Call for Papers: Experimental Psychology and the Notion of Personhood (Scientia et Fides)

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Scott Harrower (Ridley College, Australia), Ryan Peterson (Biola University, USA) and Juan F. Franck (Universidad Austral, Argentina)

The proposed Special Issue of Scientia et Fides aims at documenting and promoting high level integrative work that extends the insights of psychological science into the philosophical and theological discussions of what is a person.

Psychological science is based upon empirical research and concepts that justifiably arise from data. It often requires the revision of previous models by asking new questions, thereby opening up new avenues for exploration in theological and philosophical debates that have gotten bogged down. Theology and philosophy would be thus greatly strengthened if these disciplines were able to warrant their claims and also nuance these based upon the findings of psychological science. There has been some remarkable mutual interdisciplinary enrichment in the study of free will, agency, moral attitudes, character building, and religious beliefs. This Special Issue capitalizes on the fruitfulness of such previous work, inviting cross-disciplinary studies on the relevance and import of psychological science for renovating philosophical and theological discussions on personhood.

Philosophers, theologians and psychologists (especially those in the developmental and social fields), share a common interest in the notion of personhood. It is an anchor point that supports a rich phenomenological description of our human experience (embodiment, subjectivity, interiority, relationality, spirituality, morality and transcendence), it accounts for the metaphysical place of man in the great chain of being, and it also reflects the presence of the divine, thus illuminating the foundations of religion. The present call for papers welcomes a wide variety of views and subjects. It aims at overcoming the sterility of overly strict epistemological divides, at the same time as recognizing some necessary methodological distinctions. It therefore endeavors to contribute to an expanded exercise of reason, bringing together mutually illuminating research methodologies.

Papers submitted for review will reflect the present state of the art of debates and studies at the intersection of these fields, and will typically consist in either of the following, or a combination thereof: (1) theoretical or conceptual discussions that show why a fruitful engagement between experimental psychology and philosophy and/or theology can specifically advance our understanding of personhood; (2) specific contributions of psychological science that illuminate, enrich, challenge or nuance a particular notion of personhood; (3) claims and arguments drawn from philosophical or theological knowledge, which could open up new paths for collaborative work with experimental psychology.

Contributions in English, Spanish, Polish, German, French, Italian, or Portuguese, addressing abovementioned or related topics, may be submitted (after registration) on the journal’s website:

For further information, please contact the editors of the Special Issue at:  

The submission deadline is 31 May 2021.


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