Centre for Philosophy of Religion Annual One Day Conference: The Future for Philosophy of Religion? @ The Loyola Hall, Heythrop College
Jun 15 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Future for Philosophy of Religion? An exploration of recent ‘turns to the human’ in thinking about religion.

The past decade has been marked by significant shifts in the in the Philosophy of Religion. A discipline long characterised by close analysis of a limited number of topics, and focusing mainly on arguments for and against traditional theistic belief, has broken new ground, both in its subject matter and its methodology. Much work by contemporary philosophers of religion has taken on an increasingly ‘humanistic’ shape: to supplement abstract argument and analysis there has been an increasing interest in religion as a response to the problems of lived human experience. This interest has manifested itself in a focus on the relation between religious belief and moral and aesthetic experience; the role played by religion in the struggle for self-awareness and psychological maturity; the contributions to religious awareness made by the emotions, the body, and the disciplines of spiritual praxis; and the way in which a deeper engagement with poetic and literary resources may develop and deepen religious sensibility and also enhance our understanding of the religious outlook itself.

Among the possible themes to be addressed by the Conference are the following:

1. Criteria for evaluating a religious outlook. Is a religious outlook to be assessed in terms of the intellectual plausibility of the claims it purports to make about the origins or workings of the cosmos, or should it be understood instead as an attempt to articulate an appropriate emotional and moral response to the puzzle of the meaning of human life and the how it should be lived?

2. Methodology. What is the appropriate mode for religious philosophizing? Should the philosopher of religion aim at detached intellectual scrutiny of certain truth claims, in the manner of a scientist, or is religious truth a domain that is more fruitfully investigated from a standpoint of emotional and moral commitment?

3. Theoretical implications. Does the ‘humane turn’ in philosophy of religion lead to, or lend support to, so-called ‘noncognitivism’ about religious claims (the view that religious assertions are not really descriptions of states of affairs but express passionate commitments to a certain form of life); or does it need to preserve a cognitive core of essential truth-claims?

4. Theological and anthropological dimensions. Should theology operate primarily at the level of abstract metaphysical doctrine, or does it need to do more to accommodate the perspective of the human subject, and an examination of the nature of what the religious life means for those who are actually involved in the practice of religion, or belong to its institutions?

Speakers: John Cottingham (analytic philosophy); William Schweiker (theological ethics and hermeneutics); Mark Wynn (philosophy/theology and the emotions); Christopher Hamilton (philosophy and literature).

Please see website for additional details.

The Australasian Philosophy of Religion Association (APRA) Conference: “Religion and Science, Theism and Atheism.” @ The University of Sydney
Jun 20 – Jun 23 all-day

The APRA Conference, 2013: Religion and Science, Theism and Atheism

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Herman Philipse, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Professor Michael Ruse, Florida State University, USA
Professor John Bishop, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Professor Peter Forrest, University of New England, Australia

Submission date 31 March 2013. Please see website for more information.

The annual ARPA conference: Religion and Science, Theism and Atheism. @ Department of Studies in Religion
Jun 21 – Jun 24 all-day

The APRA Conference has been convened annually since 2008, and is usually held mid-year at a different location within Australasia. The aim of the Conference is to bring together academics and graduate students working within the fields of philosophy of religion, theology, religious studies and allied disciplines to discuss and debate a wide range of topics in philosophy of religion and philosophical theology.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Herman Philipse (University of Utrecht, Netherlands)
Professor Michael Ruse (Florida State University, USA)
Professor John Bishop (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Professor Peter Forrest (University of New England, Australia)

Other Speakers

Professor Purushottama Bilimoria (UC-Berkeley/Melbourne University)
Professor James Franklin (University of NSW)
Dr Bruce Langtry (University of Melbourne)
Professor David G. Santos (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
Dr Jeremy Shearmur (Australian National University)
Dr Lloyd Strickland (Manchester Metropolitan University, Great Britain)

Eighth Annual Marquette University Summer Seminar on Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition:
Virtue, Emotion and Practical Reason in Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition. @ Beaumier Conference Center, Raynor Library, Marquette University
Jun 24 – Jun 26 all-day

This Conference is intended to provide a formal occasion and central location for philosophers and scholars of the Midwest region (and elsewhere) to present and discuss their current work on Aristotle’ and his interpreters in ancient, medieval and contemporary philosophy.

Please see website for more information.

Two-Day Workshop on Ibn Rushd / Averroes and His Philosophy @ Beaumier Conference Center
Jun 27 @ 11:00 am – Jun 28 @ 12:00 pm

The Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group presents:

This Workshop is intended to provide a formal occasion and central location for discussion of the thought of Ibn Rushd / Averroes, Topics to be considered include: philosophy in the Andalusian context; Ibn Rushd and his Greek and Arabic sources; method in philosophy and religion; the nature of human intellect; providence; creation; cosmology; prophecy; the afterlife; Ibn Rushd and issues of Latin Averroism; and more.

Please see website for more information.

The Centre of Theology and Philosophy presents: The Soul @ St. Anne's College, University of Oxford
Jun 28 – Jul 1 all-day

Ever since Descartes, the soul understood as immediate mental consciousness has tended to stand as a last bastion securing religious belief against naturalistic reduction. But today that bastion is under assault from the ‘new atheists’. However, the bastion is proving very hard to storm, with increasing numbers of even atheist thinkers denying that its capture by neuroscience will ever prove possible. Meanwhile, more subtle naturalisms are arguing that the body and the environment as well as the brain are involved in thinking processes. Thus we are seeing the emergence of a tripartite debate between lingering dualism, outright denial of the reality of mind and various accounts of mind-body unity, sometimes embracing panpsychism. Within this third option there exists scope to revisit traditional, pre-Cartesian monothesitic accounts of the soul as the form of the body as well as the site of an immortal spark of reason. This debate is of crucial cultural significance, because, if the last bastion cannot be stormed, it will throw the intellectual coherence of naturalism into doubt and encourage a new intellectual boldness on the part of believers. Since most people assume, against naturalism, the reality of things like free will, intentionality and love, it might well be that religion, rather than scientism, will soon be generally perceived as more aligned with common sense. For if mind and soul are not readily derivable from below, must they not rather be derivable from above? The topic of this conference therefore could not be more crucial and timely.

Featuring: John Behr, Terrence Deacon, William Desmond, John de Gruchy, Jonathan Lowe, Iain McGilchrist, John Milbank, Nancy Murphy, Marilynne Robinson

See website for additional information and details.

The Sixth Annual Summer Conference on Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions @ University of Denver
Jul 10 – Jul 12 all-day

Presented by the Departments of Philosophy at the University of Denver and Marquette University and the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies

July 10-12, 2013 at the University of Denver

Organizers: Prof. Sarah Pessin (University of Denver) & Prof. Richard C. Taylor (Marquette University)

This Conference is intended to provide a formal occasion and central location for philosophers and scholars of the Arabic / Islamic, Jewish and Latin Christian philosophical traditions of the Middle Ages to present and discuss their current work in medieval philosophy.

First held at Marquette University in 2008, this Summer Conference alternates between the University of Denver and Marquette University.

Please see website for more information.

2013 IRC Conference: “THE SECOND-PERSON PERSPECTIVE IN SCIENCE AND THE HUMANITIES.” @ St Anne’s College, University of Oxford
Jul 17 @ 12:00 pm – Jul 20 @ 8:00 pm


Gary Bente
Timothy Chappell
Stephen Darwall
Peter Hobson
Beatriz Lopez
Andrew Pinsent
Johannes Roessler
Vasudevi Reddy
Roger Scruton
Eleonore Stump
Raymond Tallis


There has been an explosion of research recently on the second-person perspective, closely linked to new approaches to the philosophy of persons in which ‘I’ and ‘you’ are understood as inherently and mutually relational. The pioneering work of Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and others in the twentieth century has been augmented by new data from the empirical sciences, especially the study of joint attention and conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder, Williams Syndrome and prosopagnosia, characterised by atypical second-person responsiveness as well as research stimulated by the controversy as to whether certain non-human primates have a “theory of mind” and can entertain another’s point of view. The implications of such developments can scarcely be exaggerated, shaping the foundations of ethics and personal identity, but touching also on other areas of philosophy, social cognition, neuroscience, developmental psychology, ethology, theology and many aspects of the humanities generally. Such research is also seen as having implications for society in a broader sense, especially at a time of rising concern about narcissism and apparent deficits of empathy and social cohesion.

