Philosophy and Eschatology: or, Thinking of/from the End of the World

September 11, 2020 - September 12, 2020
Department of Philosophy, University of Johannesburg, University of Fort Hare

South Africa

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University of Johannesburg

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7th Annual International Conference of the Centre for Phenomenology in South Africa


1st CFP:


Philosophy and Eschatology, 

Or: thinking of/from the end of the world 


11-12 September 2020


University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Organized by Paul Slama, Carien Smith, Justin Sands, Rafael Winkler, and Abraham Olivier



Eschatology, the narrative of the end of time or the world, is an integral aspect of various intellectual traditions. From the Western theological tradition to Afro-pessimism, it also underlies the modern idea of progress and its dialectical counterpart in Hegel and Marx, as well as the works of Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Bataille, Blanchot, Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. It has inspired some authors in the phenomenological tradition to rethink the transcendental reduction and view the world, in its sheer rustling presence, in the horizon of its eventual collapse. For Levinas, on the other hand, it offers the subject a relation to justice beyond history. Eschatology furnishes philosophy with (among other things) a way of thinking about the final end, what is most extreme and unsurpassable. It is in that respect also concerned with the limit or end of thought.  

Eschatology has more recently entered the discourse of the ecologist and the eco-phenomenologist on the devastation of the earth, that of the geologist and critical theorist on the Anthropocene, and that of global capitalism and the total catastrophes – natural, social, military, and technological – it threatens to unleash at every instant. 

The aim of this conference is to address these and related topics with a specific focus on the relation between philosophy and eschatology, ecology and eco-phenomenology, the critical discourse on global capitalism, the Anthropocene, religion, the end of time, and Afro-pessimism. 

Topics of the conference include, but are not limited to: 

·      Eschatology and religion;

·      Eschatology and phenomenology;

·      Eschatology and apocalypticism;

·      Eschatology, ethics, and political thought;

·      Eschatology, Afro-pessimism and African philosophy;

·      Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Blanchot, Heidegger, Derrida, Nancy, Kojève, Bataille; 

·      African concepts of the end, time, worldhood;

·      Critical Race Theory;

·      Black theology;

·      Ancestry and history;

·      Akan, Bantu, and Igbo cosmologies (among others).


Please send a 700 word abstract for blind review to [email protected]. The full paper should be no more than 3500-4000 words for a 35-40 min. presentation. Proposals for panel discussion are also welcome. 

The deadline for submission of abstracts is Wednesday the 15th of April 2020. Notification of acceptance will be sent early May 2020. 

Conference fees:

The fee for the full two-day conference (including tea and lunches) for participants is R1500 (including VAT). It is R750 for the full two-day conference for all participating graduate and PhD students. 


A limited number of bursaries will be available for travel and accommodation. 


The organizers recommend that conference participants stay in the Melville area in Johannesburg, which is within walking distance from UJ Auckland Park Campus. The current rate for B&Bs in the Melville area is R600 per person per night. 

For more information about the conference, please visit the website of the Centre for Phenomenology in South Africa: Alternatively, please contact one of the organizers: Paul Slama ([email protected]), Carien Smith ([email protected]), Justin Sands ([email protected]), Rafael Winkler ([email protected]), or Abraham Olivier ([email protected]).  

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