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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. As a result, the insights gained by analytical philosophy have not yet been received enough by systematic theologians.
The project 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. In lectures and seminars, international experts on the Divine Attributes will exchange their ideas and gain a deeper understanding of the methods of the other. Talented Christian and Muslim students are deepening their knowledge and get the chance to meet prospective PhD supervisors. As the best lectures will be published at the end of the project, the insights will be shared with a wider academic audience. By the end of the project, the analytical method will be introduced into contemporary Islamic Theology and an international inter-religious research network will be established. Our long-term goal is to establish a joint PhD program for international students focussing on the Divine Attributes.