Photos of Oxford
Photos of Oxford

The BSPR's Thirteenth Conference

Death and Immortality


Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

Thursday 5th and Friday 6th September, 2019


Keynote Speakers:


Eleonore Stump (St. Louis University)

Mikel Burley (University of Leeds)

Edith Steffen (University of Roehampton)

Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham)


Call for Papers


The unavoidability of death and the hope for immortality have been central concerns of many religious traditions around the world. Is it rational to fear death? Can we survive bodily death? Do faith and religious practice matter for grief and death? Is immortality desirable? Philosophers of religion have addressed these questions for centuries.


Philosophical issues concerning death and immortality have attracted much attention in recent years particularly in light of medical, scientific and technological progress. Advancements in medicine have prolonged human longevity significantly and developments in genetics and information science have prompted us to explore new forms of immortality. It seems timely to re-examine the fundamental philosophical and theological questions with fresh eyes.


The conference organisers welcome papers taking a philosophical approach to all aspects of death and immortality, including secular and diverse religious perspectives. We also encourage submissions from scholars working in neighbouring philosophical fields, such as ethics, metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and papers that seek to make connections between the philosophy of religion and disciplines that address kindred questions, such as anthropology, psychology, literature, cognitive science and medicine. Women and members of under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to submit an abstract.


Please send an abstract either in the body of an e-mail or as a .doc file (no PDFs) with a maximum of 250 words to Dr. Tasia Scrutton ( between 1 January and 31 March 2019. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to consider abstracts that exceed the word limit or that are submitted after the closing date (allowance being made to colleagues in other time zones).


In addition to the abstract, please include your name, affiliation and email address in the same document as your abstract. In order to ensure fairness by considering all the papers together, we will normally let you know whether your abstract has been accepted by the beginning of April 2019. However, if there is any special reason why you need to know earlier than this, please note this in your email.


Preference will be shown for papers that address the theme of the conference. Time and space at the conference will be limited, so we shall have to be selective, even while running parallel sessions and asking those presenting papers to respect half-hour time slots. 


To maintain the tight timetabling required to permit participants to hear as many papers as possible, papers should ideally take fifteen minutes and an absolute maximum of twenty minutes to deliver, leaving ten minutes or so for discussion. 


We aim to run an inclusive event, and are following BPA/SWIP UK Good Practice Scheme guidelines. Should you have any specific requests, please contact the conference organisers and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.


If you require childcare to attend the conference, and/or if you do not have research funds available, we may be able to offer a bursary and/or provide childcare facilities. Please email Dr. Tasia Scrutton ( explaining clearly (i) what you are applying for; (ii) what funds you have available for attending conferences (e.g. any postgraduate or postdoctoral research allowance), by 31st March 2019. Priority will be given to those offering a paper at the conference.

Contact us

Dr. T. Ryan Byerly
Department of Philosophy
University of Sheffield
S3 7QB