Philosophy and Eschatology
19-20 November 2021
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Ted Toadvine (Penn State)
Leonard Harris (Purdue)
Catherine Botha (UJ)
Organized by Paul Slama, Carien Smith,
Rafael Winkler, and Abraham Olivier
Eschatology, this talk of the end of time, history or the world, is integral to various intellectual traditions from classical theology in the West to Afro-pessimism. It also underlies the culminating term of the modern idea of progress and its dialectical counterpart in Hegel and Marx; and we find it put to various uses in Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, Bataille, Blanchot, Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy among others, from the thought of the eternal return to the consummation of the history of being, passing through the idea of justice and of the Other. At stake each time is the difficult question concerning the end, how we are to think it critically, as well as the relation between the finite and the infinite, transcendence and immanence.
Eschatology has also recently penetrated the ambit of the ecologist and of eco-phenomenology, that of the geologist and critical theory, and of global capitalism. The ecologist warns us that the end is looming owing to the continued devastation of the earth, and although the debate is still out on the soundness and legitimacy of the term, the geologist and critical theorist suggest that no good is to be expected of the ‘Anthropocene’ era. As for global capitalism, it’s as though everyday one expects another global catastrophe to hit the screens of our TV (or computer) – a natural catastrophe if not a military one, a technological one if not a social one, etc., whose consequences, however, we believe will be felt at every scale and at every level, social, military, economic, technological, etc.
What is the role of philosophy in this time that seems to be passionately devoted and attached to thinking about the end of time? This and related topics are what this conference intends to address. We are looking in particular for papers that address the links between philosophy and eschatology, ecology and eco-phenomenology, and such themes as global capitalism, the Anthropocene, religion, the end of time, or Afro-pessimism.
Topics of the conference include, but are not limited to:
- Eschatology and religion;
- Eschatology and phenomenology;
- Eschatology and apocalypticism;
- Eschatology, ethics, and political thought;
- Eschatology and African philosophy;
- Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Blanchot, Heidegger, Derrida, Nancy, Kojève, Bataille;
- African concepts of the end, time, worldhood;
- Critical Race Theory;
- Black theology;
- Ancestry and history;
- Akan, Bantu, and Igbo cosmologies (among others).
Please send a 700 word abstract for blind review to email@example.com. The full paper should be no more than 3000-3500 words for a 30-35 min. presentation. Proposals for panel discussion are also welcome.
The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday the 27th of August 2021.
There are no conference fees. The conference will take place online.
For more information about the conference, please visit the website of the Centre for Phenomenology in South Africa: https://saphenomenology.wordpress.com. Alternatively, please contact one of the organizers: Paul Slama (firstname.lastname@example.org), Carien Smith (email@example.com), Rafael Winkler (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Abraham Olivier (email@example.com).