The Existence and Nature of God and Other Deities

June 22, 2021 - June 24, 2021
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham

United Kingdom


  • The John Templeton Foundation


University of Birmingham

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The philosophy of religion addresses the most fundamental issues concerning religious concepts, beliefs and practice. Among these topics are the existence and nature of deities, evil and suffering in the world, religious and mystical experiences, and death and the possibility of immortality. It is notable that these issues are relevant to a variety of religious traditions and geographical locations. The scale and diversity of the philosophy of religion have, however, both been limited compared with other fields of study.

The Global Philosophy of Religion Project is a major initiative that aims to make the philosophy of religion a truly global field. The project is supported by funding from the John Templeton Foundation and the Dynamic Investment Fund (DIF) at the University of Birmingham. This conference is held in collaboration with Closer To Truth, broadcast in the U.S. on PBS TV stations and globally on Closer To Truth’s YouTube channel. The Closer To Truth creator and host, Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn, will conduct special sessions with speakers and participants. 

The theme of the conference is The Existence and Nature of God and Other Deities. Possible topics to be addressed include what relationships exist between the deities and the universe, what we can learn about attributes of deities through reason or religious/mystical experiences, whether the deities explain the origins or current state of reality, whether belief in such supernatural existence is compatible with science, and how morality or well-being is linked to belief in them.

Registration for this conference is now open and can be accessed here:

You can download the full live programme here ( and the pre-recorded talk programme here (, and see below for keynote speakers and panels.

Keynote speakers and panel discussions

Closer To Truth Keynote Interviews: 

  • Seyyed Hossein Nasr (University Professor, George Washington University)
  • Parimal Patil (Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Harvard University)
  • Hamza Yusuf (President, Zaytuna College)
  • Victoria Harrison (Professor of Philosophy, University of Macau)
  • V. V. Raman (Emeritus Professor of Physics, Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • Aaron Segal (Michael and Bella Guggenheim Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) 

Closer To Truth Panel Discussions 

  • The Existence of God and Other Deities: Nazif Muhtaroglu (Islam), Motsamai Molefe (African Religion), Jessica Frazier (Hinduism), Sam Lebens (Judaism)
  • Traits of God and Other Deities: Imran Aijaz (Islam), TBA (Judaism), Swami Medhananda (Hinduism), Ryan Mullins (Christianity)
  • Actions of God and Other Deities: Adis Duderija (Islam), Keshav Singh (Sikhism), Leigh Vicens (Christianity), Nehama Verbin (Judaism)

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June 24, 2021, 9:00am BST

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