CfP: Inscriptions 7n1, Beyond dualism — philosophy, religion, science


Submission deadline: 15 September, 2023 (guidelines below).

A divergence in Western philosophy occurs in early Greek philosophy (6th century B.C.) as Heraclitus asserts that things are in flux whereas Parmenides advances the argument that the universe is static. The latter argument seems to be confirmed by quantum physics: 20th century research in the field of physics establishes that the cosmos is static.

Discoveries in the natural sciences and epistemology are bracketed by a general philosophical divergence between Eastern and Western intellectual trends. Eastern epistemology, e.g. Buddhist and Taoist thought, affirms what to the Western mind appears to be a paradox: Phenomena in the external world exist in a state of flux, yet everything is one, and there is no difference between inside and outside. By contrast, Western thought seems to be adamantly anchored in a dualism which manifests itself in and is corroborated by Christian theology and psychoanalytic theory and practice.

Attempts are made, however, to transcend the forcefully maintained dualism of body and soul. There are several examples of dualist and nondualist notions being contestated in both Christian theology and other religious traditions. Among these we find Søren Kierkegaard, who resolved the dualism by stating that the synthesis of body and soul is spirit, and that the chasm between time and eternity is braced by the moment, an instant out of time which becomes a fragment of eternity. Further, Kierkegaard states that being corresponds to becoming and that the road of being towards the so-called fullness of time, Tidens Fylde, is arduous and reserved for those who embrace a faith which transcends reason.

While the issue of dualism transcends religion, it seems clear that science and religion have served each other well; they have indeed influenced the development of each other in areas such as our thinking about the mind-brain question and body-soul dualisms. Thus, dualism remains a topical issue, including, but not limited to, the interdisciplinary nature of neurophilosophy.

Several questions arise at this point:

  • Is Kierkegaard’s concept of faith an answer to the dilemma of dualism, the divided mind?
    Is Martin Heidegger’s concept Dasein a path to full being in a sense which approximates Eastern epistemology?
  • Is G.W.F. Hegel’s dialectical resolution of the binary opposition the movement forward of the world, the end of history, a Utopian illusion or a genuine social and political settlement of pressing problems in our time?
  • Does Sigmund Freud’s work on Eros and Thanatos signal the end of dualism or a continuation of it?
  • Is C.G. Jung’s archetype a unifying psychic and cultural theory which comes close to Eastern thought?
  • Is Jacques Derrida’s concept of Differance an answer to the self-other dualism or a continuation of it?
  • Do the Romantic poets, such as William Wordsworth and William Blake, participate in a dualistic view of nature and mind or do they transcend dualism?
  • Do the modernist poets, e.g., T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams create a poetry, a poiesis expressing a new unity of mind and nature?
  • In what manner have science and religious thought influenced each other with regard to dualist and nondualist thought?

For this special issue we welcome proposals and full essays that address any of these or other relevant questions.

Submission instructions: Academic essays should be 3,000 to 4,500 words. We encourage potential authors to submit proposals (150 words) ahead of writing/submitting full-length manuscripts. The editors provide an indicative review of proposals. Include title, institutional affiliation, and a brief author bio with the text of your proposal. More information is available under the Editorial Policies tab on our web-page.

Creative criticism: For this issue we solicit creative criticism under a broad ambit; we seek writers who are reflecting explicitly on their methods, practices, positionings, etc., as academic writers and/or creative practitioners. We provide space for autoethnographic explorations; lyrical, personal essays; creative non-fiction approaches; imagined dialogues; experimental oddities in which form charts “thinking in/as writing” (and vice versa); collaborative conversations and “inter-views”; interdisciplinary detournements.

Deadline for proposals: 15 September, 2023. Full manuscripts are due 15 October, 2023.

About Inscriptions

Inscriptions is an interdisciplinary, double-blind peer-reviewed journal that welcomes a wide range of approaches to scholarship and writing. Access to content in this journal remains open on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Print copies of Inscriptions can be purchased through our distributor.

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Recent issues:

  • Inscriptions 6, no. 2: Open issue, due out July 2023
  • Inscriptions 6, no. 1: Technology’s danger, January 2023
  • Inscriptions 5, no. 2: Open issue, July 2022
  • Inscriptions 5, no. 1: Being and event, January 2022
  • Inscriptions 4, no. 2: Open issue, July 2021
  • Inscriptions 4, no. 1: Artificial life, January 2021
  • Inscriptions 3, no. 2: Power in a time of pandemic, July 2020
  • Inscriptions 3, no. 1: Outsourced, January 2020
  • Inscriptions 2, no. 2: Kierkegaard, July 2019
  • Inscriptions 2, no. 1: The global unconscious, January 2019
  • Inscriptions 1, no. 1-2: Consecrations, July 2018

See our web-page for more information:

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Torgeir Fjeld
Editor-in-Chief, Inscriptions