Call for Papers: International Society for Heresy Studies New York Conference

The International Society for Heresy Studies are an interesting bunch. By no means focused (only) on late antiquity, when the idea of heresy was invented, they are interested in all manner of interesting later and even modern ramifications of heresy, orthodoxy, exclusion- and inclusion-discourses, and so forth. There is bound to be something of interest to scholars of ancient esotericism interested in the formation of communities, sects, and schools-of-thought in antiquity.

Here’s the CfP:

Fourth Biennial Conference 2020
Call for Papers

Heresy: Between Choice and Compulsion

Our word “heresy” comes from the Greek verb hairein, “to choose.”
While the term in Greek was originally value-neutral, one method of
maligning heretics as ancient as the Christian invention of
heresiology itself is to depict ideological enemies as making
intentionally deviant choices. Of course, individuals and groups
derided as heretics might construe the origins of their belief,
thought, practices, or perspectives more positively, whether as
resulting from the fruits of reason, a preponderance of the evidence,
or even from an innate evolutionary and biological compulsion, as has
been recently argued by social scientists such as Jonathan Haidt and
John Hibbing. At the same time, these lines of argumentation are
equally available to those propagandizing or policing such differences
as “heresy.”

For its Fourth Biennial Conference, the International Society for
Heresy Studies seeks proposals navigating this gulf between choice and
compulsion. Successful submissions will grapple with the degree to
which their subjects have chosen dissenting views or whether their
views have been compelled by different means, whether through reason,
environment, culture, receptivity to new thinking, genetic
predisposition, or some other force. Proposals are encouraged to
approach the topic of choice from a perspective relevant to their
chosen era and culture and to the sources supplying evidence for their
subject, without ignoring modern research or theory on choice,
freedom, coercion, etc. Submissions are sought from all disciplines
intersecting with heresy, from religious studies in late antiquity to
literatures, philosophy, and politics in any century of the common
era. Papers using methods from neuroscience, political science, and
social psychology are also encouraged.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words to Robert Royalty,
Jr., by February 20, 2020 to be considered for the
conference, to take place June 11-12, 2020, at New York University.

Submitters will be notified by March 1, 2020.