Call for Papers: “Philosophy and the Sacred in Antiquity”


Dear colleagues,

“Philosophy. Journal of the Higher School of Economics” welcomes submissions for the issue “Philosophy and the Sacred in Antiquity” (to be published in March 2019).

 The idea of the issue was suggested by P. Hadot’s paper (1979) “Les divisions des parties de la philosophie dans l'Antiquité”, where he singles out three types of the philosophical divisions in Antiquity. One of them is the Eleusinian type, within which philosophical ascension is seen as a sort of religious initiation. This division, particularly popular in Platonism, has attracted a lot of scholarly attention both from the historians of religion and from the historians of philosophy.

 Still, the historians of religion turn to be more interested in the literal level of the metaphor, for it allows to specify our ideas about the religion of the Greeks, whereas Platonic scholars are more focused on the figurative level, i.e. in what lies “behind” the metaphor. However, the metaphor is not only an embellishment or a parable: to a great extent, it constructs our conception of the philosophical reality. In this regard, the very fact of auto-definition of philosophy in religious terms presents an independent historical and philosophical interest.

 This question inevitably leads us to a more general question of the relation between the philosophical and the religious discourses in antiquity. The difference between the two is not reducible to the difference between the "rational" and the "irrational". Philosophers (at least, ancient philosophers) reflect on things divine either arguing with traditional views on what is fitting for god or re-interpreting them using complex hermeneutic procedures.

 On the other hand, early Christianity naturally embraces philosophy not only as a specific set of theoretical propositions or methods but also as a way of life oriented towards the true and aimed at the assimilation with God.

We welcome submissions from various fields of research: philology, history of philosophy, patristics, religious studies, history of medicine etc. which cover authors and sources ranging from the 5th cent. BC till 6th cent. AD.

 Articles for this issue should be submitted no later than September the 15th 2018.

 All articles undergo a double-blind peer review procedure. According to the open access policy of the Journal, they will be available online right after the publication.

 So far, we can only publish papers in Russian and in English but are ready to consider translation into Russian for papers submitted in French, Spanish, Italian, German, or Latin

 Instructions for authors can be consulted here:

 With all questions, please address the editor of the issue, Olga Alieva: