the classical theism project

About the project

Christian, Jews, and Muslims have historically maintained that there is one divine being who is the source of all reality and has the attributes of simplicity, immutability, impassibility, omnipotence, omniscience, eternality, and omnibenevolence. Yet many contemporary thinkers in these religious traditions reject the claim that all of these attributes aptly characterize the divine. According to them, some of these attributes are incompatible with each other and/or at odds with what revelation teaches about God.  The aim of our project is to investigate the cogency of the classical conception of God from both a philosophical and theological perspective.

Examples of the kinds of questions our project considers include:

  • Can a God who knows and wills also be metaphysically simple?
  • Can a God who interacts with creatures be unchanging and atemporal?
  • Can a God who loves be impassible?

The activities of our project are:

  1. Two workshops at the University of St. Thomas to bring together leading philosophers and theologians, promising junior scholars and seminary instructors to further research on the classical conception of God.
  2. Two summer stipend competitions to support high quality academic research on classical theism.
  3. Publishing incentive awards to motivate project participants to publish articles in high quality academic journals.
  4. Two public lectures at the University of St. Thomas, aimed particularly at seminary students, to highlight the value of the philosophical method for investigating the nature of God.


This project is funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, with additional support from The University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).  The project is hosted by the Philosophy Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas.