Studies in Philosophical Theology, 62 (Peeters, 2017), ISBN: 978-90-429-3482-5
John Smith (1618-1652), long known for the elegance of his prose and the breadth of his erudition, has been underappreciated as a philosophical theologian. This book redresses this by showing how the spiritual senses became an essential tool for responding to early modern developments in philosophy, science, and religion for Smith. Through a close reading of the Select Discourses (1660) it is shown how Smith’s theories of theological knowledge, method, and prophecy as well as his prescriptive account of Christian piety rely on his spiritual aesthetics. Smith offers a coherent system with intellectual intuition informing natural theology and revelation supplemented by spiritual perception via the imagination too. The central uniting feature of Smith’s philosophical theology is thus ‘spiritual sensation’ broadly construed. The book closes with proposals for research on Smith’s influence on the accounts of the spiritual senses developed by significant later figures including Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and John Wesley (1703-1791).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
This panel is sponsored by the Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) at McGill University