The Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) is excited to join partners at the Doopsgezind Seminarium, Fresno Pacific University, the Institute of Mennonite Studies, and Pandora Press in the launch of the Anabaptists & Philosophy Roundtable.
The Anabaptists & Philosophy Roundtable is an occasional webinar series featuring scholars discussing Anabaptist life and thought in relation to philosophical themes, topics, and methods. Our events typically include a paper presentation and respondent, followed by open discussion among participants. We hold events online three to four times per year.
Our first event will feature Diane Enns (Ryerson University), who will give a paper entitled "The Reluctant Mennonite: Reflections on an Ambiguous Inheritance" with her colleague John Caruana (Ryerson University) providing a response.
Diane Enns is Professor of Philosophy at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, specializing in social and political thought, and Director of the Society for Women of Ideas. She is the author of Thinking Through Loneliness (2022); Love in the Dark: Philosophy by Another Name (2016); The Violence of Victimhood (2012); Speaking of Freedom: Philosophy, Politics and the Struggle for Liberation (2007); and co-editor of Thinking About Love: Essays in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (2015). She is currently working on two research projects, the first focused on community, and the second on women and power.
In her paper she will reflect on the inheritance of traditions—religious or philosophical—always ambiguous in what they offer to us, but impossible to refuse in any absolute sense since the past always shadows the present. More specifically, she explores what it means for her to be a philosopher with a Mennonite heritage, acknowledging the sources of a rich inner life and an understanding of collective responsibility, but also grappling with the harmful legacies of two traditions indelibly marked by the exclusion of women. She concludes that while we cannot definitively reject an inheritance or abandon our traditions, we can create a place for ourselves on their peripheries, where we may find uncertainty and unanswerable questions, but also freedom of mind.
John Caruana is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ryerson University. His research is in the areas of phenomenology, continental philosophy of religion, and film-philosophy. In addition to publications on Adorno, Deleuze, Kierkegaard, Kristeva, and Levinas, he has published on the cinema of various filmmakers, including Bruno Dumont, Terrene Malick, and the Dardenne brothers. He is co-editor with Mark Cauchi of Immanent Frames: Postsecular Cinema between Malick and von Trier (SUNY Press, 2018). He is currently working on a manuscript that examines the emergence of the phenomenon of excarnation — Charles Taylor’s apt term for the disembodied modes of being that have increasingly replaced richer, more meaningful ways of being with one another — and the role that it plays in the erosion of embodied and communal social life, as well as the precipitous rise in feelings of isolation and alienation.
As background reading, you may also be interested in an essay Professor Enns published entitled "For the Love of Paradox: Mennonite Morality and Philosophy", which appeared in the volume Religious Upbringing and the Costs of Freedom (Penn State University Press, 2010). The full essay is available by clicking on the preceeding link.
Join us online for this exciting conversation on 16 February 2022 at 11am (EST).
Please RVSP to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a link to attend this virtual event.