Appel à contribution : « Passions and the Mystical. Between Affecting and Being Affected », Nijmegen, Titus Brandsma Institute, 1er-2 décembre, date limite le 18 mars 2022

The conference is jointly organized by the Mystical Theology Network (MTN) and the Titus Brandsma Institute of the Radboud University (TBI) and will take place in Nijmegen on 1-2 December, 2022. The aim of this conference is to bring together theologians, religious studies scholars, philosophers, literary scholars, historians and scholars working in related fields to discuss and map out the wider semantic field of the ‘passion(s)’ across mystical traditions. The conference aims to address questions such as:

  • How do the mystics across different traditions view their own passions and emotions?
  • What role do the passions of others play in accounts of the mystical?
  • How is gender factored into the mystical use of passions?
  • How do mystics understand their passions in relation to key events within their tradition (e.g. the Passion of Christ within the Christian tradition)?
  • How is erotic language ‘translated’ into passionate mystic literature?
  • To what extent can mystical experiences be considered passions in their own right?
  • How do mystical passions relate to emotions and what can they contribute to the history of emotions?
  • Can mystical passions contribute to social engagement and political resistance (e.g. D. Sölle, M. de Certeau), including issue of race and gender?
  • How does modern artistic engagement deal with this passionate mystical heritage?

Topics for proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Relationship between passions and emotions in mystical texts.
  • Mystical passions and the history of emotions.
  • Critical close-readings of mystical texts from various traditions focusing on ‘passions’.
  • Comparative studies of passions across mystical traditions.
  • Mysticism, Gender and Passions.
  • Conceptualization of the notions of passivity/agency, consent, effort and grace and their interrelations in the mystical tradition.
  • The influence of philosophical discourses on the passions on mystical authors and, vice versa, the influence of mystical discourses on philosophical passion theories (Descartes, Pascal…).
  • Reception and critique of mystical discourses on the Passion and the passions in recent non-mystical (theological, philosophical, literary, historical etc.) authors.
  • Passions and intimacy in the mystical reception of the Song of Songs, Kabbalah, etc.
  • Influence of mystical passions on modern artistic practices and theories.
  • Persistence of mystical passions within political and social engagements, including issues of race and gender.

The deadline to submit abstracts is Friday March 18th, 2022. Proposals are accepted in English, Dutch, French and German.Please send your abstract to All proposals should include: Full name ; E-mail ; Current institution and/or academic affiliation ; Title of the paper of Project ; Proposal (up to 350 words)

We invite the following proposals:

  • Paper proposal — A proposal for presenting a short (20 minute) original paper.
  • Session proposal — A proposal for a session or roundtable where different papers are presented on a common theme and emphasis is placed on shared discourse. Session proposals should include abstract, name of presider, list of panelists or respondents.

For more information, visit the Titus Brandsma Institute (Research centre for mysticism and spirituality) website.

For any enquiries, please contact: Lieven De Maeyer ( or Stefaan Neirynck ( )


Florence Larcher

Florence Larcher est doctorante en histoire de l'art moderne à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches portent sur l'image de saint Roch dans les arts visuels en Europe du XIVe au XVIIe siècle.

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