Call for Papers: The Religion and Modernity in a Secular City postgraduate conference will take place this coming 16-18 September at the Katholische Akademie in Berlin. The conference is being organized by the K. Akademie in conjunction with the Centre for Religion and Political Culture at the University of Manchester, and the Program on Religion, Politics and Economics at Humboldt University. Further details can be found by clicking here. The following is an abstract from the conference website:
Writing from Vichy, France in early 1940, Walter Benjamin articulated what many theologians secretly feared in his Über den Begriff der Geschichte by portraying theology as the hunchback that must keep out of sight. However, Slavoj Žižek has recently suggested that it is time to reverse Benjamin’s first thesis on the philosophy of history: “The puppet called ‘theology’ is to win all the time.” This startling reversal reveals that the extent to which Enlightenment secularization imagined it could map the rational world onto a manipulable grid, manifested in the global spread of political, economic and social structures that have attempted to inscribe the sacred within a strictly private sphere, is increasingly being called into question by the continuing public presence of political theologies. However, the question of what this new visibility of religion might mean in the context of the supposedly secular city remains less than clear. We invite proposals for papers, to be delivered in no more than 30 minutes, that address this broad theme from theology, philosophy, political theory, economics, sociology, as well as cultural and biblical studies. The keynote speaker will be Professor Graham Ward.
The language of the conference will be English. Abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a CV, should be sent simultaneously to both the conference organizers via email no later than 30 April 2010. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 14 May 2010. The conference will take place in the centre of Berlin at the Katholische Akademie. Generous grants are available for presenters to cover the costs of registration, accommodation and meals.
For further information please contact the conference organizers at the following addresses:
- Martin Knechtges: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kyle Gingerich Hiebert: email@example.com
This coming week we'll be hosting our next doctoral seminar. Paper topics are listed below. Click here for a PDF of abstracts.
- Apocalypse and Forgetting in Russell T. Davies’ Doctor Who, by Andy Crome
- Martyn on Galatians 3:27-8 by Steven Mcbay
- The Problem of ‘Religious Experience’ with Reference to Soren Kierkegaard and Muhammad Iqbal by Sevcan Mirik
- Imagining the End of History with Hegel by Clare Greer
- Derrida and Supplementary Writing by Mohsen Ghasemi
- The Ideologised Middle by Theodros Teklu
- Metz on Dangerous Memory by Kyle Gingerichhiebert
- Educating for Tolerance, Remembering to Forget by Ruth Hadley
This 24 April, from 10am-5pm, the Storey Institute at the University of Lancaster will be hosting a symposium with Terry Eagleton, entitled After Atheism: Religion, Literature and Science. Speakers include Terry Eagleton, Arthur Bradley, John Cartwright, Abir Hamdar, Gavin Hyman and Andrew Tate. All are welcome, however, to reserve a place, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Here's a blurb on the conference theme itself:
In recent years, the "God Question" has re-emerged with a vengeance. On the one hand, there has been a rash of best-selling polemics against God, religion and belief by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. On the other, there has also been a concerted defence of religious belief from Terry Eagleton, John Gray and Charles Taylor. This one-day symposium gathers together a range of international experts on religion, literature and culture - including the world-renowned literary critic Terry Eagleton - to consider the cultural significance of this debate. Why has the God Question re-emerged now? How has it impacted upon literature, culture and even politics? And what, finally, might come "after atheism" - a new Enlightenment or the return of the religious?
Good news for students interested in applying for MA and PhD programmes in the Centre for Religion and Political Culture and the Lincoln Theological Institute. A number of funding opportunities have recently been announced within the University of Manchester's application framework.
The first thing to be aware of is that 5pm on 1 March, 2011 is the current application deadline for funding specifically for the Religions and Theology Subject Area's new and existing students. Complete applications for a place on either the MA or the PhD must be received by 15 February 2011. Further details on all Religions and Theology specific awards can be found by clicking here and here. Further details on awards at University level and other funding bodies can be found by clicking here.
There are two prominent awards in particular which deserve special mention. Firstly, for UK/EU students, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has allocated two PhD studentships to the Religions and Theology Subject Area at the University of Manchester. This award covers the cost of tuition and maintenance. For overseas students, the Overseas Research Studentship (ORS) is now an internal University of Manchester award, of which there are two available to students in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures. This award covers the difference between the cost of overseas tuition and UK/EU tuition. Students who win an ORS award will also be considered for the Religions and Theology Subject Area Home Fees bursary which, if awarded, would cover the remaining EU/UK fees.
If you are interested in applying for these awards, you must submit the funding application form which is available by clicking here (DOC) (further details within the document itself). This form will then be considered alongside your submission of the University of Manchester online application for the MA or PhD programme of your choice. If you have any questions feel free to email us by clicking here.
The Church and Postmodern Culture website is hosting a three-part online symposium on Graham Ward's new book The Politics of Discipleship. The first contribution was from Ronald Kuipers, Senior Member in Philosophy of Religion at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario. His reflection can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. Here's a brief abstract:
In the best Christian tradition, Graham Ward has, in The Politics of Discipleship, performed a true service—particularly for his Christian readers. While I think it is fair to say that one of the book’s primary messages is directed at a Christian audience (which is not to say that this is its only intended audience), at the same time the book does much more here than merely preach to the converted. The book instead calls for the conversion of the converted. That is to say, this book succeeds, in rather arresting fashion, to show Christians, especially those living in affluent Western societies, how deaf they have become to their faith’s true calling. The book severely criticizes what Ward calls “Christian accommodationism” to the powers that be, and with that dares Christians to be “impolite”—to turn from this accommodating stance and instead respond redemptively to the chasm that yawns between the world Scripture promises will one day come into reality, a world of justice and shalom, and the one human beings are now busily setting up, one in which “[t]he forces of dehumanization, dematerialization, and depoliticization are strong and hegemonic; new poverties and new slaveries proliferate; and we are sleepwalking into a future that threatens to overwhelm if grace and transcendent goodness cannot prevail" (Ward, p. 300).