I got some good news today. A few months ago I told you that there was a conference coming up this year that I’d like to take part in. Well, I’ve been chosen to present a paper at Merton College at the University of Oxford, as part of the 18th Conference of the European Society of the Philosophy of Religion.
The only reason I know this is that I bugged them about it. The official notifictions are about to be sent out, so I’m told.
The theme of the conference is Religion in the Public Square, one of my special interests, and the keynote speaker will be Nicholas Wolterstorff. My paper will present an argument that I’ve addressed in other formats, namely the question of whether or not religious convictions and by extension the policies that they might be used to support could meet any standard of “public justification.”
It’s a great opportunity for me. It is a way of getting exactly the right kind of exposure in the international academic arena, and for professional academic roles it’s a great addition to my C.V. It would, in theory, push me one step closer to that elusive big time. There’s one problem. The keynote speaker, as well as the other speakers on the schedule, along with virtually everyone presenting a paper, will be from university departments that provide funding for travel to conferences. I on the other hand am not, and will need to meet the expenses myself. I’ve been crunching the numbers and it’s pretty painful. Flights, conference registration and accommodation will cost around $4,400 New Zealand dollars (using today’s exchange rate, that’s about $3,136.02 US).
I’m putting the word out there: If you are able to and you would like to assist me in meeting these costs, I would warmly welcome and appreciate it. The “donate” button on the right, or the “buy me a beer” button at the bottom of each post is an easy way to do this via Paypal. If you’re in New Zealand and you think you might be able to assist, feel free to get in touch with me (Paypal is convenient for overseas payments, but there is a small fee involved). If you’re a blogger, I’d appreciate you putting the word out there and asking people if they’d be interested in supporting me with this.