God: Theological Accounts and Ethical Possibilities

April 9 - April 11, 2014

Swift Hall

The University of Chicago Divinity School

Questions about the relationship between God and the good and the right remain as urgent today as they did in ancient times. For example, what is the relationship between claims about the nature or character of God and the moral actions motivated by those claims? What is the relationship between moral codes underwritten by claims about God and the ethics espoused by the (ideally agnostic) civic sphere?  Are beliefs about God open to moral critique by others who espouse different beliefs or no beliefs at all? 

Today answers to these questions must take into account factors such as cultural and religious pluralism, hybrid theologies that incorporate teachings and beliefs from a variety of religious traditions, and religiously motivated violence around the world. This conference invites philosophers, theologians and religious ethicists to offer accounts of God relevant to the current state of affairs in the West while taking seriously the possibility of a relationship between God and ethics.

For Conference Schedule, click here.

Please address any questions to the conference's co-organizers, Myriam Renaud or Dr. Joshua Daniel:  .

This conference is possible thanks to generous grants provided by the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, the University of Chicago Franke Institute for the Humanities, the University of Chicago Divinity School, the Norman Wait Harris Fund of the University of Chicago Center for International Studies, and the Aronberg Fund of the University of Chicago Center for Jewish Studies.

VIDEO now available
Marilyn McCord Adams, Rutgers University, “God: Theological Accounts and Ethical Possibilities.” 

Pamela Sue Anderson, Oxford University, “Ethical Reflection and the Concept of "God:" On  Sense-Making”
Joshua Daniel, University of Chicago, "An Edwardsian Theoretical Aesthetics of Recognition" 

Michael Fishbane, University of Chicago, "Plumblines in the Vastness. Measures without  Measure.” 

John Hare, Yale Divinity School, “Divine Command: Religion and Morality.
Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University, “Trinity, Virtue and Violence” 
Mayra Rivera Rivera, Harvard University, “Emptying God: The Ethics of Theology in Merleau-Ponty’s Work.” 
William Schweiker, University of Chicago, "God and the Human Good"
David Tracy, University of Chicago, “God as Infinite: Ethical Implications.”
Michael Welker, Heidelberg University, "God and the Ascent of Life"
Keynote Speakers

Marilyn McCord Adams, Distinguished Research Professor, Rutgers Center for the Study of the Philosophy of Religion, Rutgers University.


Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Chicago Divinity School.


David Tracy, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions, University of Chicago Divinity School.


Pamela Sue Anderson, Reader in Philosophy of Religion, University of Oxford.


John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School.


Aristotle Papanikolaou, Archbishop Demetrios Professor of Orthodox Theology and Culture, Fordham University.


Mayra Rivera Rivera, Associate Professor of Theology and Latina/o Studies, Harvard Divinity School.

William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chicago Divinity School.

Michael Welker, Senior Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, University of Heidelberg.


Joshua Daniel, University of Chicago Divinity School.



Myriam Renaud, University of Chicago Divinity School.