[Pathways] Thinking About Nothing: Philosophy, Negation and the Mystical


Liverpool Hope University, 3-5 July 2020

Call for Proposals: Deadline 30th November 2019

How and why is 'nothing' such a central concern for the mystical? What meaning, if any, derives from negation, un-knowing, un-saying; or from evoking the Absolute in terms of absence, silence, darkness, void, abyss, desert, and no-thing-ness? Why do mystics across different religious traditions return continually to images and ideas of negativity? And how might these interfaces between 'nothingness' and 'the mystical' illuminate our contemporary concerns with these two elusive notions?

This interdisciplinary conference brings together theologians, philosophers, historians, literary scholars, linguists, psychologists, artists, art historians, poets, musicians, and contemplative practitioners to examine interfaces between themes of 'nothingness', 'negativity', and the mystical . We also welcome proposals for creative responses from visual arts, performance, music and sound, poetry and literature.

Keynote speakers include Professor George Pattison, Professor Melissa Raphael, Dr. Rik Van Nieuwenhove, & Dr. Kate Kirkpatrick.

All proposals should include:

1. Full name; 2. E-mail; 3. Current institution and/or academic affiliation 4. Title of the paper or project; 6. Any technical needs; 7. Proposal (up to 350 words).

* Paper proposal: An abstract proposal for a short (20 minute) original paper

* Project proposal: for a presentation, event, exhibition, performance or screening.

Please send proposals and enquiries to: Dr Simon Podmore (podmors@hope.ac.uk), Dr Duane Williams (williad3@hope.ac.uk), or Dr Deborah Casewell (casewed@hope.ac.uk)

Further information on the Mystical Theology Network website


Dr. Deborah Casewell, MA (Hons), MSt, PhD
Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion
Theology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
Liverpool Hope University

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