Seeking Authority: Women, Genre, and Philosophical Reflection in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Events

Past Event

Seeking Authority: Women, Genre, and Philosophical Reflection in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

February 15, 2020 - February 16, 2020
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

The Center for New Narratives in Philosophy at Columbia is holding a two-day workshop that brings together scholars of medieval and early modern literature, theology, philosophy, and art history to explore the creative and often perilous means that Muslim, Jewish, and Christian women used to reflect on questions about self, community, dignity, truth, and divinity. We will discuss how women, who were considered intellectually and morally inferior to men, created ways to express new ideas and establish forms of authority. We will inquire about the ways in which religious communities allowed women to promote radical religious and social change: What were the risks women and their communities faced when they shared their ideas publicly? And how did they minimize those risks? Finally, we will discuss the genres and means of argumentation they used to present their ideas. The first day of the workshop seeks to highlight these questions in Christian medieval philosophy. Presentation topics range from deciphering new insights within medieval philosophies of self to treating particular medieval women’s responses to religious and political authority through their articulations and transformations of notions of prayer, spirituality, knowledge, virtue, and the power of God. The second day of the workshop will emphasize the distinctive contributions of Jewish and Muslim female figures and their responses to authority by reclaiming the meaning of religious identity.