Summer School 2017: ADVANCING AND CHALLENGING CLASSICAL THEISM, July 27th – August 6th 2017 at Weltenburg Abbey


July 27th – August 6th 2017 at Weltenburg Abbey


Call for Applications

In recent decades, an increasing number of philosophers in the so-called “analytic tradition” have begun to produce exciting philosophical work on topics relating directly to systematic theology. The Analytic Theology and the Nature of God Project is a multinational three-year endeavor that contributes to this development in a creative way.

Funding: In most cases the organizers will be able to cover the full expenses of successful applicants, including travel, lodging, and fullboard (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 email with your contact data and affiliation to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! by November 15th, 2016. We will let you know of our decision by January 15th, 2017.

Further Information:

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 lecturelike style; the afternoon will resemble a doctoral seminar with students presenting their own paper.

For instance, the papers could cover the following topics:

1. 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?

2. 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?