18 February 2010

CFP: Religion and Modernity in a Secular City

A postgraduate conference of the Catholic Academy in Berlin (Katholische Akademie in Berlin), the University of Manchester's Centre for Religion and Political Culture, and Humboldt University of Berlin's Program on Religion, Politics and Economics, taking place at the Katholische Akademie, Berlin, Germany, 16-18 September 2010


Call for papers: "Religion and Modernity in a Secular City"

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.

The organizers 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.

Keynote speaker: Graham Ward (University of Manchester)

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a CV, should be sent simultaneously via e-mail to both the conference organizers, Martin Knechtges (Katholische Akademie): knechtges@katholische‐akademie‐berlin.de
and Kyle Gingerich Hiebert (University of Manchester): kyle.gingerichhiebert@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Deadline: 30 April 2010

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 14 May 2010.

The language of the conference will be English. It will take place in the centre of Berlin and generous grants are available for presenters to cover the costs of registration, accommodation, and meals. Conference costs are as follows: for registration and meals: €60 (includes lunch on all three days); for accommodation onsite at Hotel Aquino (limited availability): €70 (2 nights) or €105 (3 nights). Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from Berlin.

For further information, please contact the conference organizers.

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