Olivia Bustion: “The Spirit as Plural Person: A Constructive Reading of Karl Barth’s Pneumatology”

Olivia Bustion

PhD Candidate, Theology

The Spirit as Plural Person: A Constructive Reading of Karl Barth’s Pneumatology

Paper can be accessed here

Wednesday, May 29, 12:00 PM, Swift 400

Lunch provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Philosophy of Religions Panel and Send-off

Scott Ferguson, Zeke Goggin, Lisa Hendrick, Russell Johnson, Hannah Roh, and Stephen Walker

Please join the Philosophy of Religions Workshop as we renew a workshop tradition and send off the graduating and soon-to-be-graduating doctoral candidates in the Philosophy of Religions. Scott Ferguson, Zeke Goggin, Lisa Hendrick, Russell Johnson, Hannah Roh, and Stephen Walker will present short summaries of their dissertations and answer questions about their research. This event will be provide an opportunity for students to reconnect and hear about each other’s work, or to meet for the first time and learn about the kind of work that goes into a dissertation.

Wednesday, May 22, 12:00 PM, Swift 200

Lunch will be provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Professor Carlos Manrique: “Ontologies of the colonized body, and the politics of religious edgings (notes on a civic popular uprising in Afro-Colombia’s pacific littoral)”

Carlos Manrique

Professor, Dept. Philosophy, Universidad de los Andes

“Ontologies of the Colonized Body, and the Politics of Religious Edgings (notes on a civic popular uprising in Afro-Colombia’s pacific littoral) 

Monday, May 13th, 12:00 PM, Swift 106

The paper is part of a work in progress engaged in a philosophical narration of a forceful
civic uprising that took place in the main city port of Colombia’s pacific littoral,
Buenaventura, in 2017. Such a narration seeks to elaborate the ways in which the archive,
and the testimonies of participants, from this political event call for a conceptual re-
description or re-imagining of, among other issues: the theologico-political; the
topographies of the social space in which it took place; what a peace-building religious
activism implies here in a hardly recognizable form; the ontology of the political that can
account for the force of ethnic, racial and religious difference that this event mobilized.
This presentation is focused on this last question. It puts into conversation the historical
singularity and density of this event, with an aporia that, in our view, contemporary
political theory confronts: the short circuit between sites of political praxis in which the
political import and force of cultural difference is unmistakable, and the way in which the
prevalent frameworks in political theory to render it legible miss it (be it liberal
multiculturalism, or the contemporary critiques of it that reclaim the return of a universal
subject). The exposition also enters in dialogue with other interventions in critical theory
that have proposed an ontological level of analysis into the problem of the politics of ethnic
or racial difference, such as Franz Fanon’s ontology of the colonized body.

Lunch will be provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Professor Nancy Levene, Yale University. “Canon, Repetition, and the Opponent: Interpretation in the History of Ideas

Nancy Levene

Professor, Dept. of Religious Studies, Yale University

“Canon, Repetition, and the Opponent: Interpretation in the History of Ideas”

Wednesday, May 8th, 4:30 PM, Swift Common Room

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

 

Kirsten Collins: “That Other Fornication: Jewish Law in the Sources of Foucault’s “Histoire de la sexualité IV””

Kirsten Collins

PhD Student, Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture

That Other Fornication: Jewish Law in the Sources of Foucault’s Histoire de la sexualité IV

This paper examines the implications of Judaism’s unremarked presence in the fourth installment of Foucault’s history of sexuality, Confessions of the Flesh. Judaism appears twice in his text, in paraphrases of the early Christian sources through which he attempts to examine the relationship between flesh and spirit, and the conception of subjectivity that he thinks it has produced. Through close readings of John Chrysostom and John Cassian, both within Foucault’s text and outside of it, I attempt to contextualize these references to Judaism, and through them, to examine some gaps in Foucault’s account of “the relation of the self to the self.”

Paper can be accessed here

Wednesday, April 24, 12:00 PM, Swift 200

Refreshments provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Matthew Peterson: “Freud’s Paul: Pathogenesis and the Question of Historical Truth”

Matthew Peterson

PhD Student, Philosophy of Religions

Freud’s Paul: Pathogenesis and the Question of Historical Truth 

Paper can be accessed here

Wednesday, April 17, 12:00 PM, Swift 200

Refreshments provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Lawrence McCrea: “Reading and Rationality in Late First Millennium Indian Philosophy”

Lawrence McCrea

Professor of Asian Studies and Classics, Cornell University

“Reading and Rationality in Late First Millennium Indian Philosophy”

Wednesday, April 10th, 4:30 PM, Swift Common Room

Lawrence McCrea is professor of Asian Studies and Classics at Cornell University. His research concerns the history of Indian philosophy, philosophy of language, and poetics, and has appeared in the Journal of Indian PhilosophyJournal of Hindu Studies, and Journal of the American Oriental Society. Professor McCrea is the author of The Teleology of Poetics in Medieval Kashmir (2008), Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India: Jñānaśrīmitra on Exclusion (with Parimal Patil, 2010), as well as the co-editor of New Directions in South Asian Studies: Critical Engagements with Sheldon Pollock (2011).

