Call for Abstracts

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract to the first instalment of the “Kierkegaard and Love Workshop” hosted by The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University on November 4-5, 2021. The Human Flourishing Program is an interdisciplinary research center within the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. The Program considers a number of important topics relevant to human flourishing, which include family, friendship, virtue, community, work, love, beauty, forgiveness, religion, purpose, and meaning. The Program brings together knowledge across disciplines and integrates such knowledge into a coherent whole, with the goal of a better understanding of and capacity to promote human well-being. 

Potential questions addressed in presentations could include (but are not limited to):

  • How do the unitive and contributory aspects of love interrelate in Kierkegaard’s thought?
  • How does love unite people in different kinds of relationship (friendship, neighborliness, spouse/partner relations, etc.)?
  • How does love contribute to the good of others?
  • How does love inform, influence, and structure human relationships?
  • What are the limits of Kierkegaard’s distinction between romantic love and neighbor love?
  • How does love of God relate to love of neighbor and/or romantic love?
  • What is the relation between love and virtues/character/selfhood?
  • What are the respective goods in different forms of relationship brought about by love (friendship, neighborliness, spouse/partner relations, religious/divine)?
  • Does Kierkegaard make a distinctive contribution to our understanding of friendship/marriage/neighborliness?
  • To what extent can love be measured/quantified?
  • How is love important for human flourishing/well-being?

Submission guidelines and technicalities:

  • Anonymized 500-word extended abstracts that detail (1) the main question of the paper (2) its possible contribution to the scholarly literature on the subject, and (3) some key elements of the argument.
  • The deadline for submissions is 1 September 2021; abstracts are to be sent to wkaftanski@fas.harvard.edu.
  • Notification of acceptance by 5 September 2021.
  • Accepted papers will be allocated a 30-minute slot for the presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A session.