CFP: Natural Law in Medieval Philosophy: Traditions, Convergences and Divergences

Submission deadline: October 30, 2017

Conference date(s):
April 10, 2018 - April 11, 2018

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Conference Venue:

Faculty of Philosophy, Cattedra Arosio di Alti Studi Medioevali, Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Aposolorum
Roma, Italy

Topic areas


Medieval thinkers have developed natural law theory significantly and exerted an enduring influence on subsequent reflection. While the contribution of the Latin tradition of medieval thought has been widely studied, there is a growing number of studies on the natural law theory of the Byzantine, Jewish, and Islamic traditions.

The conference will consider to what extent the various medieval traditions of natural law concur or differ, and on what grounds. It shall also consider whether they contain theoretical resources for addressing contemporary concerns about natural law.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Anver M. Emon (University of Toronto)
  • Dominic Farrell (Regina Apostolorum, Rome)
  • Jonathan Jacobs (John Jay College, New York)
  • Basilio Petrà (Facoltà di Teologia dell’Italia Centrale, Florence)
  • Riccardo Saccenti (Univeristy of Bologne)

Call for Papers

We invite submissions on medieval theories of natural law and papers which explore the relation between the different traditions. Submissions from PhD students and early career scholars are also eligible. Particularly welcome are papers on natural law in the Byzantine, Islamic, or Jewish traditions. So too are proposals which consider medieval natural law theory in the light of contemporary debates in metaethics, normative ethics, legal and political philosophy. The questions under discussion include but are not limited to the following.

  • In what respects do the various traditions concur and to what extent is this the result of a common, underlying philosophical or theological framework?
  • Are there incommensurable differences between the traditions and is this the result of incompatible theological or philosophical underpinnings?
  • As to contemporary objections to natural law theory, can convincing answers be extracted or reconstructed from medieval philosophers?
  • Is some medieval tradition or theory of natural law more philosophically compelling than the others?

To submit a paper proposal, please email in .pdf format to [email protected] by 30 October 2017 a short CV and an abstract of no more than 500 words. The abstract should be prepared for blind review. A confirmation of receipt will be sent by email. Applicants will be notified of a decision by 30 November 2017.

Papers may be presented in either English or Italian, but translation will only be available for the talks of the keynote speakers.


Details will be posted on the conference website on October 15, when registration for the conference begins.

Supporting material

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Custom tags:

#Natural Law, #Islamic Philosophy, #Byzantine Philosophy, #Jewish Philosophy, #Thomas Aquinas