CFP : Self, Consciousness and Conscience in Late Antiquity: Sources and Legacy

 10ème ÉDITION DU CONGRÈS CELTIQUE EN ÉTUDES CLASSIQUES (CELTIC CONFERENCE IN CLASSICS), MONTRÉAL, 19–22 JUILLET 2017

Call for papers : Self, Consciousness and Conscience in Late Antiquity: Sources and Legacy

Organisers: Diana Stanciu (University of Bucharest, Romania), Jérôme Lagouanère (Université de Montpellier III – Paul-Valéry, France)

Late Antiquity stands at a point of liminality in the renegotiation of fundamental concerns about subjective interiority and conscientia – that is consciousness (as self-knowledge) and conscience (as moral decision or edification) – which at one moment gesture to the Classical past (cf. Sorabji 2000, 2008, 2014), yet mark a distinct and foundational turn to new ways of self-definition (cf. Vernant 1989, Hadot 1973, 2010). Late Antique authors may have transcended the notion of the ‘soul’ as Classical philosophy or Biblical sources defined it and intimated a new notion: that of ‘self’, as a first-person perspective revealed by the examination of human consciousness and conscience.

This panel invites scholars to consider how Late Antique authors like Augustine, Jerome, Tertullian, etc. possibly hinted to the notion of ‘self’ by blending various cognitive components implied in self-knowledge (consciousness) and volitional and affective components implied in moral decision and edification (conscience). Both their inspiration in Seneca, Cicero, Epictetus, Origen, etc. and their departure from that inspiration will be underlined. To gesture to only a few ideas, we would like to detect how concepts like mens (mind), cor (heart), voluntas (will), ratio (reason), spiritus (spirit), etc. were assembled in the Late Antique definitions of ‘self’, consciousness and conscience. We will also look at related concepts such as illumination, grace and free will in this respect.

We invite papers on the following topics or related issues:

 

  1. Self-hood as first-person perspective: cognitive and affective representation of identity or sameness, subjective and objective reference to one’s self, personal uniqueness and essence, privacy.
  2. Self as the source of conscientia (both consciousness and conscience): the agent that is responsible for individual thoughts and actions and the enduring substantial nature of a person.
  3. Self and self-transcendence: the vision or knowledge of the divine, illumination, divine indwelling.
  4. Self and free-will: discernment and the intuitive love of the good as related to the emotional and volitional aspects of the human soul.
  5. The possible shift from an anthropological concept of conscientia to a theological and moral dimension (conscientia bona/ mala).
  6. Conscientia bona, as a positive (rational and volitional) faculty discussed in comparison to a negative (guiltlike) emotion (conscientia mala).
  7. The relationship between wakefulness, sleep, dreams, sin and responsibility as related to self, consciousness and conscience.
  8. The rhetorical assumptions behind the relationship between self, consciousness and conscience.

 

Speakers include:

Valéry Laurand (Bordeaux, France) : Les relations entre bonne/mauvaise conscience et le condicio chez Sénèque

Enrique Eguiarte (Madrid, Spain) : The building of interiority: Conscientia in Augustine’s early Enarrationes in Psalmos

Petr Kitzler (Prague, Czech Republic) : From soul to self: Tertullian’s Doctrine of the soul and its legacy

Josef Lössl (Cardiff, UK) : Conscientia as consciousness and conscience before Augustine

Gábor Kendeffy (Budapest, Hungary) : Free choice and self in Epictetus and Augustine

Diana Stanciu (Bucharest, Romania) : Augustine and Jerome on conscientia: a short comparison

Andrea Bizzozero (Rome, Italy) : The role of the conscience and of the subject in the first ten books of De ciuitate Dei

Anne-Isabelle Bouton-Touboulic (Paris/ Lille, France) : Ressemblances, double et métamorphoses du moi dans le Contra Academicos de saint Augustin

Jérôme Lagouanere (Montpellier, France) : La question des sources dans le De quantitate animae d’Augustin

Matthew Knotts (Leuven, Belgium) : Augustine on self-transcendence and ‘pouring out the soul’

Those who would like to join us, please send us a title, a short abstract (no more than 200 words) and a short bio at the following e-mail adresses:

 Diana Stanciu = diana.stanciu@gmail.com

Jérôme Lagouanère = jeromelagouanere@wanadoo.fr

 

Deadline: 15 January 2017

 

Notification of acceptance: 15 February 2017

 

Conference languages: English and French

 

 


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