As the study of religion increasingly embraces interdisciplinarity, the intersections of art and religion provide opportunities to nuance our understanding of both categories. Therefore the Indiana University Department of Religious Studies has chosen “The Art of Religion” as its topic for our 2009 Graduate Symposium. Whether it is a statue on an altar piece, a performance of funerary rites, or the classification of high culture versus kitsch as a metaphor for religious expression, art is a beneficial lens through which to view religion.
We want to outline what the production and performance of art and religion have in common. This will help define how the idea of art enables us to think about the study of religion across disciplines and traditions. Additionally, these connections will illustrate the extent to which the concept of art plays into religious practitioners’ self-understanding.
Questions to consider:
-How can a tradition’s art and material culture represent and shape religious experience?
-In what ways does ritual overlap with artistic performance?
-How can sensory experiences be understood as religious?
-What is the dynamic between the vantage of the gaze and the perspective of the embodied object?
-Are artistic categories compelling metaphors for scholarship of religion?
Our conference will feature a keynote address from Maria Heim of Amherst College followed by a reception, and each panel will have an Indiana University faculty respondent.
Please send 300-word abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, December 17, 2008.
The Symposium will take place on March 5-6, 2009.
Sycamore Hall 230
Bloomington, IN Email: email@example.com
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