​​​​​​2016 ISSEI conference 

The University of Lodz, Poland

Visions of doom haunt modernity. These are not just the currency of politics or of Hollywood and popular culture, but secret sharers of a world predicated on “progress,” the infinite extension of man’s empire over society and nature. Nightmares of “the end,” the flip side of Enlightenment optimism, voice profound anxieties about the sustainability of the modern project and the fate of liberal democracy, and also about its violent and questionable historical origins. 

This workshop invites papers and presentations examining the eschatological roots of Western modernity, its debt to Jewish and Christian theologies of “last things” and their kin such as messianism, apocalypticism, and millenarianism. They may draw on any disciplines in the humanities, and also include the relation of Western modernity to monotheistic traditions, including rivalries between Islam and the West, past and present. 

Possible paper or presentation topics include (but are by no means limited to):

- political theology and theology or philosophy of history;

- the histories or theologies of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, especially in relation to

   apocalyptic or messianic themes;

- secularization hypotheses and their critics;

- the hypothesis of the Axial Age and its critics;

- the clash of civilizations;

- the impact of apocalypticism on art, political movements, economics;

- apocalypticism in film and popular culture;

- the problem of violence in history. 

Equally welcome are papers or presentations on ‘apocalyptic’ or otherwise historical thinkers such as René Girard, Carl Schmitt, Eric Voegelin, Reinhart Koselleck, Jacob Taubes, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Karl Jaspers, John Gray, Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Žižek, John Milbank, Robert Bellah, Charles Taylor, Jan Assmann, and Hans Joas, as well as canonical thinkers of history such as Heidegger, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Marx, etc. Again, this list is meant to be suggestive, not exhaustive. 

Please contact me with proposals of 300 words or less by April 30, 2016, at stephen-gardner@utulsa.edu.


Chair: Stephen L. Gardner
Department of Philosophy and Religion
The University of Tulsa, USA

Workshop: Eschatology, Apocalypse, and Modernity