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Conference on Literature and Religion in Latvia

November 27, 2017
We would like to draw your attention to a conference on literature and religion in Latvia. Subject fields are Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Literature, Music and Music History, Religious Studies and Theology, Theatre & Performance Studies.

Special topic of the conference as announced by the organizers:
Samson and Delilah, Boaz and Ruth, Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife: 3 Couples and 6 Fates In the Bible, Literature, Art and Culture.

Participants are expected to prepare papers dealing with the questions of theology, literary science, religion and literature in interaction offering analyses and interpretation of the pieces of art based on any religious theme in today`s context.

Possible topics to be discussed at the conference include also:
> the relationships between theology and literary critic,
> influence of religion on literary process,
> analysis of concrete works of art influenced by the religious motifs,
> contemporary interpretations and transformations of the biblical and other religious motifs in art and literature.

Venue: Department of Latvian and Baltic Studies, Faculty of Humanities,
University of Latvia, 1-2 December 2017. For more in formation click here.


We Welcome our New Member

October 21, 2017

Please let us introduce you to our new member Steffen Dix:

Steffen Dix (Foto - Holylit)

Steffen Dix studied Religious Studies and Philosophy at the Universities Tübingen, Berlin and Lisbon, and holds a PhD in Religious Studies with a study on the relationship between Neopaganism and Fernando Pessoa’s literary concept of heteronyms. Since early 2013, he has been a Fellow at the Research Centre for Communication and Culture of the Portuguese Catholic University.
His research interests include modernism, modernist magazines, secularization and the relationship between religion and modernity. He was principal investigator of the research project “1915 – the year of Orpheu: Mapping the socio-historical context of Portugal’s First Modernism” funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation.
He has authored or edited several books, book-chapters and articles in international peer-reviewed journals. Furthermore he is the supervisor of the critical German edition of Fernando Pessoa’s Collected Works, published by the prestigious publisher S. Fischer. Currently, he is Executive Coordinator of the Research Centre for Theology and Religious Studies of the Portuguese Catholic University.


Religion und Literatur: Konvergenzen und Divergenzen

September 19, 2017
Religion und Literatur- Konvergenzen und Divergenzen

by kind permission of the publisher

I am pleased to announce the publication of Religion und Literatur: Konvergenzen und Divergenzen (Königshausen & Neumann), edited by Richard Faber and Almut-Barbara Renger. This brilliantly kaleidoscopic collection of essays exhibits the many complex and profound ways in which literary texts have concurred and deviated from narratives, themes and concepts embedded in multiple religious traditions and practices. The individual chapters, prepared by prominent literary-religious scholars, offer a vast array of readings that illuminate the historical and cultural parameters of key texts while developing some innovative theoretical models for understanding how literature and poetry “converge” with and “diverge” from inherited religious materials. Contributions mainly take the form of literary-critical engagements: on the reception of Droste-Hülshoff’s poetry in the liberation theology of Dorothee Sölle; on the role of religious thought in Literary Realism; on the figure of the Deus absconditus in 20th-century German-Jewish lyric; on religious traces in Kafka’s The Trial; on sacred cosmologies in modern literature; on 20th-century treatements of the historical Jesus by Jewish novelists; and on the meaning of sacrifice in depictions of war. Read more…

Imagination and Narrative: Lexical and Cultural Translation in Buddhist Asia

August 21, 2017

Dear Colleagues,


by kind permission of the publisher

We are delighted to recommend to you a recently published collection of essays, Imagination and Narrative: Lexical and Cultural Translation in Buddhist Asia (University of Washington Press), edited by Peter Skilling and Justin Thomas McDaniel. Particularly noteworthy is the way the book frames each contribution according to specificities of geography and topography, thereby shedding fresh light on the translingual circulation of religious terminologies, notions, and tales. With this decided emphasis on the localization of religious thought and art, we come to understand to what extent the proliferation of Buddhist teachings, stories, images, and concepts was historically conditioned by linguistic difference and by the natural contingencies of place. Consequently, Buddhism demonstrates its astonishing capacity to adapt, maintaining coherence amidst great diversity while bridging socio-cultural gaps. According to the publisher’s notes, “The fresh perspectives presented here—all drawn on primary sources—give an overall impression of a singular diversity that somehow participates in an unacknowledged unity. Read more…

Seminar on the Poet and Literary Critic’s Relationship with Religion

June 25, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As the summer break approaches, we hope that you have already begun – or are about to begin – a relaxing and productive time. For our June posting we would like to draw your attention to an event devoted to the study of religion and literature. Every summer the Institute of English Studies at the University of London hosts the T. S. Eliot Summer School. This year’s academic program includes, among other exciting events, a seminar on the poet and literary critic’s relationship with religion. Led by Professor Robert Crawford, this seminar will concentrate on four poems written in the years around Eliot’s reception into the Church of England: ‘The Hollow Men’, ‘Journey of the Magi’, ‘A Song for Simeon’, and Ash-Wednesday. They will be augmented by readings of some of Eliot’s essays with related focuses. More information about the seminar and the summer school can be found here.

New Translations of Poems by Three Buddhist Monks

May 9, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to recommend a recently published translation of poems by three Chinese monks of the Tang Dynasty. The Poetry of Hanshan (Cold Mountain), Shide, and Fenggan is published in De Gruyter’s “Library of Chinese Humanities” series. The translator is Paul Rouzer, a specialist in poetics and poetry of China and Japan, Buddhism, and traditions of the supernatural in East Asia.

This legendary trio of monk-recluse-poets has enjoyed a popular afterlife both in China and abroad. Hanshan (Cold Mountain) in particular is a beloved figure in Japan, where he is also known as Kanzan. In America, these poets are icons of counterculture. Gary Snyder, among others, translated Hanshan into English. Upon Snyder’s suggestion, Jack Kerouac dedicated The Dharma Bums to Hanshan.

The present edition brings together all the extant poems composed by these monks, providing English translations alongside the original Chinese. A pdf version can be downloaded for free from here.

American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting

April 29, 2017
American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting
Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Dear all,

We hope your academic semesters have been going well! Now looking ahead to the summer, we would like to call your attention to the Annual Convention of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), to be held in the Netherlands at Universiteit Utrecht 6–9 July 2017.

The meeting includes a number of seminars related to religion and literature. Some of them also use literary expression of religious ideas or experiences to address other disciplines, including “Religion, Translation and Modern Literatures: Mapping Cross-cultural Circulation and Influences,” “Literatures of Heterodoxy and Cultural Change,” “Utopian Imagination and South Asia in Comparative Perspective,” “The Many Redemptions of Literature, Part 1: The ‘Sense’ of Redemption,” and “The Many Redemptions of Literature, Part 2: Redemptive Though.” The last two seminars are sponsored by the ICLA Research Committee on Religion, Ethics, and Literature.

Information about schedule and program information can be found at the ACLA website.