THE GOOD. LIFE. Fifth Salzburg Institute Symposium

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts

Call for Papers:

THE GOOD. LIFE. Fifth Salzburg Institute Symposium, University of Salzburg, Austria, July 27, 2017


This interdisciplinary conference focuses on theoretical concepts and lived ideals of the good through the prism of literature, philosophy, theology, ethics and cultural studies. Possible guiding questions are: Do transcultural, universally valid conceptions of the good exist? Can we harmonize ethical ideals of the good with the fullness and enjoyment (including desires, sensual pleasures) of life? Religions have often tied “the good life” to self-denial and the repression of carnal, bodily pleasures. To what extent is this attitude a denial of life? In ancient philosophies and some of their modern tributaries, the good was connected to the idea of harmony. To what degree can we still unite aesthetics and the good along these lines? How can the good be measured (if at all), and how do we evaluate or validate good deeds or a good life? How indeed do we assess a good life? What constitutes a good human being? Is a do-gooder a good human being? Of interest is also the material, spiritual or ideational environments conducive to the good or a good life. Moreover, is the good life necessarily something extraordinary, something that stands out, or can average actions or lives be counted “good”?  And what about normativity itself? Can what is adequate or correct and therefore in some sense good become a straightjacket of political correctness?  Finally, we also welcome reflections on representations of the good. What art forms or styles allow the good to appear? Can art render the good banal or turn it into kitsch? What art forms may obscure or distort the good? Does the ugly, disproportionate, suffering, or violence have place within the good?  We are looking forward to your proposals and contributions to this topic.


Selected papers will be published in the Salzburg Institute’s Symphilologus series. Vol 1 is now available


Please send brief abstracts (250 words) for papers in German or English and a brief bio by January 15, 2017 to Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length. The organizers cannot offer contributors compensation for conference- or travel expenses.


Armin Eidherr (Salzburg), Gregor Thuswaldner (Chicago), and Jens Zimmermann (Langley, BC, Canada and Cambridge, UK)