The Institute for Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Religion Conference: Temptation.

May 31, 2013 – June 1, 2013 all-day
University of Zurich
Kirchgasse 9
8001 Zurich
Pierre Bühler
+41 44 634 47 52

The concept of “temptation” is a classic in the history of Christian theology – especially in the theology of the early Christians and of the Reformation – insofar as it has played a prominent role in the arena of such central dogmatic concepts as “faith,” “unbelief,” “doubt,” and “sin.” Yet the concept of “temptation” seems to be rather marginal in contemporary theology. What are the reasons for this marginalization? Does the reality of faith and unbelief today no longer need the category of temptation? Is the concept of temptation inappropriate for conceptualizing our experience? Or do we have good theological reasons to no longer use this concept? There can be no temptation without a subject that tempts us. But how appropriate is it to think of God as suspiciously testing human beings (tentatio probationis), or the idea of a devil that tempts us in malicious ways (tentatio deceptionis)?

This conference seeks to face these challenges and asks if there are reasons to return the theological concept of temptation to its former, central place in Christian experience and theological reflection. What is the difference between temptation and faith? And what is the relationship between temptation and faith or between temptation and certainty?


Hans Weder, »Der Lebensraum des Zweifels. Neutestamentlichhermeneutische Überlegungen zur Asymmetrie des Rettenden«
Christoph Schwöbel, »Der denkende Glaube in der Anfechtung. Zur Topographie der Rede von Anfechtung in der christlichen Dogmatik«
Eric Hall, »Existential Temptation: Defining Christian Identity in Paul and Frankfurt«
John D. Caputo, »Devilish Hermeneutics: Temptation and the Weakness of God«
Heiko Schulz, »Dialektik der Anfechtung. Dogmatische und fundamentaltheologische Erwägungen im Anschluss an Kierkegaard«
Stephen Mulhall, »Doubt as Faith, Ethics as Temptation«
Philipp Stoellger, »Glaube als Anfechtung?«
Michael Moxter, »Gewisse Anfechtungen. Barth und Tillich über den Anfang der Theologie«

Please see website for more information and additional details.

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