CFP EXTENDED Wonder and the Natural World

Type: Call for Papers
Date: March 1, 2016
Location: United States
Subject Fields: Environmental History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Religious Studies and Theology, Humanities, Fine Arts

DEADLINE EXTENDED!! CSRES International Conference on “Wonder & the Natural World,” June 20-23, 2016

Conference Information and Call for Papers:

Visit the website of the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society:

Deadline for abstract submissions: Mar 1, 2016

Aristotle observed that philosophy originates in wonder. Descartes considered wonder the first of all the passions, a “sudden surprise of the soul” that moves the mind toward understanding and away from ignorance. Others have considered wonder a defective state, a stunned response that impedes the acquisition of knowledge. Wonder is the province of the wide-eyed child in the woods, and the wild-eyed scientist in the lab. Scientific wonder beckons us into mystery but may also banish the mysterious and drain away its power. Wonder is prompted by the odd and uncanny, the strange and novel, the transcendent and sublime, as well as encounters with the monstrous and horrific. Its virtuous dimensions shade into generosity, humility, and compassion, while its shadow side suggests the lure of unwholesome enchantments and hubristic trespass. Wonder can engender moral caution and respect for otherness, but it may also foster a will to mastery. Wonder has variously been associated with, or dissociated from, curiosity, awe, intimations of divinity, infinity,  the miraculous or supernatural, feelings of astonishment and puzzlement. Wonder has also played a crucial role in the environmental movement since its inception.

We welcome paper proposals that explore wonder or its cognate terms in relation to nature or the natural, in all its forms.
This Call for Paper Proposals for “Wonder and the Natural World” is the second phase of a two-year thematic initiative sponsored by CSRES. The first phase was open to faculty at all IU campuses and culminated in a daylong symposium in May 2015. The current call for proposals is open to national/international scholars from a variety of disciplines.

Established in 2013, the Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES) is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs, and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. Our mandate is to aid in the development of research and scholarship to better understand religion, ethics, values, and spirituality in society and to promote collaboration among constituents at IU and beyond. CSRES utilizes and builds upon IU’s extensive strengths in religion and ethics to advance research in key themes.
Contact Info: Lisa Sideris, Associate Professor, Indiana University; director IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society.
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