news and events
» centre news & events
» centre-related events
» regular seminars
» past events

research archive


CTMET-related events

The Protestant Spirit

The Holy Spirit in Protestant thought, practice and experience, 1500-1900

University of Oxford, 23-25 September 2015

Keynote speakers: Susan Schreiner (Chicago), Alec Ryrie (Durham), Tom Greggs (Aberdeen)

This conference will explore the Holy Spirit and pneumatology as core theological and practical concerns in historical Protestantism, from the Reformation to the eve of Pentecostalism. Diverse movements, groups and individuals across this period and throughout global Protestantism claimed experiences of the Spirit, developed distinctive theologies of the Spirit, and defined themselves against other traditions on the basis of beliefs and practices concerning the Spirit.

Studying this aspect of Protestant thought and experience remains fraught with methodological and epistemological problems. Historians are increasingly enjoined to ‘take seriously’ the accounts and interpretations of past actors themselves. Yet how should scholars avoid reducing spirituality to the status of cultural or anthropological artefact, or discourse?

This major British Academy-funded conference at the University of Oxford will re-examine the history of Protestant Christianity through the lens of appeals to the authority and experience of the Holy Spirit. It aims to bring historians into dialogue with theologians, literary scholars, philosophers of religion and others, to explore comparative approaches and parallel concerns. 4 core themes for the conference are anticipated

· Authority and dissent
· Marginality and gender
· Mediation and experience
· Methodological problems

Call for Papers

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to: theorists of the Holy Spirit (from major theologians to marginal thinkers); movements and themes (pietism, millennialism, Holiness traditions); social and cultural contexts for religious renewal; trends in literary or other approaches to spiritual experience.

Please submit a 300-word abstract for a 20-minute paper and a 100-word biography to: protestantspirit@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday 1 May 2015. For more information contact: philip.lockley@theology.ox.ac.uk

This event is funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, and convened by Dr. Sarah Apetrei, Dr Philip Lockley, and Dr Simeon Zahl, Faculty of Theology and Religion, Oxford.

You may download a poster here.

Amy Hollywood (Harvard): The True, the Real, and the Mystical

Lectures on Philosophy, Literature, and Mysticism

University of Oxford, 01—05 June 2015

Monday, Sheldonian, 3pm
Lecture: Reading Derrida Reading
Convenor: Sondra Hausner.; Respondents: Fernanda Bernardo and Graham Ward

Reception and Drinks
7pm Play: Last Train to Oxford : Someone Called Derrrida by John Schad and Fred Dalmasso

Tuesday, Radcliffe Humanities Building, 5pm
Lecture: The Real, the True, and Critique: Mysticism in the Study of Religion
Convenor: Pamela Sue Anderson
Respondents: Vincent Gillespie and Joana Serrado

Wednesday, Lady Margaret Hall, 5.15 pm
Lecture: Henry Adams, Henry James, and Minnie Temple: The Pursuit of the Real at the Turn of the 20th Century
Convenors: Maria Jaschok and Sophie Ratcliffe

Thursday, Radcliffe Humanities Building, 5pm
Lecture: The Unspeakability of Trauma, the Unspeakability of Joy: The Pursuit of the Real at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century
Convenors: Johannes Depnering and Louise Nelstrop
Respondent: Kate Kirkpatrick

Friday, Radcliffe Humanities Building, 5pm
Roundtable: 25 years of The Soul as Virgin Wife: Eckhart and the Beguines
Convenors: Ben Morgan and Johannes Depnering

Organisation: Joana Serrado (joana.serrado@theology.ox.ac.uk)

You may download a poster here.




Over the past twenty years, the term "cosmopolitanism" has been the focus of intense critical reflection and debate across the humanities. For some, it represents a potential remedy for oppressive and antagonistic models of national identity and a means of addressing the ethical, economic, and political dilemmas produced by globalisation. Others consider it a peculiarly insidious form of imperialism, and argue that it advocates an untenable ideal of a privileged, rootless observer, detached from — and disposed to romanticise or commodify — very real injustices and inequalities. Meanwhile, the "transatlantic" has emerged as a popular critical framework and field of inquiry for historians and literary scholars. But the "transatlantic" is also sometimes perceived as a problematic category insofar as it can serve to reinforce the narrow focus on Anglo-American culture that the "cosmopolitan" ideal aspires to overcome.

