CFP: Religion and Aesthetics

Submission deadline: May 31, 2017

Conference date(s):
July 26, 2017 - July 27, 2017

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Topic areas


CFP: Religion and Aesthetics

Machiado Suite, University of Nottingham

26th and 27th July 2017

Aesthetic considerations have frequently played an important role within various religious traditions. For example, certain religious doctrines ascribe beauty to God, to various religious exemplars, and even to the cosmos itself. Similarly, various religious practices and rituals involve the use of music, dance, and architecture (alongside a variety of other artistic elements). Further, the world’s religions have inspired the creation of innumerable great artworks across a range of forms and genres. These fundamental connections between the religious and the aesthetic have, however, been somewhat neglected of late and are therefore ripe for sustained investigation, which this conference aims to promote. The conference will bring together both aestheticians and philosophers with expertise and interest in various religious traditions to consider the many ways that aesthetic and religious values, practices, and experiences might relate to one another.

Our conception of ‘religious’ and ‘aesthetic’ is capacious, and all papers must attend to both. So, potential topics include, but are not limited to:

·         Embodied aesthetic experience in religious contexts

·         Moral beauty and the aesthetics of character in religious traditions

·         Religious architecture, places, and environments

·         Religious music, literature, poetry, and narrative

·         Ritual and aestheticized religious practices

·         The aesthetic concepts, experiences, and practices distinctive to (particular) religious traditions

·         The aesthetic significance of natural creatures, places, and processes in religious life

·         The aesthetics of mystical, epiphanic, and pankalic experiences

·         The nature and role of beauty in religious traditions

·         The role of aesthetic practices and experiences in religious lives

·         The putative aesthetic properties of transcendent entities such as God


We invite anonymised abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding references). All abstracts will be checked for anonymization prior to review. Speakers will have 75 mins, to be roughly divided between talk and discussion. We particularly welcome submissions from members of underrepresented groups. Accommodation and meals will be provided, and some funding will be available to defray travel costs.

Deadline for submissions: 31st May 2017

Date for notification of decisions: 5th June 2017

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This event is compliant with the BPA-SWIP Good Practice Scheme. We will offer such childcare facilities as our university can provide: let us know as soon as possible if you need it. We will provide full accessibility information in advance of the conference and do all we can to assist attendees with specific requirements.

We are grateful to the British Society of Aesthetics for their generous funding for this event.

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