Portrait of Ingolf Dalferth
  • Email
    ingolf.dalferth@cgu.edu
  • CV
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  • Degrees
    PhD, Theology, University of Tübingen, Germany
    PhD Habil, University of Tübingen, Germany
    Dr h.c., University of Uppsala
    Dr h.c., University of Copenhagen
  • Research Interests
    Philosophical and theological hermeneutics, Ecumenical theology, Subjectivity theory, Religion and emotion

Ingolf U. Dalferth’s major areas of research and teaching are philosophical and theological hermeneutics in the 20th century, systematic theology in the 19th and 20th centuries, ecumenical theology (Lutheranism and Anglicanism), analytic and phenomenological philosophy of religion in the 20th and the 21st century, philosophy of orientation, subjectivity theory, theories of time, modalities, democracy, secularisation, religion and emotion, altruism, trust, and evil.

Dalferth has studied theology, philosophy, and linguistics in Tübingen, Edinburgh, Vienna, and Cambridge. From 1998 to 2012 he directed the Institute of Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Religion, located in Zurich, where he is also professor emeritus of Systematic Theology, Symbolism, and Philosophy of Religion. He has received honorary doctorates from Uppsala University in 2005, and from Copenhagen University in 2006. 2017-2018 he held the Leib niz Chair at the University of Leipzig. In 2022 he received the Marsilius Medal for promoting conversation between the cultures of science and knowledge at the University of Heidelberg.

Dalferth has had a long career of accomplished academic service. From 2000 to 2020 he was editor-in-chief of the journal Theologische Literaturzeitung (Leipzig, Germany), of the bookseries Religion in Philosophy und Theology (Tübingen, Germany) and of the book series Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, from 1996-2018 also editor of the Hermeneutische Untersuchungen zur Theologie (Tübingen, Germany). From 1987 to 1989 he was Hulsean Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, 1995 the Samuel Ferguson Lecturer at Manchester University, in 2008 the Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Lecturer at the University of Oxford. In 2019 he gave the Prabhu Interfaith, Peace and Justice Lecture at Cal State Los Angeles, in 2020 (together with Claudia Welz) the Tillich-Lecture 2020 in Frankfurt am Main, in 2021 die Davide Zordan Lecture in Trento/Italy, and in 2022 the Marsilius Lecture in Heidelberg. From 1986-1988, 1996-1998 and 2004-2006 he was President of the European Society for the Philosophy of Religion. From 1999-2007 he was the founding President of the German Society for Philosophy of Religion. In 2015-2016 he was President of the Society for Philosophy of Religion. From 1993 to 2004, he was co-chair of the Theological Board of the Meissen Commission. In 2004, he was visiting professor of philosophy of religion at the Center for Subjectivity Research in Copenhagen. From 2004 to 2009, he served as director of the Research Group “Religion and Emotion” at the Collegium Helveticum in Zurich. Then, from 2005 to 2013, Dalferth was co director of the University Research Priority Program on the Foundations of Human Social Behavior at the University of Zurich. In 2009 to 2013, he was director of the Interdisciplinary Research Project “Understanding Trust“ at the University of Zurich. Since 2014, Dalferth has served as director of the Interdisciplinary Research Project “Prayer as Embodied Understanding” at the University of Zurich. From 2004 to 2009 he was Research Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum in Zurich, from 2005 to 2006 Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. In 2020 he was the first IRF Fellow at the Institute for Research on the Philosophy of Religion at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, and in 2023 Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). In 2018 he was honored with a Festschrift: Das Letzte – der Erste. Gott denken. Festschrift für Ingolf U. Dalferth zum 70. Geburtstag. Ed. Hans-Peter Großhans, Michael Moxter, and Philipp Stoellger. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018.

Dalferth continues to publish works, mainly in German and English, on the fundamental questions of philosophy and religion. Recent publications include The Passion of Possibility: Studies on Kierkegaard’s Post-Metaphysical Theology (2023), Auferweckung. Plädoyer fürein anderes Paradigma der Christologie (2023), Malum. A Theological Hermeneutics of Evil (2022), Illusionen der Unmittelbarkeit. Über einen missverstandenen Modus der Lebenswelt (2022), Die Krise der öffentlichen Vernunft. Über Demokratie, Urteilskraft und Gott (2022), The Priority of the Possible. Outlines of a Contemplative Philosophy of Orientation (2022), Deus Praesens. Gottes Gegenwart und christlicher Glaube (2021), Gegenwart. Eine philosophische Studie in theologischer Absicht (2021), Sünde. Die Entdeckung der Menschlichkeit (2020), God first: Die reformatorische Revolution der christlichen Denkungsart (2018), Wirkendes Wort: Bibel, Schrift und Evangelium im Leben der Kirche und im Denken der Theologie (2018), Die Kunst des Verstehens. Grundzüge einer Hermeneutik der Kommunikation durch Texte (2018), Transcendence and the Secular World (2018), Creatures of Possibility: The Theological Basis of Human Freedom (2016), Hoffnung (2016), and Radical Theology: An Essay on Faith and Theology in the Twenty-First Century (2016).

Co-edited with Marelene A. Block. Autonomy, Diversity, and the Common Good, Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2020. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023.

Co-edited with Raymond E. Perrier. Humanity: An Endangered Idea? Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2019. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023.

Co-edited with Raymond. E. Perrier. The Unique, the Singular, and the Individual. Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2018. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022.

Co-edited with Trevor W. Kimball. The Meaning and Power of Negativity. Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2017. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021.

Co-edited with Trevor W. Kimball. Love and Justice. Consonance or Dissonance? Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2016. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck,
2019.

Das Letzte – der Erste. Gott denken. Festschrift für Ingolf U. Dalferth zum 70. Geburtstag, edited by Hans-Peter Großhans, Michael Moxter, and Philipp Stoellger. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018.

Transcendence and the Secular World: Life in orientation to the ultimate presence. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018.

God first: Die reformatorische Revolution der christlichen Denkungsart. Leipzig: EVA, 2018.

Wirkendes Wort: Bibel, Schrift und Evangelium im Leben der Kirche und im Denken der Theologie. Leipzig: EVA, 2018.

Co-edited with T. W. Kimball. Self or No-Self? The Debate about Selflessness amd the Sense of Self. Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2015. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.

Creatures of Possibility: The Theological Basis of Human Freedom. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.

Hoffnung (Grundthemen der Philosophie). Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016.

Radical Theology: An Essay on Faith and Theology in the Twenty-First Century. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2016.

Co-edited with Marelene A. Block. Hope. Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2013. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Co-edited with Marlene A. Block. Hermeneutics and the Philosophy of Religion: The Legacy of Paul Ricoeur. Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2013. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015.

Crucified and Resurrected: Restructuring the Grammar of Christology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015.

Selbstlose Leidenschaften. Christlicher Glaube und menschliche Passionen. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.

Malum: Theologische Hermeneutik des Bösen. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.

Kant’s Philosophy of Religion
Luther’s Radical Theology
The Idea of Love
Tillich’s Philosophy of Religion