This Unit 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.
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Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit
Call for Proposals
- Christianity and the Environment: Reflections on the Publication of the Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment (eds. Alexander J.B. Hampton & D. Hedley, Cambridge, 2022) (Co-Sponsored by the Religion in Europe Unit and the Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit)
On the occasion of the publication of the Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment this panel offers contributions by established and emergent scholars on one of the determinative existential issues of our time. Religion, and particularly Christianity, has played, and continues to play, a determinative role in shaping the human-nature relationship. Christianity has variously understood the environment as a gift to nurture and steward, as a book of revelation disclosing the divine mind, as a wild garden in need of cultivation and betterment, and as a resource for the creation of a new Eden. These ideas have been equally characterised as the source of our environmental crisis, and as the way out of it. Both the new volume and the panel bring together the work of leading international scholars on the subject from a diversity of fields to offer a comprehensive and systematic reflection on the complex relationship between Christianity and the environment that moves beyond disciplinary boundaries. On the occasion of its publication, both contributors and respondents will consider this volume and the wider topic of Christianity and the Environment.
- Nature and the Platonic Tradition
The Platonic tradition has, throughout history, offered a radically alternative understanding of the relationship between humans and nature, and between humans and non-human animals. This panel invites papers that explore historical and contemporary instances of the Platonic conceptualisation of nature. We encourage contributions that explore the contemporary application of this tradition for the task of reconceptualising our collective understanding of nature. Exploration of the relationship between Platonic realism across multiple religious traditions is encouraged, as well as constructive proposals for inter-religious ecologies. Papers may draw upon sources from antiquity to the present, ranging from the philosophical and theological sources to the poetic and artistic resources.
- One and Many in Plato and the Platonic Tradition
The question of ‘one and many’ is an issue that steps over different traditions, East and West, and over many time frames. It is also fundamental to the study of Pythagoras and Plato. We encourage contributions that explore the emergence of this and cognate issues in Presocratic thought, Plato’s dialogues themselves, the Early Academy, and early or later Pythagoreanism. However, we also welcome contributions that wish to frame this question in much broader ways: for instance, in relation to other current themes/projects in the Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit, namely, the Christian Platonic tradition, as in our volume Christian Platonism (eds. Alexander J.B. Hampton, John Peter Kenney, Cambridge 2021), or our co-sponsored panel Schleiermacher’s Plato (Julia Lamm, De Gruyter, 2021); or also in relation to innovative approaches to race, diversity, and identity that are also part of our focus in our other two panels.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Alexander J.B. Hampton, University of Toronto1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Derek Michaud, University of Maine1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Willemien Otten, University of Chicago1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022
Sarah Pessin, University of Denver1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022
Daniel Regnier, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022