Call for Papers

Philosophy of Religions Workshop: Call for Papers Autumn 2018

Dear Colleagues,

The Philosophy of Religions Workshop is soliciting paper proposals for autumn quarter 2018. We invite works-in progress including, but not limited to, conference papers, dissertation proposals, dissertation chapters, exam papers, and papers being prepared for publication.

Students from all degree programs are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in presenting, please email wunderwood@uchicago.edu with:

  • type of submission
  • brief description
  • tentative title
  • your program/department affiliation

Once considered an offshoot of Christian theology, “Philosophy of Religions” has evolved into a cosmopolitan and eclectic endeavor at the boundaries of contemporary philosophy and religious studies, one that involves a plurality of traditions, concerns, and approaches, while laying claim to no fixed center of gravity.

The Philosophy of Religions Workshop seeks to explore and challenge this field, encouraging the mutual exposure of philosophical, historical, philological, theoretical, and theological projects. Such work takes place in conversation with contemporary, modern, and pre-modern thinkers from all parts of the world, and requires textual sensitivity and historical knowledge, as well as forward-thinking analysis and constructive aims.

For more information about the Workshop and our upcoming events, please visit our website and subscribe to our listserv

 

comparison3

2015-2016 Call for Papers: Comparison

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions will focus on the theme of comparison during the 2015-2016 academic year.  We welcome papers which pursue questions including, but not limited to the epistemological, metaphysical, methodological, ideological, and ethical dimensions of comparison in context of the academy and more broadly.

Many philosophers of religion work comparatively in some way, juxtaposing disparate thinkers, texts, philosophical and religious traditions in hopes of generating a clearer, more critical, or more comprehensive philosophical understanding of religion and the ways that religion accords with and departs from philosophical rationality.  Meanwhile, comparative methods in religious studies have largely fallen out of favor. Critics often charge such an approach to the academic study of religion as distortive at best, violent at worst.  How feasible are such critiques? Without jettisoning the very useful lessons they teach us, is it possible to retrieve a methodology of comparison? Is comparison part and parcel of any rational reflection?  If so, what do these critiques of comparative studies tell us about rationality generally?  Is there a future for religious studies (generally) and philosophy of religion (specifically) which works outside the bounds of comparative frameworks, or is comparativity inescapable, such that we should focus on learning better ways to compare, rather than attempting a cessation of comparison?

Paper or presentation proposals should be submitted to Anil Mundra, Workshop Coordinator (amundra@uchicago.edu) and should be suitable for a 90 minute workshop session (leaving between 45-30 minutes for questions and discussion).  Papers may be distributed to attendees prior to the workshop meeting, but need not be, depending on the author’s preference.  We welcome paper and presentation submissions throughout the year, but please submit your proposal at least 2 months prior to your proposed presentation date.  While each year the Workshop seeks out papers pertaining to our chosen theme, we also welcome papers that do not explicitly address such concerns, particularly work relating to dissertations-in-progress, conference presentations, and mock job-talks.

Given the broadly interdisciplinary nature of our endeavor, we welcome work from the Divinity School‘s doctoral programs in Philosophy of Religions or Theology or Ethics, the departments of Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Classics or History, area studies programs such as SALC, EALC or NELC, and so on. The essential criterion for inclusion is a willingness to treat the objects of inquiry with philosophical seriousness, and (what amounts to the same) an interest in mining those objects for lessons of general philosophical import. In maintaining this departmentally ecumenical stance, we expect to strengthen our field by bringing in ever more comprehensive considerations and data.  We also enjoy frequently co-sponsoring events with other workshops, including (but never limited to) Contemporary European Philosophy, Literature and Philosophy, Jewish Studies, and Theology and Religious Ethics. An open-ended range of conversation partners is in the nature of our field.

The diversity of research interests and agendas represented in the Philosophy of Religions Area and Workshop provides a unique opportunity to address broader concerns about race, ethnicity, and gender in philosophy and religious studies.  In light of current discussions concerning under-represented voices in philosophy (and gender and ethnic imbalance in the university setting more generally), during the coming academic years the Workshop intends to bolster participation of women scholars, people of color, and queer theorists, among others. We will encourage this participation by extending invitations to representative scholars of all ranks, from junior professors to high-profile figures in philosophy and religious studies.

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