Project Vox: Recovering Lost Voices of Women in Philosophy

In the English-speaking world, the history of modern philosophy—roughly, the period from 1600 to 1800—has traditionally been focused on a few great canonical figures, especially the “rationalists” Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, and the “empiricists” Locke, Berkeley and Hume. For generations, students have learned about these figures, but have very rarely heard about any philosophical achievements of early modern women. This website helps us to transcend traditional narratives shaping the canon.

The website will be the virtual hub for an international network of scholars to work together in expanding our research and teaching beyond the traditional philosophical “canon” and beyond traditional narratives of modern philosophy’s history. . . .

Our website concerns the next major scholarly development: the acknowledgement that a number of early modern women have been unjustly ignored in our narratives. From Lady Masham, Margaret Cavendish and Anne Conway in England to Émilie Du Châtelet in France, many women played significant roles in the development of modern philosophy, but their contributions have often gone unnoticed. The website has three primary goals. First, it seeks to provide students at all levels with the materials they need to begin exploring the rich philosophical ideas of Cavendish, Conway, Du Châtelet and Masham. Second, it aims to provide teachers with the material they need to incorporate these four figures into their courses. Third and finally, it aims to help transform our current conception of the canon.

CFP: Nicholas of Cusa and Early Modern Religion

Graduate students and seasoned scholars are invited to submit abstract proposals for the panel “Nicholas of Cusa and Early Modern Religion” to be hosted at the annual Eastern International Meeting of the AAR, May 1-2, 2015, at McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada.

Since the 1930s a wealth of scholarly material has appeared describing the profound insights of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) and his influence on modern philosophy, science, and other disciplines. Once described as “the first modern thinker” because of his speculations on the independence of the human intellect and his proto-Copernican astronomical conclusions, Cusa’s influence in the early modern period has yet to be completely mapped.

This panel seeks to address Cusa’s impact, whether directly or indirectly, on early modern religion. Cusa was well known in the 16th and 17th centuries as an expounder of “learned ignorance” and as a reformminded cleric, yet little scholarly attention has been given to the appropriation of Cusan thought among theologians, clerics, and lay devotees during this period. Presentations will be considered for publication within a volume on the same theme, which is currently under review with Brill.

Acceptable topics for this panel may include (but are not limited to) the following in relation to the impact of Nicholas of Cusa’s thought in the early modern period (16th – 17th centuries):

  • The interplay between the sacred and the secular
  • The spiritual senses
  • The hermeneutics of religion
  • Philosophical implications of religion
  • Devotional texts, songs, images, practices
  • Cultural repertoires of devotion and desire
  • Languages of mystical experience
  • The psychology of desire and devotion

Proposals should contain the following in a single e-mail attachment in MS Word format:
1. One-page abstract (300 words maximum)
2. Current CV
3. Cover page that includes the submitter’s full name, title, institution, phone number, and primary email.

If you are interested in presenting a paper on this panel, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words by Feb. 12, 2015. Also include any audio-visual equipment you may require. Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length.

Email abstracts or further inquiries to the panel organizer Eric Parker:

This panel is sponsored by the Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) at McGill University


New Research on Nicholas of Cusa and the Cambridge Platonists

Two Sessions on Nicholas of Cusa and Protestant Thought at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in New Orleans 16-19, 2014

Nicholas of Cusa and Protestant Thought (I)

Friday 8:30-10:00, Studio 6

Sponsor: Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR), McGill University
Organizer: Eric M. Parker, McGill University & Joshua Hollmann, Concordia College Chair: Torrance Kirby, McGill University

Nicholas of Cusa and Martin Luther on Christ and the Coincidence of Opposites Joshua Hollmann (Concordia College)

Lineages of Papal Reform: Nicholas of Cusa’s Reformatio generalis (1459) and Luther’s View of the Papacy during the Early Indulgence Controversy (1517-19)
Richard Serina (Concordia Seminary)

As the Blind Discern Color: Nicholas of Cusa and John Calvin on the Hiddenness of God
Kirk Essary (Florida State University)

Nicholas of Cusa in Protestant Thought (II)

Friday 10:30-12:00, Studio 6

Sponsor: Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR), McGill University
Organizer: Eric M. Parker, McGill University & Joshua Hollmann, Concordia College Chair: Torrance Kirby, McGill University

The Influence of Nicholas of Cusa in the Philosophical Theology of Thomas Jackson (1579-1640)
Peter James Bryson (McGill University)

‘Squaring the Circle’: Cusan Metaphysics and the Pansophic Vision of Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670)
Simon Burton (University of Warsaw)

‘Reason re-enthroned in her Majestick Seat’: Religion and Reason in Nicholas of Cusa and the Cambridge Platonists (ca. 1644-1688)
Eric Parker (McGill University)