Call for papers: Spirituality Research Conference, May 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa

Holiness: On the Holy, the Holy One, Sanctification and Saints
The Bi-annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
Saint Augustine College, Johannesburg (South Africa)
Thursday May 21 – Sunday May 24, 2015

Also note the Pre-Conference Meeting:
“An orientation to Mysticism. Reflecting on essential writings of Christian Mysticism”, with Bernard McGinn:
Wednesday May 20 – Thursday May 21, 2015


Announcing its second biannual conference, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (SSCS), in collaboration with the Spirituality Association of South Africa (SPIRASA), warmly welcomes researchers on Spirituality to a meeting at the campus of St. Augustine College in Johannesburg, South Africa. Submissions on any topic of current interest within the field of Spirituality are invited. Particularly welcome are proposals for papers, panels and workshops on topics related to the specific theme of holiness. 

The conference will explore holiness through a range of questions: What is “the holy”? How have understandings of holiness developed; how are they critiqued? How have people in various contexts expressed and embodied their desire to grow in holiness, and how do they – or others – evaluate its fruits?

Proposals are especially encouraged in the following tracks: 

(1) Analytical, historical, or comparative studies, for instance on the notion of holiness, of holy figures, and of artistic depictions of holiness; 

(2) Studies of holiness, including case studies, from interdisciplinary perspectives, for instance from the vantage point of Psychology or Spiritual Direction; 

(3) Studies of the relationship between holiness and social engagement; 

(4) Contextual studies of “the holy” in indigenous spiritualities, particularly in African contexts and underrepresented groups; 

(5) Studies of the Christian experience of the “the holy”, including practices of sanctification, within the natural world.

Titles and abstracts for proposals for papers, panels, sessions and workshops are awaited until 15 December 2014:

  • Proposals for papers should include contact information of the proposer/s, a title and an abstract of not more than 150 words, sent to spirasa@gmail.com.
  • Proposals for panels, sessions and workshops should include contact information of the proposer/s, a title, a proposal of 1,000 words, with an abstract of not more than 150 words for each individual paper, sent to spirasa@gmail.com.

For questions about the conference and this call for papers, please contact Pieter de Villiers at pgdevilliers@mweb.co.za

Decisions about submissions will be made by 30 December 2014.  


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Conference arrangements and travel:

The website for the conference, to be launched by December 2014, will include detailed information about the hosts, sponsors, travel arrangements, housing, meals, accommodations, registration, and keynote speakers. Rooms in nearby hotels and guest houses have been reserved for conference participants, with costs ranging from approximately $50 to $55 U.S. for single-occupancy bed-and-breakfast rooms, up to approximately $150 U.S. for hotel accommodations (at present exchange rates). Further information will be available on the SSCS website and through the SSCS listserv.

South Africa is connected through all major airline carriers with the rest of the world. 

Direct, mostly overnight flights are available from Europe. 

Delta and United offer non-stop flights from the East Coast of the United States to Johannesburg, and several carriers offer one-stop flights from the U.S. via Europe. 

The Johannesburg weather in May is moderate, but it can become chilly at night (with temperatures ranging from 22C°/72F° to 7C°/45F°).