04 February 2010

CONF: RAKIA – Colloquium for Graduate Students

RAKIA – Colloquium for Graduate Students, at the newly-founded Hebraic Graduate School of Europe (HGSE) in Berlin, Germany,
14-18 February 2010

The western notion of modernity developed out of Enlightenment and secularization processes. This is one of the reasons, why the topic of modernity has become one of the central topoi in the present dialogue between cultures. Enlightenment and secularization are intimately interwoven with the way the different religious traditions that have shaped the face of Europe – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – have developed in the course of time.

Enlightenment and tradition are however not opposites in western thought. The emancipatory impulse of secularized Enlightenment is, in the form of Jewish monotheism and Greek rationalism, embedded in the fundamentals of western tradition on which Islam is also founded. In religion, philosophy, science, and art the peoples of Europe have interpreted the historical experiences of modernization. Besides this, there existed also a critique of modernity, a desire to preserve tradition, impulses, that have also left their imprint on the process of modernity.

The organizers want to explore the cultural, philosophical, social, and political aspects of the above problematic. Themes to be discussed include: "Secularization and Globalization" (Sunday, 7 pm); "Israel – Individual, People, and Nation in Western Tradition" (Monday, 9 am-
12 pm); "Nationalism, Zionism, and Messianism" (2-6 pm); "Europe between Athens and Jerusalem" (Tuesday, 9 am-12pm); "Political Theology and Political Theory" (2-6 pm); "Law and Religion in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" (Wednesday, 9 am-12 pm); "Jews and Muslims in Post-Christian Europe" (2-6 pm); "The State of Israel in European and Arabic Context" (Thursday, 9 am-12 pm); "Towards a 'Cultural Magna Charta for Europe' – Summation" (2-6 pm)

Particular attention will be paid to the perspective of the Shoah, the crisis (and possible renewal) of the humanities in Israel and Europe, and the Jewish Heritage of Europe in the tension between "Israel in Europe – Europe in Israel". Against the background of the destruction of the Jewish heritage of Europe, the bridge between Israel and Europe can serve as a way for a renewal of a common ethos.

The proposed Magna Charta will bear witness to the mutual influences of the different traditions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Greek-Roman Antiquity – that have shaped the face of Europe. This is necessary to find ways and means reflecting the "principle of differences" as a basis for equality, aiming at a new definition of the "contrat social" for the member states of Western, Central and Eastern Europe, after the breakdown of the great structures of the 19th century and the ideologies of the 20th century in the age of globalization.

The Colloquium will be conducted as an interdisciplinary seminar. The various topics will be presented by short lectures and papers, given by professors, doctoral candidates, and students, in which also current work-in-progress and research projects can be introduced and discussed. The evening programme includes public lectures and discussions, films, music, and literary readings.

Post-doctoral and doctoral researchers and masters students from all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences such as Jewish Studies, Philosophy, Theology, Sociology, History, Political Science, Law, Economics, Cultural Studies, Literature, and Education, are cordially invited to participate.

Please send applications to Michelle Piccirillio (Hebraic Graduate School of Europe): piccirillo@hgse.eu

1 comment:

  1. Theological anti-rationalism and the stifling of the development of science in Islamic societies: http://crombouke.blogspot.com/2010/01/islamic-irrationalism-and-anti.html