CALL FOR PAPERS: Studia Historica Gedanensia, Vol. VII, 2016: With God and Against God
Since the beginning of history of the humankind homo sapiens meant also homo religiosus, a “thinking man” reflecting on the meaning of his existence, the origin and the end of life, the purposefulness or the casualness of being. Since then we can talk about two pools of human relations to the idea of the divinity: reverence and devotion v. impiety and rebellion. Naturally, there are many intermediate positions between these extremities. The heritage of the great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam multiplies this perennial dilemma which was first articulated in works of ancient Greek philosophers of nature. A critical attitude coexisted with apologetics, contestation with affirmation, mystical enlightenment being accompanied by doubts about spirituality, gnosis by agnosticism. Eventually, atheism came into being with its variety of meanings and forms of impingement -- in a colloquial sense -- meaning a complete disaffirmation of God’s existence. From philosophical and theological dissertations it moved into the public sphere and shaped moral and social rules and attitudes. The proposed volume aims at reviewing themes in this ideological confrontation from the earliest antiquity to the present day.
We prefer submissions demonstrating the historical context of particular epochs, reception of ideas, their influence on the course of events, and their meaning for the culture and civilization in general. Aside from creative generalizations we seek representative case studies. There is no concrete chronological framework as we recognize the need for analysis reaching from ancient events and phenomena, such as the religious reform of the Egyptian pharaoh Echnaton which was reckoned as a sign of impiety. We are interested in studies of aberrations of main monotheistic religions, often connected with accusations of religious ignorance and heresy. Furthermore, we are interested in analysis of atheism of elites, based on the universal, philosophical conceptions of skepticism and materialism. From Manichaeism and Arianism to the medieval movement of Catharists, early modern achievements of Polish Brethren and the newest fascinations with Eastern religions, from the Hellenistic and Roman philosophy of life announcing the hedonistic Carpe Diem credo, through humanism, Enlightenment, positivism and modernism, we search for symptoms of increasing secularization in the social life and at the same time attempt to show the contrary process: incessant recurrence to religiousness, occurring i.a. in the 19th and 20th centuries’ trends of new piety and – in the case of Christianity – of new Evangelization.
The expected outcome of this publication project is the demonstration of evolution in relations: God – man, man – God. We welcome submissions by historians, as well as philosophers, specialists in the religious studies, culture and literature experts, cultural anthropologists and sociologists. Please note however, that we would rather publish interdisciplinary texts with historical reflection than exclusively theological and philosophical analyses. We wish to devote most of the volume to the history of confrontation between supporters and opponents of atheism, its former and contemporary symptoms, especially inside the great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Volume editor: dr hab. Sławomir Kościelak
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS (of articles, edited primary sources, book reviews): 15 July 2014. Paper proposals should include: title, abstract (max. 1000 words), bio (max. 300 words). The authors will receive confirmation should their paper proposals be accepted by early September 2014. Completed papers should be submitted to the Editor by the end of 2014, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail: ul. Wita Stwosza 55, 80-952 Gdańsk, Poland.
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