Summer School 2018

“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

Summer School

The Nature of God: Personal and a-personal concepts of the divine 

July 26 - August 4, 2018
Haus der Begegnung, Innsbruck, Austria

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 Project is a multinational three-year endeavor that contributes to this development in a creative way. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and in cooperation with the University of Regensburg and the Munich School of Philosophy, Innsbruck University is conducting this project on Analytic Philosophy of Religion and on Analytic Theology. The project funds systematic research promoting an interdisciplinary cooperation between analytic philosophers and theologians. Against the background the project is organizing a summer school on personal and a-personal concepts of God (July 26 – August 4, 2018).

Directly following the summer school will be an international conference on the same topic (August 6 – 8, 2018), 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 too.

The summer school will be taught by:

  • Yujin Nagasawa (Birmingham, UK): A-personal conceptions of God
  • Christoph Jäger (Innsbruck University, Austria): Personal conceptions of God
  • Thomas Jay Oord (NNU, USA): Conceptions of God and spiritual/religious practices

The language of the summer school is English.

Recent PhDs (2012 or later) 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 the analytic philosophy of religion and systematic theology, related to the overall theme of the Summer School (e.g. personal vs non-personal conceptions of the divine, God: personal but not a person?, Non-personal conceptions of the divine and the religious life, The metaphysical presuppositions of God as a person, etc.).

The three instructors will give courses on the above topics. Three full days will be devoted to each of the topics. The instructors will organize the first half of their respective days according to a more course- or lecture-like style; the afternoon will have a more seminar-like style, with students presenting their own papers.  Suitable topics for presentations include (but are of course not limited to):

  • What reasons are there for preferring a non-/a-personal conception of God?
  • How much conceptual room is there for seeing God as personal, without yet being a person?
  • Which of the attributes traditionally predicated of God can be affirmed if God is understood as non-/a-personal?  (e.g. Can a non-personal God create?, Can a non-personal God be free?, Can a non-personal God save?)
  • What implications are there (metaphysical, epistemic, moral, theological) for conceiving God as a person?
  • What affect does viewing God as a-personal have on religious practices?

Funding: In most cases the organizers will be able to cover the full expenses of successful applicants, including travel, lodging, and full-board (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. A good draft is sufficient.

To apply for the summer school, please send an e-mail with your contact details, affiliation and with the materials listed above attached, to by February 15, 2018. We will let you know of our decision by March 30, 2018.