Aestheticism and decadence, which flourished as broad artistic tendencies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, speak directly to the issues at stake in contemporary debates about "cosmopolitanism" and "transatlanticism". This is firstly because they evolved out of transnational dialogues between artists, writers, and critics. But it is also because aestheticism and decadence tended to celebrate an ideal of a disaffiliated artist or connoisseur whose interests ranged freely across history, language, and culture, and who maintained an ironic distance from the conventional determinants of identity. Over the last two decades, nineteenth- and early twentieth-century aestheticism and decadence have become established and extremely lively areas of research in the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, and art history. Our conference aims to bring together established as well as emerging scholars in these fields, and to explore how the attractions and problems of "cosmopolitanism" illuminate, and can be illuminated by, current scholarly debates about aestheticism and decadence.

Plenary Speakers:

Dr Stefano Evangelista (Trinity College, Oxford)
Professor Jonathan Freedman (University of Michigan)
Dr Michèle Mendelssohn (Mansfield College, Oxford)

Call for Papers - April 2015
Relegere special issue
"Pre-critical readers and readings: the Bible in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries"

Intellectual developments in the eighteenth and nineteenth century have often been identified as the starting points for modern, “critical” study of the Bible. Our aim in this edition is to draw attention to the wider cultural background in which modern biblical studies originated; to shed light on readers and interpreters who have been sidelined by the modern academic hegemony of the “critical” reader, and to examine how the emergence of “biblical criticism” affected and changed the kinds of questions which readers put to the Bible.

The full call for papers can be found at https://relegere.org/relegere/announcement/view/12. If you have any further questions, or would like to submit an abstract/paper proposal, please get in touch with the Guest Editor Jonathan Downing (jonathan.downing@theology.ox.ac.uk).

Akeel Bilgrami: Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment
Lecture by the author followed by panel discussion
Monday 26th May 2014 at 5pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford

Speaker: Akeel Bilgrami (Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University)

Bringing clarity to a subject clouded by polemic, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment is a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as concepts in different parts of the modern world. At a time when secularist and religious worldviews appear irreconcilable, Akeel Bilgrami strikes out on a path distinctly his own, criticizing secularist proponents and detractors, liberal universalists and multicultural relativists alike.

Discussants: Shruti Kapila (University of Cambridge) Janina Dill (DPIR, University of Oxford) Paul Flather (Europaeum) Ankhi Mukherjee (Wadham College, University of Oxford) Chair: Kalypso Nicolaïdis (St Antony’s College, University of Oxford)

This event is sponsored by the Oxford Centre for International Studies., Asian Studies Centre, European Studies Centre and Faculty of Philosophy.

You may download a poster here.

Call for Papers: Sacred Texts
3rd Annual Graduate Theology Society Oxford Post-Grad Conference
Sacred Texts: Exploring Scripture in Relation to Hermeneutics, Religious Tradition, Theological Reception, Community & Experience
Saturday, 14th June, 2014, Ertegun House, Oxford

Sacred texts often form the ground and foundation of religious traditions, religious communities, and religious identity. In addition, sacred texts are the objects of both academic investigation and devotional study. In our conference we wish to interrogate the different ways in which sacred texts have shaped and informed the study of theology and religion, our understanding of religion, religious traditions and communities in living dialogue with these texts, and religious identities. We also wish to explore how the academic analysis and interpretation of sacred texts intersects with religious traditions and practitioners' understandings.

