CFP: Hospitality and the Impossible

Submission deadline: January 20, 2023

Conference date(s):
April 21, 2023 - April 22, 2023

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Fides Quaerens (Villanova University)
Villanova, United States


Hospitality and the Impossible

Dates: April 21-22, 2023 

Location: Villanova University (PA) 

Speakers: Dr. Stephanie Wong (Villanova University), Dr. Richard Kearney (Boston College) 

Hosted by Fides Quaerens (formerly CPAV), the philosophy and theology graduate student working group at Villanova University

Approaches to the topic of hospitality in contemporary continental philosophy typically call upon deconstruction, phenomenology, and hermeneutics as guiding methodologies. Generally, hospitality is understood as an ethical responsibility to care for the other through an authentic and fearless opening of the self to the narrative of the other. Deconstructive approaches to hospitality advocate for radical or absolute hospitality—an unconditional giving of the self to the other. Such a notion of hospitality is typically regarded as a regulatory ideal that is ultimately impossible to implement. Phenomenological and hermeneutical approaches to hospitality argue for a hospitality of discernment in which a friendly guest is distinguished from an evil or malicious one. Through an engagement with biblical and ecclesial sources, theological considerations of hospitality intersect with each methodology in considering how to welcome God as or through the stranger. Regardless of different methodologies toward hospitality, the ethical responsibility of hospitality seems to not only be a challenge but also an impossibility that is almost always accompanied by the likelihood of hostility.

This conference will focus on the idea of hospitality as it intersects with the impossible, exploring ways in which the impossibility of hospitality can be made possible. We welcome abstracts that discuss hospitality and related themes within the continental tradition as well as other philosophical or theological traditions. Relevant questions include but are not limited to: What is hospitality? How does it intersect with theories of tolerance and social justice? Why or in what way is hospitality possible or impossible? What, if anything at all, makes the impossibility of hospitality possible? Should hospitality always be an unconditional giving of the self to the other? How is it possible to be hospitable to the other in an age of political, social, and racial strife? How can we practice hospitality in interreligious or interdisciplinary dialogues? What theological resources throughout the plurality of religious traditions contribute to discussions on what it means to be hospitable? 

We invite topics on:

Continental Philosophy of Religion

Phenomenology of Religion

Hermeneutics and Deconstruction of Religion

Comparative Theology 


Social Political Philosophy 

Philosophical theology

Systematic Theology

Biblical Theology

Orthodox philosophy of religion

Eastern philosophy of religion

We welcome papers at all stages of development and see this as an opportunity to workshop new ideas and papers in progress. Abstracts should be around 300 words, and final papers should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation (around 2500 words), followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Proposals should be submitted to Connor [email protected] prepared for blind review. With your submission, please include a cover page with the presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Acceptance notifications will be sent out Jan. 20, 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Wang at [email protected]

Extended Deadline for submission: Jan. 20, 2023

Proposals should be submitted to Connor Ritchie, [email protected]

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)