Eriugena and Creation

Eriugena and Creation

November 9-12, 2011
Swift Lecture Hall 

Unjustly ignored as a result of a 13th century condemnation, the thought of Johannes Scottus Eriugena has only been subject to critical study in the 20th century. Now, with the completion of the critical edition of Eriugena's masterwork -- the Periphyseon -- the time has come to explore what is arguably the most intriguing and vital theme in his work: creation and nature.

In honor of Edouard Jeauneau -- Institute Professor at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of Toronto and Honorary Research Director at the C.N.R.S. in Paris, to whom the field of Eriugenian studies is enormously indebted -- this conference seeks to undertake a serious examination of the centrality of Eriugena's thought within the Carolingian context, taking into account his Irish heritage, his absorption of Greek thought and his place in Carolingian culture; of Eriugena as a medieval thinker, both his intellectual influences and his impact on later medieval thinkers; and of Eriugena's reception by modern philosophy, from considerations of philosophical idealism to technology.

The conference on Eriugena and Creation is organized jointly byProf. Michael I. Allen (Classics) and Prof. Willemien Otten (Divinity School). It is the Eleventh International Conference of the Society for the Promotion of Eriugenian Studies (SPES). For information about and membership of SPES, please contact the secretary, Prof. Ernesto Mainoldi (University of Salerno),

Cosponsored by the Martin Marty Center at the Divinity School, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the University of Chicago Provost's Office, the Lumen Christi Institute, the France Chicago Center, and The University of Notre Dame (Medieval Institute and Philosophy Department), and Brepols Publishers of Turnhout, Belgium, who will also offer a book display.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration would be appreciated. For registration and further information, please contact Dan Yingst (  For information about accommodations near the University of Chicago, please see the University's information for visitors.  


All sessions are in Swift Lecture Hall, 3rd floor.

Wednesday, November 9

5:15 pm: Opening remarks

Willemien Otten, University of Chicago, Co-convener

Welcome and opening remarks

Margaret Mitchell, Dean of the Divinity School (Univ. of Chicago)

5:30-6:45pm: Opening lecture

Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago
"Eriugena and Eckhart as Interpreters of the Hexaemeron"

7:00-8:30pm: Reception with hors d'oeuvres (Common Room, 1st floor)

Thursday, November 10

8:30am-noon: Morning sessions

Chair: Michael I. Allen, Classics, Co-convener

8:30-9:30am: Paul Dutton, Simon Fraser University, Canada
"Eriugena and Virgil"

9:30-10:30am: Michael Herren, York University, Canada
"Cultures of Grace: Eriugena and Celtic Christianity"

10:30-11:00am Coffee break

11:00-12:00pm Carlos Steel, University of Louvain, Belgium
"Eriugena and Maximus Confessor on Time and Place"

1:30-6:00pm: Afternoon sessions

Chair: Stephen Gersh

1:30-2:30pm: Ernesto Mainoldi, University of Salerno, Italy
"Eriugena in the Wisdom Tradition: East and West"

2:30-3:30pm: Jean-Luc Marion, University of Chicago
"Affirmation, Negation, and Denomination according to Eriugena"

3:30-4:00pm Coffee break

Chair: Dermot Moran

4:00-5:00pm: Adriaan Peperzak, Loyola University
"Eriugena and Hegel on Negativity"

5:00-6:00pm: Thomas Carlson, University of California at Santa Barbara
"Image of Unknowing: Eriugena and Technology"

Friday, November 11

9:00am-noon: Morning session

Chair: Bernard McGinn

9:00-10:00am: Donald Duclow, Gwynedd-Mercy College
"The Sleep of Adam, the Making of Eve: Sin and Creation in Eriugena"

10:00-11:00am Agnieszka Kijewska, Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
"Eriugena and the Twelfth Century"

11:00–11:30am Coffee break

11:30am-12:30pm: John Marenbon, University of Cambridge, UK
"Eriugena and Early Medieval Aristotelianism"

3:00-7:30pm: Afternoon session

Chair: Carlos Steel

3:00-4:00pm: Willemien Otten, University of Chicago
"Eriugena and Emerson"

4:00-5:00pm: Dermot Moran, University of Dublin
"Eriugena and the Phenomenological Tradition"

5:00-5:30pm: Coffee break

Chair: Paul Dutton

5:30-6:30pm Edouard Jeauneau, University of Toronto; CNRS
"From Origen's Peri Archon to Eriugena's Peri Physeon"

6:30-7:30pm: Stephen Gersh, University of Notre Dame
"Eriugena and Heidegger: From Being to Be-ing"

7:30-9:00pm: Closing Reception with hors d'oeuvres (Swift Common Room, 1st floor)

Saturday morning

9:00-11:30am: Morning session

The concluding morning session will be devoted to junior scholars on various recent research projects on Eriugena, presented in fifteen-to-twenty minute papers followed by brief discussion.

Chair: Willemien Otten

Joke Schakenraad; recent Ph.D. , Utrecht University
Vincent Giraud; recent Ph.D., Bordeaux University
Qaiser Shahzad; recent Ph.D., University of Lahore (via Skype)
Daniel Yingst; current Ph.D. student, University of Chicago
Adrian Guiu; current Ph.D. student, University of Chicago

11:30 am: Closing; announcement of plans for next conference.