Call for Papers – SIEPM Colloquium Proposal 2015: Tolerance and Concepts of Otherness in Medieval Philosophy

September 9-12 2015, Maynooth University, Ireland
Organized by Dr Michael W. Dunne & Dr Susan Gottlöber

Keynote Speakers

Professor David Luscombe (Sheffield)
Professor Roberto Hofmeister Pich (Porto Alegre)


Tolerance (and of course intolerance) and identity play key roles in our interaction with the world and the other. In fact, due to recent social and political developments, the focus of Philosophy has shifted more and more towards the problem of both inter-religious and inter–cultural dialogue and its limitations. An extremely fruitful source in order to gain a more precise understanding of the questions and problems that arise in the encounter with otherness are the reflections developed by philosophers in the Middle Ages within their respective religious and cultural contexts. This colloquium aims to examine the development of the perception of the other within the different philosophical, religious and cultural traditions by considering not only the theological background but also the philosophical presuppositions of the concepts which then were used to develop various apologetic writings and theological treatises in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern era that dealt with the questions of cultural and religious difference.

The organisers invite papers exploring (but not restricted to) the following topics:

  1. The Christian perspective on the other which includes both perceptions of otherness as well as dealings with otherness (e.g. tolerance and intolerance). In the Early Middle Ages this includes the dealings with and perception of paganism and the Christian “other”, while later there is the additional focus on the relationship with Islam. This is a huge topic and would thus need to be divided into subsections as it includes topic such as: the works of Latin writers dealing the Greeks and Armenians and vice versa, philosophical and theological approaches to the schism in both the Byzantine and Latin context, Integration and Disintegration in the Spanish Context until 1492, the importance of translations such as the relevance and the consequences of the translation of the Qu’ran by Robert of Ketton, the writings of thinkers such as Petrus Venerabilis, Raimundus Lullus, Aquinas, Ricoldus de Monte Crucis, Dionysius Cartusianus and Nicholas of Cusa. Of interest will also be writings ffrom the Arabic context such as the Arabic original of the ‘Doctrina Mahumet’ or the ‘Risālat ʿAbdallāh ibn Ismāʿīl al-Hāshimī ilā ʿAbd al-Masīḥ ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī yadʿūhu bihā ilā l-Islām wa-risālat al-Kindī ilā l-Hāshimī’ and other writings of the corpus Toletanum, Christian missionaries in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages, war or dialogue as practical solutions of dealings with otherness and the Christian Reading of Islamic Philosophers.
  2. Islamic perspectives on otherness and tolerance (and intolerance): This does not only include the perception of the Christian other (by thinkers such as al-Tabari) but also dealings with Ancient philosophy (e.g. Al-Ghazali, Al-Farabi, Ibn-Rush, Ibn-Sina etc).
  3. Public otherness in the different religious contexts: dealing with heretics, pagans and unbelievers and the marginalised (lepers/prostitutes/homosexuals).
  4. Nationalisms and the other, e.g., Richard FitzRalph’s doctrine of dominium in response to the Gaelic/English divide in Ireland; its use by John Wyclif and its rejection by Francisco de Vitoria in regard to the rights of the people of the ‘New World’.
  5. Theoretical underpinnings and consequences of the Conquista. This does not only include the perspective of the conquerors regarding their subjects but also resulting philosophies that lead into the Renaissance and Early Modern period such as mercantilism or the discussion of human rights such as developed by Bartolomé de las Casas.

Further topics include the relevance of mysticism on the perception of otherness and tolerance, the refusal to acknowledge otherness (such as theological inclusivism) or the Jewish perspective (e.g. the thought of R. Menachem ha-Meiri, Judaa Halevi) in which e.g. the living together of Jews in non-Jewish communities plays an essential role.

Paper Submission

Conference papers may be presented in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or German. Discussions of papers at the conference may also occur in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or German (translators will be provided for the papers and questions during sessions in these languages, if required).

Please send the title of the proposed topic and an abstract of 300 to 500 words to

Deadline for submission: February 1, 2015
Notifications of acceptance may be expected no earlier than March 1, 2015.
Presentations should be 30 – 40 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes discussion.

Brepols-SIEPM Stipend

To facilitate attendance at the Annual Colloquium, Brepols-SIEPM stipends are available for researchers under the age of 35 or from low-currency countries. The stipends are 500 €, or 750 €, if the journey is transcontinental. One need not be a current SIEPM member to apply for these stipends. Applications should be submitted via the online stipend form. The deadline for all applications is May 15 for the corresponding Colloquium in the same year.

For more information and conditions see

This entry was posted in Call for Papers. Bookmark the permalink.