This paper will consider the history of the theory of the preconditions of textual study (abhidheya-prayojana-sambandha), tracing their development from Mīmāmsā to Dharmakīrtian Buddhists to Nyāya, where they are imported into Jayantabhatta’s model of everyday practical rationality.

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Dhruv Raj Nagar: Sanskrit in between Prior & Posterior Hermeneutics: Sankara’s Apophatic Depth-grammar & its Contribution to Vedic Hermeneutics

Dhruv Raj Nagar

PhD Student, Philosophy of Religions

Sanskrit in between Prior & Posterior Hermeneutics: Śankara’s Apophatic Depth-Grammar & its Contribution to Vedic Hermeneutics

Following Nietzsche’s cautionary remarks in the Genealogy of Morals, Henri Bergson, A.N.
Whitehead and other philosophers have been wary of and sensitive to the way in which language may be implicated in metaphysical discourse, entrenching and naturalizing a substance metaphysics based, for instance, on such grammatical structures as the subject-predicate schema. Later David Bohm dreamed of a language— the rheomode— naturally suited to denote processes and activities as a more accurate description of the world. Now if substance metaphysics may be a product of a substance-centered grammar then already the linguistic preconceptions of the Vedic milieu, as manifest in Vedic Sanskrit, lead us away from a substance-centric grammar to one centered on activity, an insight later explicated in the school of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, the Prior Hermeneutics of the Veda, according to which language denoting action, accomplishment and ritual creation is language par excellence. Sanskrit, indeed, displays many features of the Bohmian rheomode. The prior-hermeneutists take recourse to various such resources and features of Sanskrit language in order to argue for the fundamentally processual and dynamic character of reality. However I will argue that, in contradistinction to both substance-metaphysical and process-oriented uses of language, the eighth-century philosopher Śaṅkara discovers and develops a Posterior Hermeneutics (Uttara Mīmāṃsā) of the Veda that argues for a quietist and niṣkriya (actionless) explication of Sanskrit and therefore of reality itself by way of foregrounding certain linguistic heterotypes marginalized by the prior-hermeneutic tradition in their exploitation of Sanskrit grammar. Śaṅkara’s Vedānta will thus be found to be grounded in an “apophatic depth-grammar” which, by revealing various depth features of linguistic and sentential cognition makes genuinely new contributions to the discipline of vākyaśāstra. I will discuss some of these features as employed by Śaṅkara, the extent to which they are indebted to and carry forward the Mīmāṃsā project of developing a hermeneutics of the Veda and of language per se, and lastly the question of whether and to what extent the historical articulation of substance metaphysics and its overcoming is peculiar to Western thought and what bearing, if any, it has on the schools of thought under discussion.

Paper can be accessed here

Wednesday, March 6, 12:30 PM, Swift 400

Refreshments provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to maintaining itself as a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Mendel Kranz: On the Borders of Europe: Zionism and (Post) Colonialism in Memmi and Levinas

Mendel Kranz

PhD Student, Philosophy of Religions

On the Borders of Europe: Zionism and (Post) Colonialism in Memmi and Levinas

This paper tracks the shifting articulations of Judaism as it emerges in France in the latter half of the 20th century—a France, that is, still contending with the Shoah and already deep within the throes of decolonization. This historical moment, I suggest, offers a particularly illuminating window through which to understand how the figure of the Jew is established, paradoxically, inside and outside of Europe, perpetuating a European colonial project in the State of Israel while concomitantly functioning at the site of a political-philosophical critique of the West. In the thinkers and writers analyzed here, the figure of the Jew emerges in a surprising series of moves in a liminal space between these two poles—critique and engagement, antagonists and protagonists, inside but not of the West. It is this series of movements that I want to track here.

Part theoretical exploration part critical genealogy, I ask how this double movement took place. By first engaging with and critiquing recent attempts to think about postcolonialism and Jewishness together, I turn to Albert Memmi and Emmanuel Levinas, who serve as fertile examples for why such models fail to adequately account for the complexity of the problem. For both of them the question is the same: how were they theorizing the position of the Jew in relation to the West and what role did Zionism play? Finally, I ask what such reversals might indicate about our attempts to consider the intertwined histories of Europe, (post) colonialism, Jewishness, and Zionism.

Paper can be accessed here

Wednesday, February 20, 12:30 PM, Swift 400

Refreshments provided

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to maintaining itself as a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Tamsin Jones: “Is Academic Theology an Answer to the Problem of Philosophy of Religion?”

Tamsin Jones

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Trinity College

“Is Academic Theology an Answer to the Problem of Philosophy of Religion?”

Wednesday, February 13th, 4:30 PM, Swift 201

Paper can be accessed beforehand here

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to maintaining itself as a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinator William Underwood (wunderwood@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.