Thursday, June 17, 2010

PCR4 - The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion

In April next year, Syracuse University will be hosting the fourth Postmodernism, Culture and Religion conference, convened by Jack Caputo. The conference will explore the theme of "The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion," a topic which I'm sure will, by examining the possibilities of new intellectual directions in continental philosophy of religion, impact both directly and indirectly upon current debates about the social value of philosophy and other humanities disciplines (as well as the social sciences and arts) in the face of growing pressure to demonstrate the immediate economic value of higher education (basically restricted to the sciences and business studies). See in particular the high-profile short-sighted closure of the philosophy department at Middlesex University (including the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy) here, here and (partially saved by Kingston University) here and here.

Anyway, here's some information and blurb from for PCR4, which will run from April 7 - 9 2011.

Plenary speakers will include Jack Caputo, Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities (Syracuse University), Philip Goodchild, Professor of Theology and Religous Studies (University of Nottingham), and Catherine Malabou, Professor of Philosophy (Universite Paris Quest Nanterre La Defense).

The call for papers blurb is as follows:

"Paper submissions are invited on the topic "The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion," its past and present, its history and its prospects, in the widest possible terms, addressing the whole range of its implications—politics, feminism, constructive theology, philosophy, history, literature, interfaith dialogue, and the hermeneutics of sacred texts.

"In the past, these conferences, which have provided a forum for the most influential philosophers, theologians, and cultural theorists to interact, have consisted solely of several keynote speakers. This conference will be different. It will feature three plenary speakers and offer multiple concurrent sessions devoted to papers submitted on a diversity of issues relating to the primary theme. This call for papers is deliberately open, befitting the conference's animating concern with the future."

The call for papers then lists some very interesting questions which papers could address:

  • What now, or what comes next—specifically, after the death, if not of God, at least of the generation consisting of Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Levinas, etc.? This question concerns not only the future after those significant theorists, but also the future after-life of these eminent minds who have left such a deep impact on continental philosophy of religion.
  • What is the future of Kant and German Idealism, of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche in continental philosophy of religion?
  • What remains for the future of phenomenology?
  • Of the "theological turn" in the phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion and others?
  • Of Gadamer, Ricoeur and philosophical hermeneutics?
  • Of apophatic or mystical theology?
  • What is the future of feminism and continental philosophy of religion?
  • What are the status and future of the new trinity of Agamben, Badiou and Zizek?
  • What relevance do the political interpretations of Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, and the more recent continental philosophers such as François Laruelle and Catherine Malabou have to philosophy of religion and political theology?
  • What about the future of sovereignty, of money and capitalism, as in the work of Philip Goodchild?
  • What is the future of the movements of Radical Orthodoxy and of radical death of God theology, whether in their original or contemporary manifestations?
  • What about the new sciences of information and complexity in thinkers like Mark C. Taylor and Michel Serres?
  • What about Continental philosophy of religion and our “companion species” in Donna Haraway?
  • What about “Post-Humanism”?
  • What is the future of continental Philosophy of religion and Judaism?
  • And Islam?
  • Or world religions generally?
  • What is the relationship between postmodernism, religion and postcolonialism?
  • What role can continental philosophy play in the future of religion?
  • In the professional study of religion?
  • How does continental philosophical theology relate to the ethnological and empirical-scientific study of religion?
  • How does continental philosophy of religion differ from traditional philosophy of religion?
  • Or from analytic philosophy of religion?
  • What is continental philosophy of religion anyway?
Hmmm.... cogs turning... ideas developing...

...wonder if I'll have a job by April 2011 in order to afford to go???

The call for papers asks for electronic copies of completed papers (previously unpublished and up to 3,000 words) to be subject to a double blind review by a selection committee, so include your name, paper title and contact information on a separate page. and put the paper title (but not name) on header or footer of each numbered page of the paper itself. These submissions are due by December 15, 2010 and should be sent to pcrconf@syr.edu. Acceptances will be made by February 15, 2011.

This information is also available on a (very hard on the eyes) website here.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Katherine,

In my blogosphere meanderings I found a literary review by Caputo of the 'Montrousity of Christ' on the Church and Pomo site in which he does a severe critique of both Zizek and Millbank...there seem to be major differences between him and Zizek!

I glanced through a Richard Kearney article about anatheism which looked interesting but I have not read it fully.

Believe it or not I am now a fan of Caputo on facebook..

all the best,

rodney

Anonymous said...

cannot spell monstrousity...bad spelling day!!

Katharine Moody said...

Hi Rodney,

I've linked to this review article on the facebook page, so thanks for drawing my attention to it.

Even though Jack's current work on a theology of the flesh will, I expect, be a very immanent theology (especially given his critique of the so-called "incarnational" theology of strong theologies like Radical Orthodoxy - in a paper he delivered at Liverpool Hope last summer), I don't think it will be precisely a Zizekian materialist theology. I'm really interested in his perspective on Zizek, particularly given Pete Rollins' increasingly visible use of Zizek rather than Derrida. So I really appreciate you putting me on to this review article.

Both Jack and Pete are speaking at an event in Missouri in October which I REALLY hope to be able to get to. And it'd be great to ask them both about their respective views on Zizek and dialectical materialism.

If you're interested, I'd really recommend Adam Kotsko's Zizek and Theology - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zizek-Theology-Philosophy/dp/0567032450/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1277377044&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Hope you had a good holiday? x

Anonymous said...

Hello Katherine,

At least Caputo leaves open the possibility of a transcendent dimension in his views about the undecidedability of God but Zizek does not in his materialistic atheism...transcendence becomes the excluded Other. I think Zizek is a cul de sac when it comes to using him as a resouce for a comstructive vision of christian living but appealing to those who are moving on from Christianity. Why not just be a committed Marxist and leave the thin veneer of Christian language?

a few musings about Zizek!

all the best,

Rodney

Katharine Moody said...

That's definitely Caputo's reading of Zizek (that he leaves too little room for the possibility of transcendence). Caputo's own work is, as you say, much more open to the radical implications of undecidability - which mean that BOTH Zizek's immanent materialism and Milbank's participatory transcendence are inadequate.

However, Zizek's project NEEDS what you refer to as the "thin veneer of Christian language." For him, the Christian event is exemplary.

In The Puppet and The Dwarf, for example, he writes:

"My claim here is not merely that I am a materialist through and through, and that the subversive kernel of Christianity isaccessible to a materialist approach; my thesis is much stronger: this kernel is accessible ONLY to a materialist approach - and vice versa: to become a true dialectical materialist, one should go through the Christian experience." (p.6)

Anonymous said...

Hello Katherine,

I remain very skeptical about why Zizek needs 'a Christian experience' or what he means by this but will be open as I have not read or studied Zizek.

had a good holiday!

all the best,

Rodney

Katharine Moody said...

For Zizek, Christianity is the only religion in which God asks his adherents to betray him, and this (read as a rejection of metaphysics or onto-theology or transcendence, etc) is central to a thoroughly immanent materialism.