Civilizational Values at the Crossroads

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International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 10 – 13, 2015 Call for Papers - 45th Annual Meeting
Civilizational Values at the Crossroads
Civilizations cannot be properly studied or compared without examining their basic value systems. But what exactly are values? How are they exemplified across civilizations? Do values even exist? Are they relative or absolute? Are "decline" and "progress" relative terms? Are there universal values? Possible topics include:
Values in Crisis
• Do we now live in a Nihilistic Age? What does this mean?
• Values in transition.
• "Civilization and its' Discontents"
• Moral Crises and Catharses: How have watershed events in the History of Civilizations helped destroy old values and usher in new ones?
Values and Power
• Is "the good" defined by the powerful? What do ancient thinkers say (Cf. Thrasymachus, Thucydides)? What about modern thinkers (Nietzsche, Foucault, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)?
• Hard Power vs. Soft Power: Which Shall Prevail?
• Ideology, Politics and Soft Power
• Wisdom and Soft Power
• Realism and Soft Power
Religion, Science and Values
• Do we live in a secular age (Taylor)? A post- secular age? Is this era the time of the Second Religiousness (Spengler)? What specific values are represented by Fundamentalist religious movements worldwide? How is their rise to be interpreted?
• Science and Religion represent different explanatory frameworks. Is science really "value-free"? Should it be? Is this even possible? Are these different explanatory frameworks compatible or incompatible?
Values and Economics
• Was the 2008 Financial Crisis first and foremost a moral crisis?
• Has postmodern capitalism become morally bankrupt?
• Sustainability vs. Profit: Which Path Shall We Take?
Values in Conflict
• Conflict vs. Cooperation: Can war ever be eradicated? Should it?
• Clashes of Civilizations: How do we maximize good and minimize evil? Who defines these terms? According to which criteria?
Values and Culture
• North vs. South, East vs. West. As this is the first ISCSC conference to be held in South America, we are extremely
interested in any papers specifically on South American and Meso-American civilizations, history, value systems,
etc., especially Brazil and its' complexities, challenges and paradoxes.
Send abstracts of about 300 words to the Program Chair Michael Andregg at: mmandregg@stthomas.edu
Abstracts must include your proper name, email address, and institutional affiliation, if any.
The above themes and subthemes are just guidelines. Any professional treatment of civilizational issues, especially
comparative, is appropriate.
Deadline for abstracts is April 1, 2015, but earlier submissions are encouraged.
Conference language is English, but papers may be read in Spanish or Portuguese if accompanied by a supplement in
English outlining the paper's basic argument.