Leibniz's Theodicy: Reception and Relevance

Leibniz's Theodicy: Reception and Relevance Program Cover

October 25-27, 2012 in Lisbon, Portugal

A conference exploring the historical reception and contemporary relevance of Leibniz's Theodicy, at the site of what many took to be the clearest refutation of his view: the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.

Watch conference presentations.

Thursday, October 25


9:00am - 10:15am   Ursula Goldenbaum – Emory University
"The Shift from Leibniz’ Theodicy toward Protestant Philosophy of History as a Decrease in Religious Tolerance and Increase of Anti-Judaism"

  • Chair: Michael Rea – University of Notre Dame

10:30am - 11:45am   Karl Ameriks – University of Notre Dame
"Kant and the End of Theodicy"

  • Chair: Larry Jorgensen – Skidmore College

2:00pm - 3:15pm   Catherine Wilson – University of Aberdeen
“Leibnizian Optimism...Lucretian Pessimism: The Problems of Peace and Progress in 18th Century France”

  • Chair: Lea Schweitz – Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

3:30pm - 4:45pm   Genevieve Lloyd – University of New South Wales
“Voltaire in response to Leibniz: 'Hope' or 'Illusion'?”

  • Chair: Agustín Echavarría – Universidad de Navarra

Friday, October 26


9:00am - 11:00am   Panel on the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

David Chester – Department of Geology, University of Liverpool
Agustín Udías – Professor of Geophysics, emeritus, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Susan Neiman – Director, Einstein Forum

  • Moderator: Christia Mercer – Columbia University

6:30pm - 8:00pm   Susan Neiman – Director, Einstein Forum   

"Leibniz's Theodicy: Are There Aftershocks?"

  • Chair: Daniel Garber – Princeton University

Saturday, October 27


9:00am - 10:15am    Andrew Chignell – Cornell University
"The Legacy of Leibnizian Optimism"

  • Chair: Matthias Somers – KU Leuven

10:25am - 11:40am   Mark Larrimore – New School
"Leibniz's Theodicy as a Metaphysics for Lived Religion"

  • Chair: Marco Sgarbi – Università di Verona

1:10pm - 2:25pm   Hud Hudson – Western Washington University
"The Multiverse Hypothesis, The Problem of Evil, and the Problem of the Best"

  • Chair: Colin Chamberlain – Harvard University

2:35pm - 3:50pm   Timothy O’Connor – Indiana University
“Multiverse, Theodicy, and Incarnation”

  • Chair: Julia von Bodelschwingh – Yale University

4:00pm - 5:00pm   Concluding Panel

Maria Rosa Antognazza – King’s College London

Brandon Look – University of Kentucky

Jeffrey McDonough – Harvard University

  • Moderator: Samuel Newlands – University of Notre Dame