Build­ing bridges between tra­di­tion­al thought and ana­lyt­ic­al philo­sophy - Re­think­ing Di­vine At­trib­utes in Is­lam and Chris­tian­ity

It has been a major question in traditional theological thinking how the Divine Attributes are to be understood. Recent debates in analytical philosophy have allowed new approaches that, however, are often not linked to those traditional debates. The project " Building bridges between traditional thought and analytical philosophy - Rethinking Divine Attributes in Islam and Christianity" aims at bringing the traditional theological discussions in touch with the modern analytical debate. Moreover, analytical philosophy has mostly focussed on Christian Theism, while we intend to explore the possibility of using analytical philosophy as a tool in inter-religious dialogue. Thus, the project focuses on the following questions:

  • How can we perceive the attributes of Omnipotence and Omniscience, Justice and Mercy, Simplicity and Divine Action?
  • What can analytical philosophy contribute to an understanding of those attributes?
  • Is analytical philosophy an appropriate method to find a "common ground" between Muslim and Christian theologians who are dealing with similar questions?

Those questions will be explored in three consecutive Summer Schools. This format aims at connecting people and discourses that would otherwise remain separated. The first Summer School, "Discussing the Divine Attributes in Muslim-Christian Dialogue 2019: Omnipotence and Omniscience", will take place in Paderborn from August 12 to 16, 2019, following the stucture of lectures in the morning and seminars taught by interreligious tandems in the afternoon. We are looking forward to meet the following lecturers next August:

  • Farid Esack, University of Johannesburg
  • Seyed Hassan Ardakani Eslami, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom
  • Georg Gasser, University of Innsbruck
  • Maureen Junker-Kenny, Trinity College Dublin
  • Jerusha Tanner Rhodes, Union Theological Seminary, New York
  • Jochen Schmidt, Universität Paderborn
  • Klaus von Stosch, Universität Paderborn
  • Muna Tatari, Universität Paderborn

Information on the application of students can be found on the homepage of the ZeKK at:

By the end of the project, an international, inter-religious research network will be established.

The report of the first summer school "Discussing the Divine Attributes in Muslim-Christian Dialogue 2019: Omnipotence and Omniscience" from August 12 to 16, 2019 in Paderborn can be found here