CFP: Call For Papers - Sacrifice and the Body: Explorations beyond Mataphysics

Submission deadline: March 31, 2024

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for a topical issue of Open Theology



"Open Theology” ( invites submissions for the topical issue "Sacrifice and the Body: Explorations beyond Metaphysics," edited by Katerina Koci (Institute for Human Sciences and University of Vienna, Austria) and Esther Heinrich-Ramharter (University of Vienna, Austria)


Sacrifice, originally a religious concept but increasingly secularized, has been a focal point in many humanities disciplines for the last few decades, even centuries. These disciplines involve interpreting sacrifice, self-sacrifice (or martyrdom) in biblical characters or saints through ethnological and religious cultic explorations, psychoanalysis, anthropology, and ethics. All these diverse theories related to sacrifice reveal that it is indeed a loosely defined term, representing a concept beyond our complete understanding. Nevertheless, attempting to sidestep the term with "gift" does not seem to resolve the issue; it merely brings us back to sacrifice from a different perspective. Hence, the most appropriate definition of sacrifice is encapsulated in the "do ut des" model (where one gives up something to receive something else in return).

None of the aforementioned approaches have considered gender and the fact that sacrifice, whether physical or metaphysical, always occurs within the body which consequently experiences suffering. In contrast, feminist and gender studies scholars in philosophy of religion and theology have increasingly focused on the embodied nature of sacrifice and its concrete impact on the (mainly female) body, addressing aspects such as childbirth, breastfeeding, and weaning etc.

This topical issue aims to explore various approaches to sacrifice and the body, encompassing perspectives from all genders—male, female, and diverse—while highlighting both their differences and areas of overlap within feminist theology and philosophy, gender studies and beyond. We intend to present a nuanced understanding of sacrifice, one that acknowledges the ways in which the body is implicated in sacrificial acts and the differential impact of sacrifice on various bodies. In a broader sense, this issue seeks to provide an embodied approach to sacrifice that can offer new insights into the nature of sacrifice itself, as well as its social and cultural significance. 

This issue seeks papers that examine the concept of sacrifice and its relationship to the body from the perspectives of philosophy of religion, theology, feminist and gender as well as cultural studies.

Especially welcomed are papers that:

- explore sacrifice and the body from the perspectives of psychoanalytical philosophy and theology,

- discuss childbirth, breastfeeding, and weaning as forms of sacrifice within the realm of feminist philosophy of religion and theology,

- investigate the question of gendered sacrifice and its connection to religion,

- address the issue of child sacrifice in the Bible and its relation to gender,

- explore the topic of embodied sacrifice and religion in art and culture (including fine art, literature, and film).

Because "Open Theology" is published under an Open Access model, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors. Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk ([email protected]) before submitting their manuscripts.


Submissions will be collected until March 31, 2024, via the on-line submission system at 

Choose as article type: Sacrifice and the Body.

Before submission the authors should carefully read the Instruction for Authors, available at: 

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.

Further questions about content for this thematic issue can be addressed to Dr Katerina Koci ([email protected]). In case of technical problems with submission please write to [email protected].

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