CFP: What is (Human) Life? Collegium Institute's 2nd Annual Magi Conference on Science and Religion

Submission deadline: June 15, 2023

Conference date(s):
July 13, 2023 - July 14, 2023

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Magi Project, Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture
Philadelphia, United States

Topic areas


Call for Graduate Student Papers:

Since its early formulation in the 1960’s-70’s, disability studies is now a recognized academic discipline in its own right. Highly interdisciplinary in orientation, one of its primary goals has been to challenge, and raise awareness of, the often unrecognized bias and ideology of ableism (i.e., the systematic devaluing of, and prejudice against, people with disabilities). Disability is, then, not just a matter of a biological medical condition but also of institutions, norms, values, cultural practices, and shared assumptions about human nature and flourishing. Indeed, the many questions raised by an interdisciplinary focus on disability go right to the heart of what it means to flourish as an embodied human being and to what degree canonical philosophical and theological depictions of human nature and flourishing are hampered by a lack of attention to disability. In light of these foundational issues, we invite paper proposals from disciplines within the sciences and humanities that explore the various sub-themes of the “What is Human Life?” Workshop through the lens of disability. Possible topics for papers to address include, but are not limited to, the following: the role of the “normative” within contemporary healthcare and medical ethics; disability and the history of science; human embodiment and the relation between the self and body; disability as including both physical and social-cultural dimensions and what light this sheds on the nature of human embodiment; the category of the “soul”; human evolutionary origins and care for the disabled as a distinctively human activity; vulnerability as central to human nature and ethics; human flourishing and the experience of disabled persons in relation to widespread assumptions about human nature and flourishing; religious depictions and understandings of disability; interrelations between theological anthropology, ethics, and disability.

For this opening session on Thursday afternoon, July 13th, the conference invites paper proposals from graduate students in all academic disciplines, especially the sciences, philosophy, and theology or religious studies. Papers should be 15-20 minutes in length.  Please submit your 150-300 word proposal and CV by June 15th.  Proposals may be considered on a rolling basis until filled.

Please direct any questions to [email protected]

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