The Openness of the Universe for Free Will and Special Divine Action

Videos in English

Videos of the IAP conference 2019 on “Free Will and Divine Action”

Videos of the IAP conference 2017 on “Causality, Free Will, Divine Action”

Video of the ceremony conferring the honorary doctorate to Richard Swinburne

Past events:

The topic of the project

Thanks to the support the the John Templeton Foundation, 2017–2019 the project The Openness of the Universe for Free Will and Special Divine Action will be carried out at the IAP. The main page of the project is in German. Summary:

Does man have free will? Are there divine interventions, for example miracles or direct acts of creation? These questions have in common that many negate them by claiming that the laws of nature, the causal nexus, or logic exclude such actions. So they answer the question not by examining the evidence for or against the existence of such actions but by accepting impossibility claims which entail an answer. The questions of this project:

  1. Is the universe open for free actions or divine interventions or other special divine actions? Are there reasons for the impossibility claims?
  2. What is a free action? Which definitions of ‘free action’ are useful and adequate? What is a divine intervention? What other kinds of divine action are there?
  3. Which evidence is there for the existence of free actions (of a certain kind) and of divine interventions? (An evidence-based approach.)

Philosophers, theologians, and natural scientist will be involved in the project. Besides research and publications, there will be:



The IAP has published a set of articles on Causality, Free Will, and Divine Action as a special issue of the journal Organon F.

With contributions from

  • Robert A. Larmer
  • Richard Swinburne
  • Daniel von Wachter
  • Michael Esfeld
  • Ralf B. Bergmann
  • Uwe Meixner
  • Ansgar Beckermann
  • Thomas Pink.

The articles are open access, they can be downloaded for free.