CFP: Passions and the Mystical. Between Affecting and Being Affected

Submission deadline: March 18, 2022

Conference date(s):
December 1, 2022 - December 2, 2022

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Titus Brandsma Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen
Nijmegen, Netherlands

Topic areas


International Conference

Passions and the Mystical. Between Affecting and Being Affected
Nijmegen, Titus Brandsma Institute, 1-2 December 2022

Call for Papers extended (March 18)

It is a pleasure to invite you to Passions and the Mystical: between Affecting and Being Affected. The conference is jointly organized by the Mystical Theology Network (MTN) and the Titus Brandsma Institute of the Radboud University (TBI) and will take place in Nijmegen on 1-2 December, 2022. 

The aim of this conference is to bring together theologians, religious studies scholars, philosophers, literary scholars, historians and scholars working in related fields to discuss and map out the wider semantic field of the ‘passion(s)’ across mystical traditions.

The conference aims to address questions such as:

  • How do the mystics across different traditions view their own passions and emotions? 
  • What role do passions of others play in the accounts of the mystical?
  • How is gender factored into the mystical use of passions? 
  • How do mystics understand their passions in relation to key events withintheir tradition (e.g. the Passion of Christ within the Christian tradition)? 
  • How is erotic language ‘translated’ into passionate mystic literature? 
  • To what extent can mystical experiences be considered passions in their own right? 
  • How do mystical passions relate to emotions and what can they contribute to the history of emotions? 
  • Can mystical passions contribute to social engagement and political resistance (e.g. D. Sölle, M. de Certeau), including issue of race and gender? 
  • How does modern artistic engagement deal with this passionate mystical heritage?

Topics for proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Relationship between passions and emotions in mystical texts.
  • Mystical passions and the history of emotions.
  • Critical close-readings of mystical texts from various traditions focusing on ‘passions’.
  • Comparative studies of passions across mystical traditions
  • Mysticism, Gender and Passions
  • Conceptualization of the notions of passivity/agency, consent, effort and grace and their interrelations in the mystical tradition
  • The influence of philosophical discourses on the passions on mystical authors and, vice versa, the influence of mystical discourses on philosophical passion  theories (Descartes, Pascal…).
  • Reception and critique of mystical discourses on the Passion and the passions in recent non-mystical (theological, philosophical, literary, historical etc.) authors.
  • Passions and intimacy in the mystical reception of the Song of Songs, Kabbalah, etc.
  • Influence of mystical passions on modern artistic practices and theories.
  • Persistence of mystical passions within political and social engagements, including issues of race and gender. 

Guide for authors
The deadline to submit abstracts is March 18, 2022
Proposals are accepted in English, Dutch, French and German. 

Please send your abstract to [email protected]

All proposals should include:
1.     Full name
2.     E-mail
3.     Current institution and/or academic affiliation
4.     Title of the paper of Project
5.     Proposal (up to 350 words)

We invite the following proposals:

Paper proposal — A proposal for presenting a short (20 minute) original paper

Session proposal — A proposal for a session or roundtable where different papers are presented on a common theme and emphasis is placed on shared discourse. Session proposals should include abstract, name of presider, list of panelists or respondents.

Important Dates
Deadline for submission: March 18, 2022
Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2022

Organising committee:
Marc De Kesel 
Lieven De Maeyer
Stefaan Neirynck
Edwin van der Zande

For any enquiries, please contact: Lieven De Maeyer ([email protected]) or Stefaan Neirynck ([email protected] )

We look forward to seeing you at the conference. 

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