Call for Papers for a special issue of the Journal Religions, on the topic: "Theism in the Language of Humanism: Reincarnations of the Transcendent God in the Secular Subject."
Religions (an Open Access Journal by MDPI) Special Issue: "Theism in the Language of Humanism: Reincarnations of the Transcendent God in the Secular Subject"
The process of secularization can be defined as shifting the focus of European thought from the transcendent God, the otherworldly and the suprahuman, towards immanence, that is, towards the world and the human condition in the world. Secularization is a transition from theism to humanism. According to this definition, one might conclude, as indeed has often been done, that secularization excluded God from thought and removed religion from the world. Post-secular thought, however, provides a more critical and complex view. The process of secularization, for many thinkers, was not a departure from God and religion but a departure from a certain conception of God and a particular way of religiosity, which were dominant for a long time. According to this view, secularization did not erase God but opened a way for the humanization of religion through ethical, social, or political activation.
This Special Issue is dedicated to critical thinking about different ways in which modern thinkers have developed conceptual frameworks for what Erich Fromm named "humanistic religion". This notion refers to intellectual projects that explicitly or implicitly converted categories from the theological tradition of the transcendent God to the humanistic discourse, with the human being at its center. We are interested in movements of thought that identified the moment of secularization as an opportunity not to eliminate God but to liberate the divine from hegemonic European theology and religiosity.
At the center of the discussion stands the main protagonist of the humanistic discourse, namely the human being or the human subject. For this Special Issue, we invite articles on how, for various thinkers of humanistic religiosity, fundamental tensions concerning the relationship between the world and God, immanence and transcendence, do not merely disappear but undergo a shift or a process of displacement and are translated into the realm of human subjectivity. For example, one can discuss the ambivalence within which humanistic religious thought, on the one hand, internalizes the transcendent divinity into the human subject, and transforms it into anthropological-ethical phenomena, but on the other hand, seeks to avoid a complete reduction of the transcendent to mere mental processes. Another question is how the duality between God and the world returns and appears as an internal split within the structure of subjectivity, as individual, intersubjective, or collective, that is, within the structure of the psyche or society.
This Special Issue is also open to studies dealing with the influence of the challenges of humanistic religiosity on religious traditions. Thus, for example, it is possible to examine modes in which the translation of God into a secular discourse projects backwards onto traditional frameworks of thinking and leads to a rereading of the religious sources and to the production of reforms that are supposed to qualify religion to fill the void created by secularization.
We look forward to receiving your contributions. For those interested, please send a research title and a short abstract (up to 300 words). The deadline for submitting proposals is April 5.
Dr. Ronen Pinkas
Prof. Dr. Elad Lapidot