Nov 22 2018

Futures of Sacrifice

Stroumsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Futures of Sacrifice: Sacrifice, Martyrdom, Self-Immolation

An International Symposium with Guy G. Stroumsa

Keynote speakers:

Terry Eagleton (Lancaster University)

Yvonne Sherwood (University of Kent)

Guy G. Stroumsa (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

In one very literal sense, philosophy begins with an act of self-sacrifice: the death of Socrates. It is all the more remarkable, then, that modern thought seems to find little or no place whatsoever for sacrifice. As many scholars have documented, liberal political philosophy’s foundational claim is the so-called natural law or right of self-preservation: human beings want to preserve their biological existence for as long as possible and the highest good of any form of political state is to protect and sustain that existence. To re-read the canonical signatures of modern liberalism from Thomas Hobbes to John Locke, then, we this find (despite or because of their many differences) a common aim to abolish, exclude – or even paradoxically sacrifice – sacrifice itself: the very idea of sacrificing life to some higher good than biological existence is apparently no longer thinkable. If liberalism thus seems to constitute the political euthanasia of sacrifice itself – the painless putting-out-of-its-misery of an eldery relative who has outlived her usefulness – sacrifice nonetheless refuses to die or disappear. In his recent book Radical Sacrifice, Terry Eagleton concludes that ’revolution is a modern version of what the ancient world knew as sacrifice’. This international symposium gathers together a range of scholars from the disciplines of philosophy, theology and politics – including the renowned historian of religion Guy G. Stroumsa – to consider the past, present and future of sacrifice.

Guy G. Stroumsa is Martin Buber Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Emeritus Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Oxford. He is the author of many works on comparative religion from late antiquity to modernity including The Making of the Abrahamic Religions in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 2015) and The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity (Harvard, 2016). In 2010, his lectures at the College de France were translated into English as The End of Sacrifice with Chicago University Press.

Friday 30th November

Ruskin Library and Research Centre

Lancaster University

 

 


Feb 22 2015

Derrida’s Faith and Knowledge: A Workshop

Unknown-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-reading Derrida’s ‘Faith and Knowledge’

A Northern Theory School/Department of Theology and Religious Studies Workshop at the University of Nottingham

In his enigmatic 1994 essay ‘Faith and Knowledge: The Two Sources of “Religion” within the Limits of Reason Alone’, Jacques Derrida explores the troubled place of religion in late modernity. If Derrida’s essay largely precedes the ‘post-secular’ turn in contemporary thought, it anticipates many of post-secularism’s defining concerns and questions: secularisation, ‘globalatinzation’, the return of the religious, the ‘religion’ of technological modernity, religious fundamentalism, violence and terror.

This workshop will be the first ever event dedicated to exploring the implications of Derrida’s landmark essay 20 years after its original publication. What is the significance of Derrida’s essay today? How do his reflections upon religion anticipate, deepen or question the turn to religion in figures like Habermas or Taylor? To what extent might Derrida’s essay  (which also contains important reflections on Kant, Bergson, Heidegger and Levinas) serve as a point of departure to explore the past, present and future of philosophy of religion?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that address any aspect of Derrida’s ‘Faith and Knowledge’ and/or use the text as a point of departure to address larger questions such as secularisation, the messianic, political theology, reason, technology, religious violence and terror. This workshop is free and open to all.

Speakers include:

Agata Bielik-Robson, Arthur Bradley, Joseph Cohen, Joanna Hodge, Adam Lipszyc, Laurent Milesi, Christopher Müller, Danielle Sands, Donovan Schaefer, Daniel Weiss, Raphael Zagury-Orly.

In order to register, please contact Agata Bielik-Robson [Agata.Bielik-Robson@nottingham.ac.uk]

June 1st-2nd 2015

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Room A100, Law and Social Sciences Building, Monday-Tuesday

University of Nottingham


Dec 2 2013

Foucault’s Iran: Religion, Politics, Revolution

Foucault Iran

 

 

 

 

 

A workshop on Michel Foucault’s writings on the Iranian Revolution led by Professor Michael Dillon (Lancaster University).

In 1978, Michel Foucault visited Iran twice as the protests against the Shah reached their zenith and subsequently interviewed the Ayatollah Khomenei in his Paris exile. He went on to write a series of articles for the Corrierre della sera, Le nouvel observateur and Le monde reflecting upon the implications of the Islamic Revolution. To be sure, Foucault’s writings upon Iran are now some of the notorious in his body of work and have been roundly criticised by scholars for at best political naivete and at worst complicity with Khomenei’s regime. However, after more than 30 years of radical political Islamism of all persuasions, the ‘Iranian’ Foucault also begins to seem remarkably prescient, almost prophetic: Foucault was arguably one of the first western thinkers to grasp the complex nexus of religion and revolutionary politics that has become one of the defining challenges to neo-liberal modernity. What, then, are we to make of the Iranian Foucault today? How might we read it in the light of subsequent debates around resistance, biopolitics, political theology, not to mention a new set of revolutions in the Middle East? Why does Foucault speak of a new ‘political spirituality’ beginning to be born in the Islamic Revolution?

2-5 pm, LICA Room A05, Tuesday 17th December, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University.

Please note: this event is free but places are strictly limited. In order to reserve a place, contact Arthur Bradley on a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk.