Sunday, October 4, 2009


The organizers of the 12th conference of ISSEI, to be held at Çankaya
University, Ankara, Turkey ( invite
scholars from various disciplines such as History, Politics,
Literature, Art,
Philosophy, Science, and Religion, to re-examine, redefine and
reassess the scope of interdisciplinary dialogue in the past and
The conference is divided into five sections:
1. History, Geography, Science
2. Politics, Economics, Law
3. Education, Sociology, Women’s Studies
4. Literature, Art, Music, Theatre, Culture
5. Religion, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, Language

Workshop on the Divine Omnipotence in Medieval European Thought
Chair: Filip Ivanovic
One of the questions that presented itself with the rise and development of
the Christian faith was the problem of divine omnipotence. By resolving the
problem of divine power, it became possible to explain many focal problems
of mankind and the world, including, for example, the problem of the
existence of evil, or of suffering.
Usually, the eleventh-century theologian Peter Damiani is pointed to as a
pioneer and originator of the discussion of divine powers. St. Isidor
Pelusiot’s considerations were developed five centuries before Damiani wrote
his famous treatise De divina omnipotentia. The debate in Scholasticism
emerged as a long and lively discussion of different ways of defining the
problem. The distinction of potentia absoluta and potentia ordinata
contributed greatly to debating the general question of divine omnipotence.
However, although it was useful in the theological-philosophical sense, this
distinction later on provoked political solutions which sometimes served the
interest of only one man (for example, the authority of the pope and the
request of Henry VIII regarding the annulment of his marriage).
The aim of this workshop is to reconsider the attribute of the divine power
as elaborated during the Middle Ages, in both Western and Byzantine cultural
spheres, in theological, philosophical, literary works (papers that deal
with Byzantine tradition are particularly encouraged). Papers that point out
the contemporary significance of the problem are especially welcome.
The themes suitable for the workshop could include, but are not
limited to, the following questions:
1) The divine omnipotence in the West and in Byzantium
2) The anthropological issues – human will, divine will, the
problem of will in Christ
3) The problem of evil in relation to the divine power
4) Political issues – popes, kings, emperors, State-Church
5) The creation – relationships creator-creature, divine
nature-divine will
6) Ockham on divine omnipotence
7) Contingency of the world
8) The relationship between ancient religion/philosophy/literature and
medieval religion/philosophy/literature
9) Divine power in medieval and contemporary perspectives (for example
traditional theology vs. process theology)

Abstracts of ca. 300 words should be sent by e-mail to:
Filip Ivanovic

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