The aim of this conference is to present, discuss and debate these developments from a variety of perspectives, crossing interdisciplinary boundaries to elucidate the purported distinctiveness of the second-person perspective and explore its implications. Besides plenary speakers and panel discussions, up to fifty short papers will be presented.

“Kierkegaard In The World” Conference @ Australian Catholic Universit
Aug 16 – Aug 18 all-day

“Kierkegaard in the World” celebrates the 200th anniversary of Kierkegaard’s birth by examining the ways in which the world figures in his thought, and the ways in which his thought has entered the world.

Kierkegaard’s work is rightly seen as a corrective of “worldliness,” but he is equally attuned to the necessity that the life of faith appear in the world (not in monastic retreat from it). This conference aims to explore how worldly life is transformed by Kierkegaard’s insights. How does the Kierkegaardian subject appear in the world? What about the incognito: Is it a form of strict invisibility or does its counter-worldliness paradoxically show up in the world? Kierkegaard is a thinker of transcendence, but is there a Kierkegaardian theory of immanence? The priority of subjective truth is obvious in Kierkegaard’s philosophy, but what of his theory of objective truth? How would subjective truth make its way in the world? How would it be embodied or transmitted? What implications does Kierkegaard’s thought have for political orders, cultural artefacts, communicative strategies, or the founding and perpetuation of traditions? How might Kierkegaard’s work intersect with various world religions? And how has Kierkegaard’s own thinking been translated, transmitted, and given expression in contexts across time and space?

The conference organizers are pleased to announce keynote lectures from:

C. Stephen Evans (Baylor University)
Kevin Hart (University of Virginia/Australian Catholic University)
Daphne Hampson (Oxford University)
Charles Guignon (University of South Florida)
John Lippitt (University of Hertfordshire)

Analytic Theology Project, Second Summer School: Philosophical Perspectives on Theological Realism @ Erbacher Hof, Main
Aug 26 – Sep 6 all-day

In recent decades, an increasing number of philosophers in the so called “analytic tradition” have begun to produce exciting philosophical work on topics belonging traditionally to the provenance of systematic theology. The Analytic Theology Project is a multinational four-year endeavor that contributes to this development in a creative way. It funds systematic research to promote long overdue interdisciplinary cooperation among analytic philosophers and theologians. All research initiatives aim at examining the traditional questions of theology from the perspectives of contemporary Christian theology and analytic philosophy. In this way new advances at the intersection of both fields shall be explored. Moreover, the project will critically reflect on possible limits of analytic approaches and will consider the value of complementary philosophical approaches for theological research.

Among the main grant activities for achieving the goals of the project, the 10-day Summer Schools provide younger scholars with a survey of methods of analytic philosophy and theology as well as training in key topics in Analytic Theology. In addition the seminars aim to develop professional relationships among younger scholars in the interest of long-term collaboration and mutual intellectual support as their careers progress.

The Summer School 2013 will be held at Mainz (near Frankfurt/Main) and will focus on the issue of Theological Realism. It proceeds from the observation that the debate initiated by analytic approaches to the Philosophy of Religion can be characterised by three areas of discussion: the relation between the Philosophy of Religion and other philosophical disciplines, the connection between Philosophy of Religion and Theology and finally the correlation between the Anglo-American and the Continental Philosophy. The Frankfurt Summer School will serve as a forum to discuss the problem of Theological Realism as a test case with regard to all of these fields.

Confirmed Speakers:
Philip J. Rossi SJ, Marquette University (USA)
Genia Schönbaumsfeld, University of Southampton (UK)
Sami Pihlström, Collegium for Advanced Studies Helsinki (Finnland)
Merold Westphal, Fordham University (USA)

Deadline for submission: April 15, 2013. For more information, please visit the website.