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One of the key issues identified within the environmental humanities is the problematic anthropocentric construction of nature within the modern social imaginary. The Platonic tradition has, throughout history, offered a radically non- anthropocentric alternative, understanding meaning and value as intrinsic to creatures themselves. This panel invites papers that explore historical instances of the non-anthropocentric Platonic conceptualisation of nature and encourages contributions that explore their contemporary application to the task of reconceptualising the way we collectively understand nature and our place within it. Papers may draw upon sources from antiquity to the present, and ranging from the philosophical and theological to the poetic and artistic.

Christian Platonism: Reflections on the occasion of the Publication of Christian Platonism: A History (Cambridge, 2021) (eds. Alexander J.B. Hampton, John Peter Kenney)

Possible Co-Sponsored by Religion and Philosophy in Late Antiquity Unit and Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Unit

 On the occasion of the publication of Christian Platonism: A History this panel offers papers by established and emergent scholars on one of the determinative narratives of over two millennia of intellectual history. At times, Platonism has constituted an essential philosophical and theological resource, furnishing Christianity with an intellectual framework that has played a key role in its early development, and in subsequent periods of renewal. Alternatively, it has been considered a compromising influence, conflicting with the faith’s revelatory foundations and distorting its inherent message. In both cases the fundamental importance of Platonism, as a force which Christianity defined itself by and against, is clear. Contributions will explore the historical conceptual and constructive elements of the relationship between one of history’s most influential philosophies and one of its most important religions.

Book Panel: Schleiermacher’s Plato

The Schleiermacher Unit will be sponsoring a book panel on the forthcoming volume Schleiermacher’s Plato (De Gruyter, 2021) by Julia Lamm. This volume considers Friedrich Schleiermacher’s historic translation and interpretation of Plato’s dialogues, exploring both the impact of Plato’s thought in shaping Schleiermacher’s theology and the longstanding influence of Schleiermacher’s translation upon modern interpretations of Plato. Panelists will be invited. (possible cosponsorship with Schleiermacher Unit)

Mission Statement:

This Unit is committed to the ongoing study of Platonic traditions in connection with the history and philosophy of religions, from antiquity to the present. We are supported in this effort by the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. Several of our panelists have published their papers in the Society’s Journal of Neoplatonic Studies as well as in other refereed journals in classics, religious studies, theology, and philosophy.

Method of Submission:



Co-Chairs:Douglas Hedley, rdh26@cam.ac.uk

Derek Michaud, derek.a.michaud@maine.edu 

Steering Committee:

Kevin Corrigan, kcorrig@emory.edu

Alexander J.B. Hampton, hampton.alex@gmail.com

Willemien Otten, wotten@uchicago.edu

Sarah Pessin, spessin@du.edu

Daniel Regnier, dregnier@stmcollege.ca


Session Allotment: Tier 1 – Two 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2024