For details of the themes and questions proposals might address, download the Call for Papers poster. Proposals of no longer than 250 words should be addressed to: SacredTexts.GTSconference.2014@gmail.com
Deadline: 16th May 2014

Participation is open to all University of Oxford postgraduates. Graduate students from the faculty of theology and religion outside the field and of Scripture--e.g. Church history, eschatology, modern doctrine, non-Western religions, practical theology, systematic theology, and religious history, are welcome and strongly encouraged to submit abstracts, as are postgraduates from other faculties and departments, including Classics, English, History, Medieval and Modern languages, Music, and Philosophy.

The conference is organised by the University of Oxford Graduate Theology Society.

Call for Papers: Conscience and Moral Consciousness
Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 9:30am to 5:45pm

This interdisciplinary conference, which is organized by the TORCH Affections and Ethics network at Oxford University, brings together philosophers, theologians, and scholars working in literature, history and political theory as well as other disciplines to examine the role of conscience for our moral self-understanding. The 'voice of conscience' has not only been regarded as a central source of moral cognition by many philosophers and theologians, but has also been of persistent fascination for psychologically interested writers. In addition, conscience is widely attributed special normative significance with regard to legal and political issues in pluralistic societies. But the debates about these questions have been led mostly in parallel and without the necessary interconnections between the disciplines. The conference aims to cover a wide range of topics connected to conscience, in order to show how they bear upon each other and to further mutual understanding among the people participating in the different discourses.

Call for papers

The conference will have two plenary talks and 4 panel sessions for papers. Each panel consists of two talks of 30 minutes each, with a joint discussion of 30 minutes for both talks. For the panel sessions, we warmly invite contributions not only from philosophy, theology, literary studies, history and political theory, but equally from other disciplines which are interested in conscience and moral cognition. The contributions should fall into one of the following three areas: (a) conscience and the emotions, (b) historical theories of conscience, (c) the normative significance of conscience.

To be considered, please send a 1000-word abstract by 16th May 2014 as a pdf-document to the following address: joshua.hordern@theology.ox.ac.uk

Notification of acceptance will take place by 18th May 2014.


Attendance and refreshments including lunch are free, but please register by sending an email to erasmus.mayr@queens.ox.ac.uk by the 5th June 2014 in order to guarantee a place.

The conference is supported by TORCH, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.

Call for Papers: Evil - Interdisciplinary Explorations

Proposals are invited for the conference ‘Evil: Interdisciplinary Explorations’. Evil is a recurrent theme across diverse accounts of human experience. But despite its ubiquity – and, in fact, sometimes precisely because of its ubiquity – human beings perpetually struggle to come to terms with it, whether individually or collectively. In academia, the idea of evil has provoked widespread reflection in the humanities and beyond. Whether the medium is philosophical treatise, theological doctrine, historical analysis, literary expression or something else besides, examining the theme of evil is a necessary aspect of exploring representations of humanity.

This conference is intended to bring together thinkers from a variety of disciplines and traditions, in order to illuminate this shared feature of human experience and academic reflection. It seeks to provoke dialogue between heterogeneous approaches to the issue, from attempts at definition in moral philosophy to those modern philosophers who seek to go beyond evil, to literary, theological, and historical approaches.

Keynote Speakers:
· Pamela Sue Anderson (University of Oxford): ‘A Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Evil’
· Terry Eagleton (University of Lancaster): ‘On Evil’
· George Pattison (University of Glasgow): ‘Tillich on Evil’

Papers will be 30 minutes plus 15 minutes for discussion. Postgraduate students are invited to present 20 minute papers to be presented in joint panels followed by discussion. In addition to individual papers, suggestions for panel topics are welcome. Possible themes and subjects include (but are not limited to): moral philosophy, perceptions and representations of evil across history, evil as a cultural phenomenon, the problem of evil, theodicy, the banality of evil, evil in art and literature.

The deadline for submissions is 30 March 2014. Please E-MAIL an abstract (max 300 words) as an attachment to Kate Kirkpatrick and Marieke Mueller at EvilinOxford@gmail.com. For panel submissions, please submit both an abstract for the whole panel and abstracts for each individual paper. The conference fee is to be determined but will not exceed £15. To register as a delegate, please email EvilinOxford@gmail.com.

