The blog of Dr Glenn Andrew Peoples on Theology, Philosophy, and Social Issues

Conference: Religion in the Public Square


This announcement arrived in my inbox today:


Call For Papers: Religion in the Public Sphere

18th Conference of the European Society of the Philosophy of Religion

Merton College, Oxford, August 26th-29th 2010

Keynote Address: Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff

Speakers: Stephen Clark, Elisabeth Grab-Schmidt, Oddbjorn Leirvik, Michael Moxter, Anne Sofie Roald, Roger Trigg, Henk Vroom, Theo de Witk

The conference will bring together questions in the philosophy of religion with basic issues of political philosophy. Contemporary liberalism often wishes to treat religion as a private matter, and considers religious reasons cannot be ‘public’ reasons. Science is acceptable in the public sphere in a way that religion is not. The Conference will consider how far law, and politics, should give greater recognition to the role of religion in public life. The main conference subtopics are:

  • Religion and Law
  • Religious Freedom
  • Multiculturalism and Pluralism in the Secular Society
  • Blasphemy and Offence


I should be at that conference. In 2008 I graduated with my PhD in philosophy, writing on the subject of religion in the public square. I have a couple of as yet unpublished papers in this subject area that would be ideal for presentations at this conference. As far as I can see, it will not be possible for me to make the trip. Such luxuries are for those who are working in academia (which, as you’ll know, I also wish I was doing). However I am going to submit a paper anyway. If I submit a paper, and it actually gets accepted (no small hurdle for an event like this!), then there exists an almost nonexistent possibility that I will attend. I don’t know how, but it’s still possible (many crazy things are possible). If I do not submit a paper, then there exists no such possibility. So it’s a no brainer.


January 2010 stats


Episode 033: In Search of the Soul, Part 5


  1. Glenn, keep pressing on Brada… and looking up!

  2. Nathan

    Let us know when your paper is accepted. Surely there’s enough good will within this community to get you over there!

  3. Dan

    Attending anyway could be a successful strategy. A currently junior professor who may be emerging as one of the brilliant stars of legal academia in the US spent a year or two participating actively on listservs before throwing his hat in the ring. I believe he also attended conferences before getting hired although I’m not sure on that point. By the time he put himself on the job market, everyone in his field knew and respected him and the only real question was how well would he place.

    How much would the conference cost?

  4. I completed a paper in my graduate program on that subject. If I cleaned it up, I am sure it would be submittable.

    Thing is though, unlike many of peers, I do *not* want to work in academia. Going for that is like trying to be Rock Star, only you get paid less.

  5. Leonhard

    I’m would love to heR the opinions about blasphemy anf offence. One of my personal peevees is anti blasphemy laws which wind up becoming a cover for quack medical treatments. If you can rebrand your product as a religion ala alt-med or complementary treatment you could then reap legal protection from criticism. Scientology is a strong advocater of anti blasphemy laws, and thet define any criticism of religion blasphemy.

  6. Glenn can you please email Matt the call for papers and then I suggest we set up a facebook page dedicated to getting both of you there and you can both keep us abreast as to your submission and whether it is accepted and so on.

    I hereby second Jonny King to help me run the page.

  7. If I can be of any service and any help, I am just a blog-call away!

  8. John

    If you decided to attend would you be obliged to leave your Beretta at the door.

    Would Jesus be welcome at such a gab-fest, or even recognized if he happened to wander in through the front door—probably not because he wouldnt be wearing a suit or collar and tie. He would probably be wearing sandals too.

    The concept and supposed “crime” of blasphemy should have long ago been abolished from any system of laws in all Western democracies that allow free speech about any and every thing.

  9. John, firstly Western democracies certainly don’t allow free speech about any and every thing. Laws against defamation and libel are common.

    Secondly, you have posted three comments in quick succession on three blog posts here and your approach has been clearly and intentionally negative. Is there some way in which I have offended you?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén