Call for Papers – Human Distinctiveness: Wisdom's Deep Evolution

Author: Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser

How can we understand the human capacity for wisdom, where did it come from, and how did it emerge? The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame invites paper proposals for a three-day conference on the topic of the evolution of wisdom at Notre Dame’s London Gateway, 6-9 July 2017. Confirmed speakers include Tim Ingold, Wentzel van Huyssteen, Fiona Coward, Niels Gregersen, Karen Kilby, Jennifer French, Jeremy Kendal, Maureen Junker-Kenny, Aku Visala, and members of the project team.

This conference is the culmination of a transdisciplinary research project supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and led by Celia Deane-Drummond (Theology) and Agustín Fuentes (Anthropology) at the University of Notre Dame. The collaborative project between theology and evolutionary anthropology investigates the basic parameters of the evolutionary origins of human wisdom, defined as the pattern of successful complex decision-making in navigating social networks and dynamic niches in human communities. The project seeks to uncover ways of assessing and measuring the development of a distinctively human capacity for navigating social and material worlds, and to provide a concrete measurement for a kind of collaborative temporally and communicatively complex engagement with the social landscape. The research project also aims to explore how the integration of theological approaches into these questions might shape, facilitate, and change the ways these questions about human wisdom are answered.

We welcome proposals from faculty, early-career scholars, and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines including theology, philosophy, anthropology, and the social and natural sciences. Proposals should be sent by email to and include the following: a) paper title, b) abstract of up to 300 words, and c) institutional affiliation.

Submission deadline: February 22, 2017