Visions of Peace: The West and Asia

Visions of Peace: The West and Asia

Department of History, University of Otago
Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand
From - Until
10.12.2009 - 12.12.2009
Shogimen, Takashi

“Visions of Peace: The West and Asia” is a multi-disciplinary symposium which explores various traditional conceptions of peace in the Asian and the Western historical worlds. Current literature, prompted by September 11, focuses on the laws and ethics of just wars; the ideas and ideals of peace as they were conceptualized by past Asian and Western thinkers appear to have escaped scholarly attention. The symposium is intended to fill this lacuna, thereby shedding light on the hitherto overlooked or underappreciated visions of peace in the global historical landscape. The event will be organized according to the following cultural units and traditions: Islamic, Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and European. The symposium will approach the diversity of the global traditions of the idea of peace at the interface of religion, philosophy and political thought from the viewpoint of intellectual history. The main, but by no means exclusive, focus will be on the “pre-modern” period (i.e. before c.1800). General theoretical and historical questions to be addressed might include: What did “peace” mean in a given tradition? Was it primarily political? Was peace the end or a means for something else? Is it achievable in this world? What are the conditions of peace? What are the contexts in which peace was valued? What is the relationship between war and peace? How did each tradition understand the legitimacy of violence?

Plenary speakers include: John Kelsay (Florida State University), Torkel Brekke (University of Oslo), Yu Kam-por (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Shin Chiba (International Christian University, Tokyo), and Fred Dallmayr (University of Notre Dame, USA).

Proposals for papers should be submitted to Dr Takashi Shogimen (Department of History, University of Otago) at: by 15 April 2009. Papers on the idea of peace in any of the aforementioned cultural units or on cross-cultural comparison are welcome. The proposal should include the title of the paper, a 150-word abstract which specifies the cultural unit and chronological period that the paper discusses, and the contact details including the presenter’s name, home institution and email address. Submission of proposal does not guarantee its acceptance. You will receive an email by early May announcing whether or not your proposal has been accepted. The delivery of the paper should not exceed 20 minutes, which will be followed by 10-minute discussion, and the English language must be used. Due to the cross disciplinary nature of the event, accessibility of the paper without compromising its scholarly quality is essential.

A refereed volume of selected symposium papers will be edited and published by a leading international publisher.


Contact (announcement)

Dr Takashi Shogimen, FRHistS
Department of History
University of Otago
PO Box 56, Dunedin
New Zealand
Tel. +64 3 479 4164
Fax. +64 3 479 8429
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