ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING: Affect and the God of the Philosophers

February 24-25, 2018
Religious Studies, University of Dayton
Keynote Speakers: Elliot R. Wolfson and Amy Hollywood

What do philosophers mean when they use the word ‘God’? Pascal’s famous dictum drew the battle lines: in writing “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob – not of the philosophers and scholars,” a difference is declared, but what the difference is, or what these two gods are, remains unclear. This conference seeks to revisit the gods of the philosophers—from the ancient to the present—to better understand what philosophers mean when they talk about ‘God’.

This conference proposes that the God of the philosophers be revisited from the perspective of affect and emotion. One question orients our investigation: What can we learn about the God of the philosophers when we look at it through the lens of affect? Engaging both philosophy and theology, and using mysticism and aesthetics to warp the boundary between them, the goal is to shed new light on the affective dimensions of the philosopher’s God.

• Mysticism, philosophy, and affect in medieval thought
• Gender, God, and philosophical affects
• Political theology and affect (affect and legitimacy)
• Spinoza, Leibniz, Lessing and a God composed of affects
• After the Death of God: affect and God in critical theory
• Race, God and affect
• Affect in Asian philosophical-religious traditions
• Religious existentialism and its gods

We invite a variety of proposals, ranging from (a) traditional conference papers to (b) reading and working groups to (c) live creative and art performances and tasks. Works in-progress are very much encouraged. Please submit a short abstract (200-300 words) to affectandreligion@gmail.com. Final submission date is Nov 15th, 2017.