This multi-faceted conference marks the launch of a new project to promote and encourage the inter-disciplinary study of all aspects relating to the notions of 'heaven' and 'hell' and their continuing significance in the modern world. The project will consider whether these notions are inseparably tied to questions of our origins and destiny, whether they are necessarily linked to concepts of reward and punishment, and what purpose they serve in the various contexts in which they are used.
The conference will explore all pertinent sources which deal with or have a bearing on, understandings of heaven and hell. All genres and media will be considered in order to examine the widest possible range of representations, past and contemporary, which offer perspectives and insights on why these notions exist within human life, thought, belief and practice.
Papers, presentations, reports and workshops are invited on any of the following themes:
meanings of 'heaven' and/or 'hell'
links with the concepts of origins and destiny, reward and punishment, justice
early notions of 'heaven' and/or 'hell'; mid-Eastern cultures, far Eastern cultures; concepts of the 'underworld'; flat-land cosmologies
Christian ideas (both Eastern and Western, medieval and modern) of 'heaven' and 'hell'; Jewish traditions; Egyptian traditions; evolution of the notions throughout history; evolution of the notions in theology and philosophy; associated notions of limbo, purgatory; the 'toll houses' idea of Eastern Christianity; portrayals in sermons - particularly the Victorian era
portrayals of heaven and hell in art; for example, Church frescoes or other iconography (eg. panels or manuscript illuminations); use of such representations for purposes of power; oil painting; other artistic media
portrayals of heaven and hell in literature; for example, Dante, Sartre, Shaw
portrayals of heaven and hell in music; opera, classical, rock and modern
portrayals of heaven and hell in cinema, television and on the radio
notions of the demonic and angelic
contemporary uses of 'heaven' and 'hell'; hell as a human creation - Holocaust, destitution
is there a decline in the notion of 'heaven' and/or 'hell'?
the place of hope and the place of despair in modern life
the significance, if any, of near death experiences
Papers will be considered on related themes. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 28th March 2003. Full draft papers should be submitted by Friday 23rd May 2003.
The conference is part of a larger series of ongoing conferences, run under the general banner 'At the Interface'. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for the conference will be published as an ISBN eBook.
Selected papers accepted for and presented at this conference will also be published in a hard copy themed volume.
The project is to be further supported by an e-mail discussion group, ISSN e-journal, and dedicated ISBN publication series.
For further details and information, please see our website or contact Dr Rob Fisher via email.
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