American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting
Long Beach, CA April 24-27, 2008
*interested in various disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities and social sciences*
While the debate over secularization, which once seemed settled, has been reopened, there is no question that religion has changed in the modern age. The needs and desires expressed in religion, and elements that we recognize from religion –- the desire for transcendence, ritual, symbolism, the search for meaning, etc. –- take on new forms in the arts, popular culture, theory (philosophy, psychology, anthropology, etc), private life, politics, and other sites. This seminar concerns the sometimes surprising sites in which we may find religion in nineteenth- and twentieth-century culture, asking — where does religion go and why does it persist?
If a cultural form does not outwardly resemble religion, what is there in it that makes it recognizably religious; that is, what do we recognize as essentially religious? If traditional religious motifs are mobilized for other interests (political, social, psychological, etc), what is the effect of that redirection? How may we evaluate these forms of the religious and particularly, what might ethical inquiry have to say about them? As this is a topic that is of interest to many theoretical approaches, we welcome innovative and divergent inquiries into western and nonwestern cultural forms. Papers may be collected into an anthology.
Abstracts must be submitted via the ACLA website: http://www.acla.org/acla2008/
Questions can be directed to Amy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
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