Creation out of Nothing: Origins and Contemporary Significance

Creation out of Nothing: Origins and Contemporary Significance

Sunday, July 5 - Wednesday, July 8, 2015
McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame


A conference of scholars trained in Biblical studies, the history of early Christian thought, Jewish studies and those with contemporary philosophical and scientific interests who seek to understand more fully what the doctrine of “creation out of nothing” might mean in a modern context.  The background to the problem is simply stated:  Biblical, early Christian, Jewish and contemporary theologians all answer to very different constituencies and as a result rarely intersect in terms of their constructive proposals for how a religious tradition might think about a particularly pressing problem.  In this case the matter is all the more complicated in that many presume that the Biblical studies have long shown, on clear philological grounds, that the doctrine of creation out of nothing cannot be founded on the Bible.



Khaled Anatolios | Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Gary Anderson | Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Notre Dame

Markus Bockmuehl | Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture | University of Oxford

John C. Cavadini | Professor of Theology & Director of the Institute for Church Life, University of  Notre Dame

Richard J. Clifford, S.J. | Visiting Professor of Old Testament, Boston College

Daniel Davies | Research Associate, Institute of Jewish Philosophy and Religion, University of Hamburg

Andrew Davison | Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Mark Elliott | Reader in Church History, University of St. Andrews

Yonghua Ge | Post-doctorate Researcher, University of Cambridge

Robert Gimello | Research Professor of Theology and of East Asian Languages & Cultures, University of Notre Dame

David Bentley Hart, Danforth Visiting Professor of Theology Sudies, Saint Louis University

Adam Hincks S. J. | Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia (in absentia)

Ruth Jackson | Doctoral Candidate, University of Cambridge

Nathan MacDonald | Lecturer in Hebrew Bible, University of Cambridge

Sean McDonough | Professor of New Testament, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

Alan Mittleman | Professor of Jewish Thought, The Jewish Theological Seminary

Tzvi Novick | Abrams Chair of Jewish Thought and Culture, University of Notre Dame

Karin Oberg | Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University

Cyril O'Regan | Huisking Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Diane Phillips | Independent Scholar, South Bend, IN

Andrew Pinsent | Research Director, Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford

Janet Soskice | Professor of Philosophical Theology, University of Cambridge

Gregory E. Sterling | The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, Yale Divinity School

Joseph Wawrykow | Associate Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame


Most conference events will be held in the Notre Dame Conference Center - McKenna Hall on the University of Notre Dame campus. The campus is about a ten minute ride from the South Bend Regional Airport, and taxis are generally waiting outside the airport to transport passengers.

South Bend is accessible by air, the South Shore train from Chicago, and buses from both O'Hare and Midway airports in Chicago.

A campus map is available at: .  Public parking is available near McKenna in either the Visitors' Lot or at the Notre Dame Bookstore.


Attendees are responsible for booking their own lodging for the conference.

On campus:

·       The Morris Inn

Other local hotels near the University include (but are not limited to):

·       Inn at Saint Mary's

·       Fairfield Inn and Suites

·       Ivy Court Inn & Suites

·       Staybridge Suites (slightly farther from campus, but brand-new suites at a    reasonable price; 7-10 mins from ND)


·       Please see here for places to eat on campus.

·       For further information, please email or call 574.631.9195