CFP: Retelling the Bible
Interdisciplinary workshop at Center for Theoretical Study, Prague, Czech Republic in September 11-13, 2008
Retelling a text includes adding, omitting, enlarging, condensing, but also interpreting, adding new meanings, stressing specific aspects and suppressing other ones. Every version is context-bound: it relates to particular temporal, spatial and social conditions, it is a result of the specific purpose, needs and situation of its author and audience.
Retelling is frequently an attempt to substitute the original. The case of retelling the Bible is special in this respect: the ‘original’ remains all the time in the background, its retellings have (so far) not threatened its unique status. (Most of them did not even aim at doing so, they rather sought to create parallels in a specific context like Bibles for the illiterate or Bibles for children, or to provide another easier access to it.) Thus, instead of a chain of various versions dependent on one another, each retelling takes as its model again the Bible itself.
Retelling implies the existence of a story. This, again, is a very specific issue in the case of the Bible, which, of course, is much more than a story, and much more than a story is being retold through the retelling. Thus, the topic is not simply a literary one but pertains to cultural and spiritual history, too.
Different words, emphases and contexts invariably bring about significant modifications and shifts in the meaning. The workshop aims at tracing, analysing, contextualising and comparing them. Papers concentrating on any period and any media – translations, apocrypha, Biblical versifications, homilies, sermons, images, novels, or films – are welcome.
In order to secure sufficient time for discussion, each paper should not exceed 20 minutes. Please, send a brief (ca. 250-350 word) abstract together with a statement on your affiliation and research interests to Lucie Doležalová at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2008. Although preference is given to English, papers in French and German are also accepted. Publication of the proceedings in the form of a collective monograph is planned. Limited funds are available to help cover expenses of the speakers.
Center for Theoretical Study
110 00 Prague
Czech Republic Email: email@example.com
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