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Oxford University Essay Prize

Submissions are invited for the second Oxford University Prize for Eastern European Perspectives on Science, Theology and Humane Philosophy.

A prize of $2000 will be awarded for the best submission, and prizes of $500 will be awarded to each of three runners-up. The recipient of the first prize will be invited to present the winning paper in Oxford.

Essays should be 4000-6000 words in length and should address topics at the interface of science, theology, and/or philosophy. Examples of suitable topics include:

▪ Differences between scientific and non-scientific modes of enquiry;

▪ The relations of brains, minds and human persons;

▪ The role of religion in the historical development of science;

▪ The place of values in the natural world;

▪ Free will and scientific determinism and/or divine foreknowledge;

▪ Empirical psychology and the second person perspective;

▪ Philosophical/theological understandings of totalitarianism;

▪ Phenomenological approaches to religion;

▪ Science-engaged theology and theologically-engaged science;

▪ Understanding notions of God, good and evil in a scientific age.

Submissions should be written in English and should exhibit the highest standards of clarity and rigour, engagement with recent scholarship, and an interest in questions of real human concern. They should not be published at the time of submission. All submissions should be anonymised and should include an abstract of 200-300 words and a full bibliography. The lower limit of 4000 words is advisory, and shorter submissions will still be considered eligible. The upper limit of 6000 is mandatory, and longer submissions will not be considered eligible. The word count includes footnotes but excludes abstract and bibliography. Submissions should be sent via email to by 31 October 2020 with the subject line: “Essay Prize: New Horizons in CEE”

Authors should be early career researchers in CEE. This normally means that they will be graduate students enrolled on degree programmes at institutions in eligible Central and Eastern European countries or researchers employed at these institutions who have completed a doctoral degree within the last five years. If you have unsure about your eligibility, please write to Eligible Countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, former East Germany, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Previous winners: Daniel Kodaj, (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest) ‘The Metaphysical Poverty of Naturalism’; Sera Schwarz (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin), ‘In Defence of Not Being Able to do Otherwise: Freedom, Deliberation, and the Limits of Self-transformation’, Marek Dobrzeniecki (Collegium Joanneum, Warsaw), ‘The Hidden God and the Second Person Perspective’, and Janko Nešić (University of Belgrade, Serbia), ‘Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness and the Nature of the Self’.

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