CFP: Atheism and Unbelief in Global Philosophy and Religion

Submission deadline: July 2, 2020

Conference date(s):
September 10, 2020

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Conference Venue:

School of Humanities, Bath Spa University
Bath, United Kingdom


Atheism and Unbelief in Global Philosophy and Religion

The Sixth Bath Spa Annual Colloquium for Global Philosophy and Religion

Bath Spa University, UK


10-11 September 2020

Call for Papers

Confirmed Keynote Speakers include:

Julian Baggini, Royal Institute of Philosophy

-After the New Atheism

Jessica Frazier, University of Oxford

Lois Lee, University of Kent

The topic of atheism and unbelief is one of the most rapidly growing within philosophy and religious studies, including significant ground-breaking recent work engaging inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives.

Three recent(ish) milestones in the history of atheism show how unbelief – and its perception – have developed so significantly:

●      in 1882 the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared to an indifferent public that “God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!”;

●      on 8 April, 1966 Time magazine asked “Is God Dead?” in red text on a black background (to which Bob Dylan famously retorted, “If you were God, how would you like to see that written about yourself?”);

●      and in 2009 the ‘atheist bus campaign’ began with red double-decker London buses proclaiming “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”.

We invite submissions for papers and panels that engage the theme of atheism and unbelief in global philosophy and religion. How applicable are the concepts of atheism and unbelief in non-Western philosophical and religious contexts? Are atheism and unbelief global concepts or unavoidably localised? In a global context how do atheism and unbelief relate to other concepts, such as irreligion, non-religion, agnosticism, apostacy, deconversion, and the secular? How does philosophical and religious studies reflection on atheism and unbelief engage with empirical studies and work in related disciplines? What are the psychological, sociological and political aspects of a consideration of atheism and unbelief in a global context?

We invite papers and panels that explore the theme of atheism and unbelief in global philosophy and religion academically. We welcome submissions that engage with atheism and unbelief from both/either Western and non-Western perspectives. We encourage submissions that take historical as well as contemporary approaches, as well as those concerned with methodological issues. We also welcome papers that reflect on the implications for the disciplines of global philosophy and religions in light of the apparent global rise of atheism and unbelief.

Possible topics include:

●      atheism and unbelief in global philosophical traditions

●      atheism and unbelief in cross-cultural philosophical conversations

●      atheism and unbelief in global religious traditions

●      atheism and unbelief in inter-religious conversations

●      global histories of atheism

●      methodological and terminological issues in the study of global atheism and unbelief

●      responses to atheism and unbelief in global philosophies and religions

●      atheism and morality in a global context

●      atheism and science in a global context

●      atheism and the secular in a global context

●      cultural and political implications of atheism in a global context

●      reflections on methodological atheism in a global context

●      significant atheist thinkers in a global context

The E-colloquium will take place virtually; details of the platform to be used will be confirmed later. Proposals of 500 words are invited for papers of up to 3000 words. It is anticipated that each paper will have a 20-40 minute time slot, including time for discussion. The E-colloquium will run on UK time; wherever possible we will endeavour to schedule accordingly to permit participation from different timezones.

Papers will be circulated to all registered participants one week before the Colloquium, hence presenters should be prepared to send their papers to the convenor at least two weeks before the colloquium (i.e. by Thursday 27 August 2020).

We also welcome proposals for panel sessions of 3-4 speakers.

To submit a proposal please email an abstract of up to 500 words by Thursday 2 July 2020 to the convenor, Dr Russell Re Manning: [email protected]

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