You may download the CfP poster here.

This conference is sponsored by The Oxford Centre for Research in the Humanities, the Faculty of Theology and Religion, Wycliffe Hall, and the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture.

Call for Papers: Platonism and Neoplatonism Group at the AAR 2014

This Group is committed to the ongoing study of Platonic traditions in connection with the history and philosophy of religions, from antiquity to the present. We are supported in this effort by the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. Several of our panelists have published their papers in the Society’s Journal of Neoplatonic Studies as well as in other refereed journals in classics, religious studies, theology, and philosophy.

The Platonism and Neoplatonism Group invites papers that address the following themes: • Image and idol in Platonism and Neoplatonism: papers discussing philosophy, theology and religious practice in Pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Platonism are welcome. • Platonism and Romanticism: Papers should be textual and historical in character, addressing specific authors.

Please see http://papers.aarweb.org/content/platonism-and-neoplatonism-group for more information.

Call for Papers: Nineteenth Century Theology Group at the AAR 2014

The Group focuses on major themes, thinkers, and movements in nineteenth century religious thought and theology — from the French Revolution to World War I — and on the relation of religious thought to its historical, political, and cultural contexts. Each year the Group selects two or three focused topics and predistributes papers before the AAR sessions.

This Group invites proposals for papers on, but not limited to, the following topics:

• Gendered categories in nineteenth-century religious thought and social theory: Analyses of the gendered dimensions of theological concepts or theories of religion among key nineteenth-century thinkers, and/or examinations of how categories like the family, the emotions, female culture, marriage, or the household are defined in major philosophical or theoretical works (e.g. in anthropology or sociology) of the period.
• Religion reconceptualizing Romanticism: Reappraisals of the religious dimension of Romanticism in light of recent analyses of secularization and the theological origins of modernity, with a focus on such areas as cosmology, metaphysics, and epistemology.

Please see http://papers.aarweb.org/content/nineteenth-century-theology-group for more information.

Book launch & discussion: Theology as Science in Nineteenth Century Germany | TORCH
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Radcliffe Humanities Seminar Room

Part of the TORCH Book Series. A roundtable discussion introduced by Prof Graham Ward (Theology) with Dr Sondra Hausner (Modern Religion), Prof Michael Bentley (History and Philosophy of History) and Dr David Lincicum (New Testament Studies) to celebrate the publication of Johannes Zachhuber's Theology as Science in Nineteenth-Century Germany. From F.C. Baur to Ernst Troeltsch (Oxford: OUP, 2013).

The book describes the origin, development, and crisis of the German nineteenth-century project of theology as science. Its narrative is focused on the two predominant theological schools during this period, the Tubingen School and the Ritschl School. Their work emerges as a grand attempt to synthesize historical and systematic theology within the twin paradigms of historicism and German Idealism. Engaging in detail with the theological, historical and philosophical scholarship of the story's protagonists, Johannes Zachhuber reconstructs the basis of this scholarship as a deep belief in the eventual unity of human knowledge. This idealism clashed with the historicist principles underlying much of the scholars' actual research. The tension between these paradigms ran through the entire period and ultimately led to the disintegration of the project at the end of the century.

The Global Dane: SØREN KIERKEGAARD. Theologian - Philosopher - Author
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
First Floor, Radcliffe Humanities Building

A poster exhibition by The Danish Cultural Institute celebrating the bicentenary of Kierkegaard’s birth, with text by Professor Joakim Garff of The Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, University of Copenhagen.

Download the poster here.

The Post-Kantian European Philosophy Seminar
Tuesdays (fortnightly)

A seminar series devoted to the study and discussion of post-Kantian European philosophy, welcoming speakers from within Oxford and elsewhere to present work in a workshop format. Colleagues and graduate students with an interest in this tradition are very welcome to take part.

Further information is available at the Postkantian Seminar website.

   © Centre for Theology and Modern European Thought 2015