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Andreas Nordlander


Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Andreas Nordlander


Before defending my doctoral dissertation in the philosophy of religion at Lund University in 2011, I studied philosophy, theology, and religion at Lund University and the University of Cambridge. In the dissertation, entitled Figuring Flesh in Creation: Merleau-Ponty in Conversation with Philosophical Theology, I investigate the anthropology, philosophy of meaning, and ontology of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and relate these to the Augustinian Christian tradition. I have been senior lecturer in systematic theology at the University of Gothenburg since 2013.

Research project

I am currently conducting a research project financed by the Swedish Research Council: "Natural Teleology: The New Science and Religion Dialogue in Light of Self-Organization and Evolutionary Convergence." The project will result in a book with the working title The Varieties of Purpose. The following abstract gives a short summary:

”This project will investigate the way in which teleological concepts have emerged within two new fields of biological science–self-organization and evolutionary convergence. Critically analysing these, and comparing them with other types of teleological concepts in theology, philosophy and ethics, the theoretical heart of the project will be the construction of a model of teleological concepts across different academic disciplines. In particular, the model will be able to accommodate the similarities as well as differences between natural and metaphysical teleology, between immanent and external teleology, and between consciously intended and non-conscious ends. In the final stage of the project, the implications of this deepened understanding of teleology will be investigated in the context of the science and religion dialogue, particularly concerning the question of what a human being is as both purposive and part of nature.

Through the development of a finely grained model of teleological concepts, the project will significantly contribute to overcoming longstanding impasses not only between science and religion, but also between natural science and the humanities. In particular, the relation between naturalized and religious concepts of teleology will be investigated, as well as the relation between the teleological concepts used in biology and the types of teleology at play in understanding human agency and ethics. Can these concepts co-exist or are they mutually exclusive? How would one relate them? What are the conceptual possibilities?”

Academic Interests

My academic interests include:

• The theology of creation, and philosophical/theological anthropology • The religion and science dialogue (biology in particular) • Phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive semiotics • Historical theology (Augustine in particular) • Aristotle and virtue ethics • Philosophical theology • Literature and theology

I am also working on a book, in Swedish, on the Christian doctrine of creation and its consequences for a number of issues.

Doctoral Students

I am assistant supervisor to Lottie Eriksson, whose work deals with the ethical thought of the French philosopher Simone Weil.