The Association seeks to promote renewed critical thinking on religion, drawing upon the continental tradition of philosophy. This tradition draws much of its impetus from Kant's transcendental project of exploring what makes knowledge and faith possible. Kant inspired reflection upon the active, constructive role played by the subject of knowledge as well as the creative transgression of the limits of reason in articulating religious ideas.
The Association promotes research and reflection on continental philosophy of religion by
The Association is based at Liverpool Hope University in the UK. Its facilitators are Hope's lecturers in philosophy, Dr Patrice Haynes and Dr Steven Shakespeare (based in the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies), together with our colleague Dr Charlie Blake of the History, Politics and Communication department. The Association is supported by a board of advisors, consisting of internationally recognised scholars in the field.
There is no formal membership, but the Association runs an email list, website and Facebook page. These encourage networking and keep interested scholars apprised of the Association’s activities.
To be added to the Association’s email list, please write to Steven Shakespeare at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are on Facebook, please join our group, where you will find more interactive discussion boards and receive regular reflective postings.
You can write to us at:
The Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion
c/o Dr Steven Shakespeare
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Liverpool Hope University
Ray Brassier, Levi Bryant, Iain Hamilton Grant and Catherine Malabou
Details of the Thinking the Absolute: Schedule
‘The contemporary end of metaphysics is an end which, being sceptical, could only be a religious end of metaphysics.' Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude. An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (London: Continuum, 2008)
Meillassoux identifies the ‘turn to religion' in contemporary continental philosophy with a failure of thinking. The Kantian refusal to think the absolute leads to scepticism about reality in itself. Ironically, this lends itself to ‘fideism', the decision to project religious meaning on to the unknowable beyond. According to Meillassoux, a philosophy obsessed with mystery becomes the accomplice of irrational faith. The solution is to find ways of once more thinking the absolute in its reality, severed from its dependence upon a knowing subject, or upon language and social norms. At the same time, new possibilities for thinking religion (exemplified by Meillassoux's own Divine Inexistence) are emerging.
This conference invites proposals which critically consider this speculative turn in philosophy and its implications for thinking about religion. To what ‘end' is speculation leading? Does it simply announce the closure of religion and its subordination to a philosophy of the absolute, nature or the ‘All'? Can it open new lines for a philosophy of religion which is not wedded to the Kantian horizon? Is speculation itself open to Kierkegaardian critique as yet another move to position and reduce ethical and religious claims, sacrificing the future on the altar of abstract possibility? Does renewed attention to the canon of speculative idealism offer a way beyond the impasse between relativism and dogmatism?
The organisers welcome proposals which examine the roots and extensity of recent speculative thinking, and which critically consider its impact - direct and indirect - on philosophy of religion. Relevant thinkers and themes might include Quentin Meillassoux on God and the absolute, Alain Badiou's ontology, Catherine Malabou on Hegel and plasticity, Francois Laruelle's ‘future Christ', Iain Hamilton Grant on Schelling's Naturphilosophie and the thinking of the All, Ray Brassier's nihilism. However, we are particularly looking for contributions which creatively use or depart from the speculative turn to offer original insights into the nature and content of the field.
Abstracts of 300 words for 20 minute papers to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by end of February 2012. Submissions for panels are also welcome. The standard format would be a 90 minute session comprising three 20 minute papers, but alternative formats can be discussed. We would require an overall rationale for the panel in addition to individual paper abstracts. You may propose your own moderator, or allow us to assign one.