After two papers on religion and fairy tale last week, we had a fantastic session on The Grimm Brothers’ Children’s and Household Tales (Grimms’ Fairy Tales) this afternoon. Many thanks to our two speakers who prepared the session!
Almut Renger & The Seminar Team
We would like to introduce you to a new member of our study group. Jessica Kreutz was a PhD candidate of Medieval and Early Modern Latin Philology at the Georg-August-University in Göttingen. Her thesis, entitled “Die Buchbestände von Wöltingerode. Ein Zisterzienserinnenkloster im Kontext der spätmittelalterlichen Reformbewegungen”, is about religious women and their books in the later Middle Ages, represented by the example of Wöltingerode – one of the oldest female Cistercian cloisters of Northern Germany. The manuscripts contain instructions in monastic practice and were made for the nuns’ education. Her main areas of research are the concepts surrounding and content of these texts, which reflect different ways literature is used to transfer knowledge.
Just a reminder that the Religion and Literature seminar series at Freie Universitaet Berlin is kicking off this afternoon at 4pm with an introduction into the topic. It will be great to see you there.
Time: 4 pm
Location: Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room: JK 29/124
Hope you can make it!
All best wishes,
Class on Biblical Figures 19th and 20th Century Literature at Freie Universität Berlin
Thursdays 4-6 pm (starting October 17th)
Room: JK 29 124 (Habelschwerdter Allee 45)
Issues surrounding Biblical references, allusions, and figures inform modern literature in a variety of ways: as a critical examination of religious traditions; as a means to express doubts about God; and even as manifestations of new discovery and revitalization of religious heritages on both socio-cultural and individual levels. We shall examine these and analogous themes in a selection of 19th- and 20th-century literature, engaging with a variety of perspectives and genres. In studying these texts we shall explore both the possibility and the possible impossibility of reading religious texts as literature and literature as religious texts, analyzing stylistic and formal structures, considering intertextual trajectories, and, not least, deducing the significance of the poetic and metaphoric dimensions in the reception of religious doctrines.
In the ancient Attic Calendar, the New Year began with the summer month of Hekatombaion, a season of renewal accompanied by lavish, sun-filled festivals: the Aphrodisia, the Kronia, and, most important, the famous Panathenaia, which celebrated the goddess’s miraculous headbirth. In good Athenian spirit, then, we want to wish all of you a restful, rejuvenating, and festive summer!
John Hamilton & Almut-Barbara Renger
We would like to introduce you to a new member of our study group. Tudor Andrei Sala is a historian of late antique Eurasia. He has a Ph.D. from Yale University in Ancient Christianity. At present, he is a Leibniz-DAAD fellow at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz (Germany) where he conducts research on his two current book projects: one on the exercise of and resistance to surveillance in ancient Christian monasticism, and the other on the poetics of persecution in Manichaeism. His further scholarly interests are located at the intersection of literature, social history, and material culture; they span a broad spectrum, from late pagan theology and early Christian hymnology to early medieval apocryphal lore and the social history of monastic latrines.
“Security: Politics, Humanity and the Philology of Care”
Nihil est pestilentius securitate. – Martin Luther’s warning against security as something most pestilential is motivated by the loss of care (cura) implied by the term. To be securus means to be free from concerns: to be removed from anxiety and fear, from physical threats and emotional upheavals; but also to be unburdened by the very concerns that constitute human attentiveness and vigilance, responsiveness and responsibility. Security promises a life that is carefree, while also threatening to make it careless. In Luther’s view, “nothing is more pestilential than security,” because once secured, we may end up indifferent, negligent, and uncaring.
In his latest book, Security: Politics, Humanity and the Philology of Care, John Hamilton examines the long semantic history of the word security and its varying implications, involving both safety and vulnerability, confidence and complacency, certitude and ignorance. Spanning texts from ancient Greek lyric to Roman Stoicism, from Augustine and Luther to Machiavelli and Hobbes, from Kant and Nietzsche to Heidegger and Carl Schmitt, Hamilton puts pressure on the idea of security, which all too carelessly courses through today’s social, political and cultural discourses. Read more…