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Speculative Realisms and Religion

Réalismes spéculatifs et religion

Speculative Realisms and Religion

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Published on Friday, September 13, 2013


ThéoRèmes consacrera un dossier spécial à cette présence de la question religieuse dans les différentes études philosophiques regroupées autour du « réalisme spéculatif » ou encore des « ontologies orientées vers l’objet », dans une perspective de compréhension interne mais aussi, éventuellement, de reprise critique. Les contributions de ce dossier spécial pourront s’inscrire dans l’un des axes suivant, depuis les différents points de vue des sciences des religions, de la philosophie et de la théologie.



There is a close link between Speculative Realism and religious issues. Openly or more implicitly those issues are crucial to Quentin Meillassoux’s major book: After Finitude (2006). His dissertation’s subtitle “An Essay on the Virtual God” (1997) attests the persistency of the question. However, this recurring presence of the religious question is not easy to interpret: Q. Meillassoux presents himself as a materialist, and his attempt as partly aimed at terminating what he calls the “religionizing [enreligement] of reason” that defines contemporary thought. At the same time, his ambition to give rational grounds to a thinking of the absolute (the “Great outdoors”), just as the connection he himself establishes between his main argument and the Cartesian argument for the existence of God, has striking echoes in religious thought.


The Journal ThéoRèmes is devoting a special issue to this presence of the religious question in various philosophical studies related to “Speculative realism” or even “object-oriented ontologies”, in order both to deepen the internal understanding of this question, and to develop critical approaches. We welcome contributions from a range of disciplines including religious sciences, philosophy and theology, and from a variety of perspectives addressing the following topics:

  • Religionizing of reason”. What is the historical and epistemological value of this notion? Both a thesis on the history of modern thought (and especially on the meaning of Renaissance fideism) and a political thesis (correlationism would entail relativism, that would result into a justification of irrationality, and would allow a replacement of rational justifications of beliefs or unbelief with violent imposition of opinions), how far can this thesis be defended on historical or sociological grounds? Is this notion a useful tool to understand the situation of religious discourses inside today’s public spheres?
  • Theology in Speculative Realism. Q. Meillassoux’s argument, the argument of the necessity of contingency, seems to entail radical atheism. How far can this assertion be justified? What is the exact relation between this argument and the ontological proof? Once admitted, does this argument terminate theological questioning in an absolute manner? Or can it open new ways of theological thinking?
  • The relation between those new philosophical trends and other ways of thinking about religion. We are referring especially to analytic philosophy of religion, which holds mostly realist positions. On the other hand, the opposition between speculative materialism and continental philosophy of religion should be further examined. Is there a relation between Meillassoux’s “Great outdoors” and Levinas’ “absolute other”? Is speculative materialist’s quest for absolute so different from attempts in contemporary phenomenology to find ways of talking about radical alterity? Finally, what can be theological appropriations of speculative realist thoughts?

Submission guidelines

Proposals (1 page max), in English or in French, should be submitted to 

by October 15th 2013.

Every proposal will be considered for publication and final articles will be double-blind reviewed. Publication is planned for Spring 2014.


  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013


  • Speculative Realism, philosophy of religion, theology, Meillassoux, ontologies, réalisme spéculatif, religion


  • Yann Schmitt
    courriel : yannschmitt [at] me [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Yann Schmitt
    courriel : yannschmitt [at] me [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

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« Speculative Realisms and Religion », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, September 13, 2013,

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