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It's Only Natural(ism)--Southeast Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature (April 9-11, 2015)
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Southeast Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature
Conference Theme--It's Only Natural(ism): Questioning and Responding to the Master Narrative of Late Modernity
April 9-11, 2015
Keynote Speaker: Roger Lundin, Wheaton College
Undergraduates thrilling to the bleak despair of Stephen Crane or Thomas Hardy are often excited to discover the existence of naturalism as a philosophy of life and a literary movement of great importance. They are quick to draw parallels to contemporary issues and controversies, for naturalism’s reach is clearly not confined to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Christian philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga and Charles Taylor have identified naturalism, the belief that natural phenomena alone can explain human experience, as the defining feature of late modernity, and Plantinga has invoked naturalism’s status as a quasi-religion to reframe the supposed debate between science and religion: “there is a science-religion-conflict, all right, but it is between science and naturalism, not science and theistic religion.” Philosophical naturalism’s influence extends beyond the bounds of literary naturalism or science-and-religion discourse, surfacing even in theories of language, as Charles Taylor and Roger Lundin have argued. Across the disciplines, is naturalism a “master narrative” towards which postmodernity (if such a thing exists) has failed to be incredulous? Is naturalism, more than postmodernism, the contemporary challenge to both religion and science?
We invite papers and proposals that:
• explore the relationship between the natural and the supernatural in literary texts
Papers pursuing other angles of the relationship between Christianity and literature are also welcome. Please submit 250-word abstracts and/or session proposals to Dr. Carissa Turner Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1, 2014. Papers for undergraduate panels are also invited: send undergraduate submissions to Dr. Jonathan Sircy at email@example.com.