"Evil", ESPR President: Ulf Zachariasson (Uppsala), Conference commitee: Ulf Zachariasson (Uppsala) and Jonna Bornemark (Södertörn)
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.
28 - 31
Call for Papers - 22nd ESPR Conference in Prague
The 22nd Conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, August 28 - 31, 2018. The topic of the Conference will be "Religious Diversity"
CALL FOR PAPERS - see at the end
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 religious domain?
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?
Scott Appleby (University of Notre Dame)
Mikel Burley (University of Leeds)
Tomáš Halík (Charles University, Prague)
Victoria Harrison (University of Macau)
Roger Pouivet (Universite de Lorraine)
Alister E. McGrath (University of Oxford)
Marianne Moyaert (VU University Amsterdam)
Ivana Noble (Charles University, Prague)
Christian Polke (University of Goettingen)
Mikael Stenmark (University of Uppsala)
Philipp Stoellger (University of Heidelberg)
CALL FOR SHORT PAPERS
Scholarly short papers (with a reading time of 20 minutes) are invited on the above topics connected to the conference theme. In order to submit your proposal, please, send the abstract (max. 15 lines) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for submissions is April 15th 2018
By the end of April 2018, you will receive notification about whether your paper has been included in the conference (if you need an earlier decision in order to be able to apply for funding, please state that clearly as you submit your abstract and submit the abstract as early as possible).
Inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.
The conference website:
5 - 6
Philosophy of Religion Today
ESPR invites to a short Conference in Bologna (Italy) on
"Philosophy of Religion Today: Concepts - Approaches - Methods"
being part of the First Conference of EuARe, the European Academy of Religion (5 - 8 March 2018 in Bologna); see: https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/
Organiser and Moderator: Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans (University of Muenster, Germany)
Tuesday, 6 March 2018
10.30 - 12.30
• Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans (Germany): Contingency, Religion and God. On the relation of science, metaphysics and religion
• Prof. Dr. Hamidreza Ayatollahy (Iran): Divine Activity as the Most Important Presupposition Underlying the Problems of Philosophy of Religion
• Prof. Dr. Jörg Disse (Germany): Theism and Complementarity
13.30 - 15.30
• Dr. Ignasi Boada (Spain): What is Philosophy of Religion?
• Dr. Joshua Cockayne (Scotland): Analytic Spirituality: A new methodology in philosophy of religion?
• Dr. Marcus Held (Germany): Silence can be the new paradigm of the philosophy of religion - speech phenomenological reflections on sigetics
15.45 - 17.45
• Dr. Burkhard Nonnenmacher (Germany): Philosophy of Religion after Kant - Discursive, Existential and Non-cognitivist Concepts
• Prof. Dr. Roe Fremstedal (Norway): Religion Reduced to Ethics? Kant and the Traditional Reading of Kierkegaard Revisited
• Dr. Tomas Bokedal (Scotland): Kierkegaard, Revelatory Experience and the Self
Wednesday, 7 March 2018
10.30 - 12.30
• Dr. Victoria Theodora Achillef Gaitana (Greece): Christianity and Philosophy. The case of Saint John of Damascus
• Dr. Valerie Frickert (Germany): The Unique and the Ultimate: An Unorthodox Approach
• Dr. Anna Varga-Jani (Hungary): Guilt, Confession, and Forgiveness. From Methodology to Religious Experience in Paul Ricoeur's Phenomenology
13.30 - 16.30
• Prof. Dr. Anna Lemanska (Poland): Can sciences prove the existence of God?
• Prof. Dr. Johnson Uchenna Ozioko (Italy): Richard Swinburne’s ‘Cumulative’ Approach in Defence of Theism: A Critical Appraisal
• David Worsley (England): Methodological Bedfellows? Analytic Theology and Modern Philosophy of Religion
• Juuso Loikanen (Finland): A Crisis of Theology? Divine Action in the Age of Modern Science
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.
"Evil", ESPR President: Ulf Zachariasson (Uppsala), Conference commitee: Ulf Zachariasson (Uppsala) and Jonna Bornemark (Södertörn)
"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.)