McMaster Divinity College invites proposals for an international conference being hosted on Thursday, April 27, 2023. The conference theme is “Secularism and the Pursuit of Transcendence.”

We live in what has been called “a secular age.” What are the implications of secularism for the pursuit of transcendence? Is God still able to break through the mundane or is he confined to immanence? And are people able to grasp the ineffable in the midst of the common? This conference attempts to bring together theologians, philosophers, sociologists, and others interested in contemplating what is meant by transcendence, how it is experienced, and how it is expressed, in the midst of competing secular interests. The conference is designed for scholars, pastors, teachers, students, and laity, as well as anyone interested in the topic.

Keynote Speakers

We have an exciting group of speakers who will be participating in the conference including:

  • Christina Gschwandtner, Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University in New York City (plenary speaker)
  • Charles Taylor, Professor Emeritus in Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec (by pre-recorded conversation)
  • Merold Westphal, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Fordham University in New York City (by pre-recorded conversation)
  • Robert Wuthnow, Professor of Sociology Emeritus and former director of the Princeton University Center for the Study of Religion in Princeton, New Jersey (by pre-recorded conversation)

Proposal Submission Guidelines

We welcome proposals on all aspects and from various academic perspectives on our theme. Selected papers will be grouped into parallel sessions. Publication versions may be longer than those delivered.

Proposals should include: contact information (name, institution where relevant, address, phone, and e-mail), paper title, and an abstract (max. 200 words) and must be submitted electronically through our website using the form below. The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2022. Late submissions or submissions missing information may not be considered.

Proposals will be evaluated on their relevance to the conference theme and the originality and importance of the contribution. Successful candidates will be notified by email. Following the conference, a peer-reviewed volume of the conference papers will be published by the MDC Press.

Conference Details

This conference will take place at McMaster Divinity College at 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, April 27, 2023. Parallel sessions will be chosen in advance at registration. Some sessions may be opened to livestream access, but participants are strongly encouraged to attend in person. More details will be released as they become available at: mcmasterdivinity.ca/transcendenceconference

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