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Call for Presentations — The Humanities, the Experience of the Transcendent, and the Future of Higher Education: A Symposium

June 18–21, 2015 • Athens, Greece • Hotel Titania

This symposium seeks to explore the past, present, and future of the humanities, and what the humanities and the world of learning can contribute to the world today.

Traditionally, the study of the humanities has provided an avenue for exploring and understanding the questions of meaning in life, for attaining a level of cultural literacy, and preparing individuals to think critically—both in daily life and about the larger issues facing human society—providing the essential resources necessary for developing an integral vision of what it means to be a flourishing and well-developed human being.

Moreover, the transcendent dimension of the humanities invites us to go beyond our limited selves and to explore our own relation to larger spheres of concern. Whether entering into dialogue with the minds, ideas, and cultures of the past, or the larger human concerns that extend beyond us as individuals today, the humanities have provided a vital resource for exploring our own relationships to society and the greater world. Is this aspect of the humanities still being sufficiently emphasized, and to what degree are the humanities still capable of opening us up to larger world in which we participate?

It could be argued that, in recent years, the humanities have come under attack, both inside and outside of the academic world. The increased emphasis on education as a vocational enterprise, the increased emphasis on technique over content, the postmodern impulse, and the idea that the study of the humanities should emulate the methods of the exact sciences, have all brought into question the contemporary value—and even the future—of the humanities.

This symposium seeks to explore how these developments came about and, more importantly, how a renewed vision and sense of purpose could reestablish the value and integrity of the humanities in the cultivation of human life.

Athens Hotel Titania

Athens Hotel Titania

Format, Plan, and Location

The symposium will consist of ten to twelve participants offering 45-minute to one-hour presentations that relate to the themes of the symposium. Our dialogues will be recorded and the presentations will form the basis of a forthcoming book. Provisions will also be made for people who cannot attend the event to share their ideas.

The symposium will be held at the Hotel Titania in Athens, June 18–21, 2015. The hotel features excellent facilities with a view of the Acropolis and offers moderately priced rooms at 85 euros per night.

Proposals for Presentations

If you are interested in joining us for the symposium, please send us a short description of your intended presentation. Include the title, a short description, your contact information and organizational affiliation, and email it to: athenssymposium2015@gmail.com.

All proposals must be received by February 28, 2015, and the symposium program will be finalized shortly after that date.

The symposium is being cosponsored by the Cosmopolis Project and the Association for the Study of Esotericism.

To receive further information on the event, including how you can participate by sharing your thoughts and questions, please subscribe to the occasional newsletter of the Cosmopolis Project on the right sidebar of this website.

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