Conference 2014


“Integrating Insights from Science and Philosophy into Theology”

End of the project:
August 31, 2018

Contact us:

Georg Gasser
Program Administrator

+43 (0)512 507 8644

+43 (0)512 507 2736

Institut für Christliche Philosophie
Universität Innsbruck
Karl-Rahner-Platz 1
A-6020 Innsbruck

Logo of the University Innsbruck
Supported by a grant from the
Logo of the Templeton Foundation

Conference: Divine Action in the World: Philosophical and Theological Inquiries

August 4 - 6, 2014
Haus der Begegnung, Innsbruck, Austria

Map: conference venue and Innsbruck`s city center

A basic claim of theistic belief systems is that God engages in relationship with his creation. One way to understand this relationship is provided by talk about God’s actions. This includes not only his creating, sustaining, and bringing to perfection of the world, but also his intervention in the course of its history.
Talk of God’s action in the world, however, is open to many interpretations, since it raises numerous questions about the causal structure of reality, laws of nature, and human free will.

  • Do the laws of nature allow God to intervene at all, and how great is his sphere of action for doing so?
  • Is a real relationship between a limitless, eternal, and necessarily existing Creator and his Creation even conceivable?
  • Is the course of history completely determined by God, its creator and sustainer?
  • Does God influence or even occasionally override the wills of human beings in order to achieve his ends?
  • How does his salvific work relate to the evil in the world?
  • Does God respond to petitionary prayer?

Coming to grips with these and similar questions is crucial for properly engaging with any theistic belief system. In our conference, internationally renowned philosophers and theologians will discuss these questions and give new and innovative answers.

Organized by: Georg Gasser, Johannes Grössl, Lukas Kraus


Monday, August 4:

08:30-09:00   Welcome Address
09:00-09:40   Helen Steward (University of Leeds, UK)
Agency Incompatibilism and the Actions of God
10:10-10:50   Daniel von Wachter (International Academy of Philosophy, Liechtenstein)
Divine and Other Interventions
10:50-11:20   Discussion
11:50-12:20   Thomas F. Tracy (Bates College, USA)
Special Divine Action in a Lawful Natural Order
12:30-13:00   Discussion
14:30-15:10   Lydia Jaeger (Nogent Bible Institute, France)
Chance in a Created World: How to Avoid Common Misunderstandings about Divine Action
15:10-15:40   Discussion
15:40-16:20   Charles Taliaferro (St. Olaf College, USA)
A Philosophical Philosophy of Divine and Human Powers
16:20-16:50   Discussion
17:20-18:00   Robert Garcia (Texas A&M University, USA)
The Nature of Creaturely Properties in a World Sustained by God
18:00-18:30   Discussion
18:30-19:10   Klaus von Stosch (University of Paderborn, Germany)
God’s Action in History
19:10-19:40   Discussion

Tuesday, August 5:

08:30-09:10   Christopher Evan Longhurst (School of Humanities and the Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University, Marocco)
Islamic Progressive Creation According to Sūrah al-Hashr verse 24:“He is Allāh, the Creator, the Originator, the Fashioner of Forms”
09:40-10:20   Josef Quitterer and Georg Gasser (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
Miracles and the Power of God
10:20-10:50   Discussion
11:20-12:00   David Hunt (Whittier College, USA)
Foreknowledge and Divine Action
12:00-12:30   Discussion
14:30-15:10   Thomas Schärtl (University of Augsburg, Germany)
On Theological and Philosophical Reasons for Non-Interventionism
15:10-15:40   Discussion
15:40-16:20   Laura Ekstrom (College of William & Mary, USA)
Would God Create Beings with Libertarian Free Will?
16:20-16:50   Discussion
17:20-18:00   Paul Helm (Regent College, Kanada)
Divine Eternity and Divine Freedom
18:00-18:30   Discussion
18:30-19:10   Ingolf Dalferth (University of Zürich, Switzerland, and Claremont Graduate University, USA)
“… in God only one infinite act can be thought …” The Ambiguity of Divine Agency and the Diversity of Evil
19:10-19:40   Discussion

Wednesday, August 6:

08:30-09:10   Dan O`Brien (Oxford Brooks University, UK)
Divine Mindreading, Angelology and the Incarnation

09:40-10:20   Adonis Vidu (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, USA)
Opera Trinitatis Ad Extra and Collective Agency
10:20-10:50   Discussion
11:20-12:00   Hans-Christian Schmidbaur (University of Lugano, Switzerland)
With an "Analytic Thomism of reconciled mind" to a New "Pneumatological Realism"
12:00-12:30   Discussion
14:30-15:10   Gregory Boyd (Bethel University, USA)
Free Will and God’s Limited Power to Intervene
15:10-15:40   Discussion
15:40-16:20   Derk Pereboom (Cornell University, USA)
Libertarianism and Theological Determinism
16:20-16:50   Discussion
17:20-18:00   Kevin Timpe (Northwest Nazarene University, USA)
Cooperative Grace, Cooperative Agency
18:00-18:30   Discussion

The conference folder can now be downloaded here.
The conference center is located in walking distance from the city center of Innsbruck. (map)


If you want to be part of the conference as a guest, please send an e-mail with your contact data and affiliation to

The conference fee will be US$ 50,- /  EUR 40,- (US$ 25,- / EUR 20,- for students) and will cover beverages and snacks at the coffee breaks, payable in cash at registration.

Deadline: May 30th.

Please note that the deadline for submitting abstracts is closed. We cannot consider any abstracts for presentation anymore. Thank you for your understanding.

Questions? Email us!

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