INTERNATIONAL SUMMER ACADEMY
FOR DOCTORAL AND POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS
The Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin's Working Group Modernity and Islam invites applications for an international Summer Academy on the theme:
HERMENEUTICS OF BORDER:
CANON AND COMMUNITY IN JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
The Summer Academy is scheduled to take place from 3 to 13 August 2003 in Berlin and will be chaired by Professors Daniely Boyarin (UC Berkeley), Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid (University of Leiden) and Christoph Markschies (University of Heidelberg). 24 young scholars will be given the opportunity to present and discuss their current research , while a group of leading scholars from the fields of Judaic, Islamic and Patristic studies will act as tutors.
The Summer Academy will conceive the exegesis of sacred scriptures (which includes, but is not limited to, commentaries) as a medium through which religious communities assert their separateness from other communities. Hermeneutical paradigms thus do not only provide criteria for the 'correct' interpretation of texts, but also establish cultural and religious boundaries: Different ways of interacting with texts thus found and reflect ways of interacting with others. In addition, the summer academy will be concerned with the social and institutional framework within which specific individuals are accorded the authority to interpret a foundational text. The significance of hermeneutical paradigms for the articulation of collective identities is especially obvious where different scriptural communities lay claim to the same text, as it is the case in Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Islam, too, sees itself as the legitimate continuation of the Mosaic revelation and thus enters into direct competition with the other two religions for the proper understanding of the biblical tradition. These conflicting claims are all staked and vindicated in the arena of Biblical and Qur'ânic exegesis. Not only can the Islamic discourse initiated by the Qur'ân be seen as a relecture of the Biblical tradition, but also established ways of Jewish and Christian Bible reading were significantly impacted and shifted after the emergence of Islam, as e. g. the Karaite schism in Judaism demonstrates. The Summer Academy will therefore attempt to trace the mobility of hermeneutical approaches between these three traditions. The Summer Academy will be held within the overall framework of the project "Jewish and Islamic hermeneutics as cultural critique" (directed by Dr Almut Bruckstein and Dr Navid Kermani and supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation) which aims at bringing together scholars of Jewish, Islamic and oriental Christian traditions in order to engage in a critical re-examination of traditional modes of religious exegesis.
CONDITIONS OF APPLICATION
Participants receive a stipend covering travel and accommodation expenses. The programme addresses doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in Judaic, Patristic and Islamic studies as well as theology, philosophy, and history of religions. The researchers' work should be clearly relevant to the theme of the summer academy. The working language is English. The application, consisting of a curriculum vitae, a five-page outline of the project the applicant is currently working on, with a brief summary thereof, and two names of referees (university faculty members) should be submitted and received, in English, by 25 April 2003.
Funding for the Summer Academy has been applied for at the Volkswagen Foundation.
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