CFP: Phenomenology of Religious Experience

Call for abstracts

Phenomenology of

Religious Experience

4-5 November, 2016

Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute
2311 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, California


Susi Ferrarello (University of San Francisco & California State University)
Olga Louchakova-Schwartz (UC Davis & Sophia University)

The conference is hosted by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas) and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), and sponsored by Sofia University and California State University of East Bay.

Call for Papers

The conference is divided into two main sections: (1) The theologies and philosophies of religious experience, and (2) the descriptive psychology and phenomenological method, with examples and case studies (in people and texts).

In the first section, we welcome all valuable contributions that focus on the relationship between phenomenology and metaphysics. These contributions can come from philosophical perspectives as well as from traditional religious scholarship, but the speakers are asked to self-identify their stance. In particular, we are interested in reading papers that examine the existential status of religious experience. Recent writings on the philosophy of religion questions if religious experience actually exist (e.g. constructivist perspectives such as e.g. Penner, or recent debates in cognitive science of religion). In addition, we welcome contributions on the views of religious experience in the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Walther, Hering, Stein, Henry, Levinas, Marion, Conrad-Martius, Ricoeur and other phenomenological philosophers.

The second section is focused on descriptive phenomenological psychology. In this section we are accepting papers that discuss how phenomenology can increase our actual knowledge of religious experience. In this section we will be expanding from philosophy to phenomenological psychology, mysticism, and psychology of religion. In particular, we welcome papers that develop two directions of inquiries: The phenomenological method through which it is possible to pursue the study of religious experience and the descriptive phenomenology of experience itself, which has been pitifully, insufficiently pursued. Accepted papers will be considered for further publication in the De Gruyter Open Access topical issue.

Abstracts of 300 words can be submitted to  or by September 15, 2016. Authors will be notified of acceptance by September 20, 2016.

Conference website

Space is limited so advance registration is required. To attend, email

GTU and Sofia University students attend at no charge (donations welcome) but have to register in advance.

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