#CFP Religious Perspectives and Alternative Futures in an Age of Humans

#CFP Religious Perspectives and Alternative Futures in an Age of Humans January 31, 2018

I wasn’t aware until just recently about this conference in the summer here in Indiana, on a topic that I know will interest many blog readers as much as it interests me: religion in the anthropocene. The deadline has been extended, and so this is a good time to share the call for papers!



MAY 17-20 2018





Deadline for submission:  February 11, 2018


Conference Theme:

The Anthropocene, a proposed term for a geological epoch characterized by unprecedented human transformation of the planet, originated in earth systems science and has since captured the imagination of many humanists. Discourse on the Anthropocene, which probes the meaning of humanity’s role and agency within deep time and planetary evolution, raises religious and ethical questions about how to understand humanity’s place within planetary evolution, and how to envision the future trajectory of humans and human societies.

This conference is part of a multi-year, multi-university project, “Being Human in the Age of Humans: Perspectives from Religion and Ethics,” funded by Humanities Without Walls. More information on the project is available here.

We, the conveners of the conference, do not assume that the Anthropocene is a given. Instead, we welcome critical engagement with the language, concepts, and social imaginaries of the Anthropocene. To foster such research and dialogue, we especially seek proposals that do the following:

  • Critically analyze religious presuppositions of Anthropocene concepts and narratives (how, for example, are these narratives functioning like religion?)
  • Challenge the presumed neutrality of Anthropocene narratives and futures (for example, analyses of how science is deployed or even distorted in Anthropocene discourse)
  • Propose alternative approaches to understanding agency in the Anthropocene (e.g. alternatives to the anthropos of the Anthropocene as an undifferentiated human “species” or aggregate entity)
  • Actively engage with indigenous perspectives, including alternative cosmological, narrative, and ethical frameworks for action.
  • Develop feminist approaches to conceiving temporal aspects of environmental change, technology and religion.
  • Create intellectual space for conceiving of environmental change in different ways, temporally, experientially, or otherwise (e.g. critical animal studies, multispecies approaches, extinction studies, evolutionary anthropology)


Click through to the conference website for more information as well as details of how to submit a paper proposal or register for the conference.

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  • Chuck Johnson

    When such conference topics assume that the supernatural is a real physical thing, more time is wasted.
    When the researchers know that the supernatural is just an idea, just a human invention, substantial progress can be made on understanding our universe.

    Time is running out for the supernatural-based philosophies.

    • It doesn’t assume that. This is an academic conference at a secular state university. I am not sure how you managed to misunderstand what this is about, but I am glad you commented so that that could be clarified for you.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Thank you.
        “. . . raises religious and ethical questions about how to understand humanity’s place within planetary evolution, . . .”

        That’s how.
        But of course, the way that religions are actually treated within this conference makes all the difference.

        • I’m so sorry to hear that the fact that the anthropocene raises issues for religion and ethics, and academics feel that is worthy of study, has caused you such confusion!

          • Chuck Johnson

            No, the confusion is caused by the the political correctness of the announcement.
            The announcement is intentionally vague and confusing.

          • Not to an academic, who would find no political correctness at work whatsoever, but merely a description of the focus of an academic conference.

  • John MacDonald

    I think extinction studies is an important topic. The population growth rate we currently experience is not sustainable when considering whether the human race will survive or not given the available resources.