and to experience change, is inferior to being timeless and unchanging? Might the opposite be true? Is it possible to have a meaningful relationship with a timeless and unchanging God, or with an undifferentiated changeless ultimate reality? How might eternity and human happiness be related? Might we experience temporality and change post-mortem? In what ways do religious philosophies address the existential problems posed by human finitude? How does belief in karma or rebirth affect understandings of the meaning of life and the significance of death? Is it possible to experience timelessness, and if so, what role does it play in religious experience? How do conceptions of time and change affect the language people use about God, the divine or ultimate reality? Can something which is timeless and changeless be adequately described without resorting to negative language?

Sub-theme 4: Ethics, Society and Politics

What are some of the ethical, social or political implications of different conceptions of God, or of ultimate reality, in relation to time? Does the view that God, the divine or ultimate reality, has causal powers impact ethical, social or political theories? Prophecy can be regarded as an attempt to relate the will of an eternal God to the ethical, social and political realm, what philosophical questions does this phenomenon raise? Are teleological linear conceptions of time linked to particular ethical, political or social theories? How might the idea of an end of time, found in some forms of theism, influence attitudes to social movements, for instance, environmentalism? Is there a theoretical connection between a cyclical conception of time and certain ethical, social or political perspectives? How do religious/liturgical calendars relate to secular time, and in what ways do they impact social organization?

Call for short papers

Short papers (with a reading time of 20 minutes) are invited in either English or German on the above topics. The questions are suggestive rather than restrictive. Please send abstracts (with a maximum of 15 lines) to espr@godtimeandchange.com by 15th April 2020. You will be notified of the outcome by the end of April. If you need an earlier decision in order to apply for funding, please state this when you submit your abstract and submit the abstract as early as possible. Inquiries can be directed to espr@godtimeandchange.com

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Robin Le Poidevin, Professor of Metaphysics, University of Leeds, UK

Prof. Lubos Rojka, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion, Gregorian University, Rome

Prof. Dr. Heiko Schulz, Professor for Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion, Faculty for Protestant Theology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Prof. Marcel Sarot, Professor of Fundamental Theology, Tilburg University, Utrecht Netherlands

Prof. Marius Timman Mjaaland, Professor of Religion, University of Oslo, Sweden

Dr Jessica Frazier, Hindu Studies and Philosophy of Religion, Trinity College, University of Oxford and Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Oxford, UK

Prof. Jayne Svenungsson, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Lund, Sweden

Prof. Carla Canullo, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Macerata, Italy

President of the ESPR is Prof. Dr. Victoria Harrison; Vice-Presidents are Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans, Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers, Prof. Dr. Vladimir Shokhin, Prof. Dr. Sergio Sorrentino and Dr. Ulf Zackariasson.

Members of the Board of the Society are:

University of Münster, Germany

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans

grosshans@uni-muenster.de

University of Macau, SAR

Prof. Dr. Victoria Harrison

vharrison@umac.mo


University of Tilburg, Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Peter Jonkers

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

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Prof. Dr. Vladimir Shokhin

vladshokhin@yandex.ru


University of Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Ulf Zackariasson

ulf.zackariasson@teol.uu.se

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.

  • 2018

    "Philosophy of Religion in a Pluralistic World", ESPR President: Janusz Salamon (Prague), Conference commitee: Janusz Salamon (Uppsala)

  • 2016

    "Evil", ESPR President: Ulf Zachariasson (Uppsala), Conference commitee: Ulf Zachariasson (Uppsala) and Jonna Bornemark (Södertörn)

  • 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", ESPR President: 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 President: Michael Durrant (Cardiff), Conference commitee: Michael Durrant (Cardiff) and Dewi Zephania Phillips (Swansea)

  • 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

    "Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Language and their Relevance for the Study of Religious Discourse", ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

  • 1986

    "Philosophy and Eschatology", ESPR and conference President: Michael Durrant (Cardiff)

  • 1984

    "The Concept of Revelation", ESPR and conference President: Hampus Lyttkens (Lund)

  • 1982

    "The Concept of Sin", ESPR and conference President: Eilert Herms (Munich)

  • 1980

    "Religion and Understanding", ESPR and conference President: Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

  • 1978

    "Transcendence and Religious Experience", ESPR and conference President: Donald Hudson (Exeter)

  • 1976

    "Recent Subjects in Philosophy of Religion", ESPR and conference President: Hampus Lyttkens (Lund)

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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.

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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 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, (e) Central and Eastern Europe, and (f) Mediterranean region.

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 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.

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. A revision of these statutes was approved by the General Meeting of the Society in Muenster in August 2014.)

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