Special Divine Action, American Academy of Religion (AAR) Pre-Conference Symposium 2016, San Antonio

Thursday, 17 November 2016 5:00 PM - Friday, 18 November 2016 10:00 PM [CST]

600 E Market St, San Antonio, Texas, 78205, United States

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Thursday, 17 November 2016 5:00 PM - Friday, 18 November 2016 10:00 PM [CST]

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 600 E Market St, San Antonio, Texas, 78205, United States.

Is there special divine action in the world, beyond the purported effects of a divine first cause? Beliefs about particular kinds of special divine action (such as incarnation, inspirations, grace, miracles, providence, and resurrection) are central issues of theology, religion, and Biblical studies. But what should we make of these claims in the light of contemporary science, theology, and philosophy?

The Special Divine Action Project, hosted by the Ian Ramsey Centre (IRC) at the University of Oxford, will be holding a symposium to discuss these questions at a pre-conference symposium (17-18 November) at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) annual meeting in San Antonio, TX, 17-18 November 2016.

Participation is free. Registration is not essential, but we would be grateful if you would register if you plan to attend all or some of the events of the symposium.



"What is Special Divine Action?"
Thursday - 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Peter Harrison FAHA, University of Queensland
Grand Hyatt-Texas C (4th Level)
Parallel Streams: "Perspectives on Special Divine Action"
Thursday - 2:00 PM-3:30 PM 
Benedikt Göcke, Ruhr University Bochum and University of Oxford, Presiding
Grand Hyatt-Presidio C (3rd Level)
C. Daniel Dolson, Western Michigan University
God, Context, and Why it Matters: An Epistemic Defense of the Experience of Special Divine Action
Jack Warman, University of York
Is it Ever Rational to Believe that God has Answered a Prayer? Epistemic Partiality and Friendship with God
Robert A. Larmer, University of New Brunswick
Belief in Miracles and the Presumed Requirement of Extraordinary Evidence
Jon Meyer, Western Michigan University, Presiding
Grand Hyatt-Independence (3rd Level)
Jeffrey Koperski, Saginaw Valley State University
Breaking Laws of Nature
Joel Archer, St. Louis University
The Temporal Actions of an Eternal God
Victoria Lorrimar and Megan Loumagne, University of Oxford
Special Divine Action and Theological Anthropology
Andrew Pinsent, University of Oxford, Presiding
Grand Hyatt-Bonham B (3rd Level)
David Efird, University of York (paper co-authored with David Worsley)
Special Divine Action and Operative Grace
Joanna Leidenhag, University of Edinburgh
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Special Divine Action
John Berkman, University of Toronto
Why the Virtuous Life is Not Enough: Special Divine Action at the Heart of the Christian Moral Life
"Science, Theology, and Special Divine Action"
Thursday - 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Grand Hyatt-Texas C (4th Level)

Since at least the time of the Deist controversy, the focus of reflection on special divine action in relation to scientifically-informed philosophy has often been limited to questions addressing its possibility or impossibility. But what, if anything, can contemporary developments in science contribute to an understanding of special divine action, including grace, inspiration, miracles, and providence, if such action is possible and actual?

Andrew Pinsent, University of Oxford
Eleonore Stump, Saint Louis University
Timothy McGrew, University of Western Michigan
Thursday - 6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Grand Hyatt-Presidio B (3rd Level)



Parallel Streams: "Perspectives on Special Divine Action"
Friday 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM 

Andrew Pinsent, University of Oxford, Presiding
Grand Hyatt-Presidio C (3rd Level)
Matthew Shea, St. Louis University
Divine Concurrence and Evil
Simon Kopf, University of Oxford
Can Natural Causation also Be Special Divine Action? The Role of Appetites in the Realisation of Providential Ends
Zita Toth, Fordham University
Miracles against Nature and Causal Powers
Jon Meyer, Western Michigan University, Presiding
Grand Hyatt-Bonham B (3rd Level)
Daniel Lim, Renmin University of China
Divine Action, Non-Reductive Physicalism, and Experimental Philosophy
Joshua Mugg, Indiana University, Kokomo
Special Divine Action Cannot Help Interactive Dualism
Scott Hill, Auburn University
Aquinas, Desert, and Petitionary Prayer
C. Daniel Dolson, Western Michigan University, Presiding
Grand Hyatt-Independence (3rd Level)
Paul Allen, Concordia University
Divine Illumination: Augustine, Lonergan and Divine Action
Benedikt Göcke, University of Oxford
A Scientific Theology? A Programmatic Account of the Problems and Prospects for a Confessional and Scientific Theology
Faisal Bernal Higuita, Universidad de la Costa
Worldviews: Glasses to "See" the Special Divine Action
"Responding to the Challenge of Special Divine Action"
 11:00 AM-12:30 PM 
Grand Hyatt-Texas C (4th Level)

At a conference in 2014, Alister McGrath gave a presentation outlining various hesitations about Special Divine Action, reflecting on scientific, cultural, and theological concerns (subsequently published as a paper in the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Vol 7 No 4, Winter 2015). This event provides an opportunity to re-examine these hesitations in the light of recent developments. In particular, Timothy McGrew will outline the various responses of the Special Divine Action project, and possible ways in which this work might be extended in future.

Alister McGrath, University of Oxford
Cultural Challenges to Contemporary Engagement with Special Divine Action
Timothy McGrew, Western Michigan University
"Digital Humanities and Special Divine Action"
2:00 PM-4:00 PM 
Neal Audenaert, Texas A&M University
Grand Hyatt-Texas C (4th Level)

Dr. Audenaert and colleagues from the University of Oxford and Western Michigan University will offer a presentation and demonstration of the tools developed by the Special Divine Action Project for research, teaching, and public engagement. 


For further details, please contact the Ian Ramsey Centre administrator: irc.admin@theology.ox.ac.uk

This conference is part of the Special Divine Action project.

Cancellation policy

Please send an email to irc.admin@theology.ox.ac.uk if you wish to cancel your registration.

The Special Divine Action Project, Oxford University

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