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New Book on Religion and Literature: Reading the Abrahamic Faiths

June 28, 2015

Dear all,

by kind permission of the publisher

by kind permission of the publisher

We would like to introduce to you a recent publication, Reading the Abrahamic Faiths: Rethinking Religion and Literature, a collection of essays edited by Emma Mason and published earlier this year.

Starting with a group of essays on the general issues concerning the intersection of religion and literature, this collection authorizes, in its editor’s words, “a religious reading that offers an inclusive and politicized alternative to the interdiscipline of religion and literature in its exclusive and inward-facing form.”

As the plural form in the title suggests, the book deals with the plurality of the Abrahamic tradition in three separate parts: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Closing with a part on postsecularism, Mason’s book situates the discussion in a context that is of particular relevance to today’s world.

Overall, Reading the Abrahamic Faiths aims at questioning the neutrality of literary and religious studies as an interdisciplinary mode of inquiry and reinstating a connection between religion and literature that is socially, culturally and politically sensitive.

Conference on James Legge

May 17, 2015

Upcoming Conference on James Legge, University of Edinburgh, 11–13 June 2015

 James_Legge_missionary (2)

Dear colleagues and friends,

This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of James Legge (1815–1897), Scottish missionary, translator, sinologist, and the first Professor of Chinese at Oxford University. The University of Edinburgh is commemorating this occasion with an international conference on 11–13 June 2015.

Legge was among the first to systematically translate the core Chinese classics into English, including the oldest Chinese poetry collection, the Classic of Poetry, the Book of Changes (I Ching), Laozi (Tao Te Ching) and Zhuangzi. It is worth noting that, as a missionary, Legge regarded his translation work within the broader context of a Christian worldview. Thus, the foundational texts of Classical Chinese literature were introduced to the English-speaking world through a decidedly religious lens. The Edinburgh conference, held at the University’s Centre for the Study of World Christianity, plans to focus on Legge’s cultural negotiations specifically within the broader context of Scotland’s nineteenth-century missions to China.

Book History and Religious Studies

April 29, 2015

Dear colleagues and friends,

Hope you’re all enjoying the springtime!

We would like to draw your attention to the “Princeton Workshop on Book History and Religious Studies,” which will take place at Princeton University September 30 – October 2, 2015.

It has been suggested that in recent years, there is a materialist turn happening in the humanities. Whether this is true or not, it is always interesting to consider the “material side of religion.” This phrase might seem oxymoronic, as religion concerns the spiritual. But religious discourses are more often than not conveyed through a material medium. Scripture, an element so central to a religion, is precisely bound up with the material aspects of the book and the very act of writing.

Bringing religious studies and book history together, this Princeton Workshop will be an ideal occasion for fostering discussions and further understanding on this exciting topic.

Welcome of New Co-Administrator

March 30, 2015

Guangchen

It gives me great pleasure to become co-administrator, together with Verena Düntsch, of the HolyLit blog. I am a PhD candidate in comparative literature at Harvard University, and a Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin. My current research focuses on the practice of collecting as a tactile engagement with history and a discursive thought process, and how it influences literary and historic narratives across cultures. I am also interested in how Taoism shapes the theory of music and sound in China.

I look forward to sharing with you many exciting news and events on this site!

Guangchen Chen

 

Upcoming Talk by Prof. István Perczel

January 7, 2015

Dear colleagues and friends,

As we kick off 2015, it is my pleasure to draw your attention to an upcoming talk by Prof. István Perczel (Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest):

“Von einer liturgischen Auslegung des Übungswissens des Evagrius Ponticus zum theokratischen Modell der Kirche. Die proteischen Metamorphosen der pseudo-dionysischen Schrift De ecclesiastica hierarchia.”

Prof. Perczel is a world expert in the burgeoning field of Graeco-Syriac Studies, an area of study that focuses on the rich translation culture of religious, philosophical, and scientific literature in the late antique Near and Middle East (c. 3rd-9th century CE).

Time: 16:15 pm, Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Location: “Sitzungsraum” of the SFB 980 “Episteme in Bewegung. Wissenstransfer on der Alten Welt bis in die Frühe Neuzeit,” Schwendenerstraße 8, 14195 Berlin.

The talk is part of a study day jointly organized by two research projects of the SFB 980: “Knowledge Transfer in Antique Christian Apocryphya” (C01, click here) and “Asceticism in Motion” (C02, click here). The event seeks to bring together scholars and students who investigate the transfer of ascetic knowledge in different religious and philosophical contexts from a synchronic and diachronic perspective.

For more information (in German) please click here.

Best wishes, on behalf of speakers and the organizing team

Tudor Sala

Asceticism and Literature

December 15, 2014

Dear colleagues and friends,

Along with my season’s greetings and wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year, I would like to draw your attention to two talks on asceticism and literature at the SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion” in Berlin.

Nora K. Schmid (Freie Universität Berlin):

Überlegungen zum Transfer spätantiken Übungswissens in die ‚arabische asketische Dichtung‘ (zuhdiyya)

Falk Quenstedt (Freie Universität Berlin):

Übung statt Gesetz? Vorstellungen von implizitem Körperwissen und dessen Übertragbarkeit als Grundlage einer idealen Gesellschaft. Das asketische Volk der ‚nackten Weisen‘ in Johann Hartliebs ‚Alexander‘ (um 1450)

Time: 6-8 pm, Wednesday,
December 17, 2014
Location: “Sitzungsraum” of the SFB 980 “Episteme in Bewegung. Wissenstransfer von der Alten Welt bis in die Frühe Neuzeit,” Schwendenerstraße 8, 14195 Berlin.

The SFB 980––a Collaborative Research Centre funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)––is based at the Freie Universität in Berlin. The two talks are given during a study day (click here) within the context of a series of events organized by the SFB’s research project about “Asceticism in Motion” (C02, click here). The events seek to bring together scholars and students who investigate the transfer of ascetic knowledge in different religious and philosophical contexts from a synchronic and diachronic perspective. The papers given address conceptual, literary, social and institutional aspects in this field of knowledge and practice.

Best wishes, on behalf of speakers and the organizing team

Almut Renger

Niklaus Largier at SFB 980

December 1, 2014

Dear all,

Welcome back after a long break. We are excited to inform you about the upcoming lecture at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. Niklaus Largier, Professor of German and Comparative Literature at University of California in Berkeley who is affiliated with UC Berkeley’s Program in Religious Studies, will give a talk on the topic:

niklaus4-150x150Wissen am Rand des Schweigens: Körper und Stimme in der Praxis der Gebetsübung

Time: 7-9 pm, Thursday, December 4, 2014
Location: “Sitzungsraum” of the SFB 980 “Episteme in Bewegung. Wissenstransfer von der Alten Welt bis in die Frühe Neuzeit“, Schwendenerstraße 8, 14195 Berlin

For more information (in German) click here.