Call for Papers:
The Centre for the Study of Religion’s Annual Graduate Symposium
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada April 15th, 2011
“The Beauty of Religion”
“Religion without art is a dead system of dogmas which have no effect on life.”- Lama Govinda.
In keeping with the theme chosen by Religion in the Public Sphere’s 2009-2010 initiative, “Art and the Public Contestation of Religion,” the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Study of Religion extends a cordial call for original papers that investigate the links between religion and “beauty”- including aesthetics, verbal, visual, and performing arts, literature, poetry, music, architecture, for presentation at the annual graduate symposium on April 15th, 2011.
The concept "beauty" functions differently in diverse religious, historical, philosophical, cultural and aesthetic contexts. No doubt, the concept of beauty has been tightly bound to artistic production throughout the history of religion, but not necessarily or exclusively so. Have we lost the connection between religion(s) and artistic expression? Do religion and art still share the ability to stimulate reflection of the “big questions”: why are we here and where are we going? How has the relationship between “the arts” and religion changed over time? How and when do the experience and expression of verbal, visual, and performing arts, as well as literature and poetry coincide with religion?
The following sub-fields have been designed to allow for a flexible interpretation of this year’s theme, as well as to encourage submissions reflecting a broad spectrum of interests and disciplines. We are particularly interested in papers that cross disciplinary, geographical, and historical boundaries.
The symposium team gladly welcomes abstracts that fall within, or are related to these parameters:
• Aesthetic theory and religion; theories of imagination; literary theory
• Creativity/freedom of expression through “the arts” and religion and/or “religious art”
• Material culture and religion; religious iconography in public spaces
• Historical interactions between “the arts” and religion
• Iconoclasm, blasphemy, censorship; union; conflict
• Religious traditions and techniques of representation; ritual; art as a medium for the expression of religious beliefs; images and metaphors of beauty in music, services, and treatises
• Psychology of creativity/imagination; the creation of subjectivity
• Desire and the pursuit of perfection; Arts of the self, cultivation of self; the ascetic body and its cultivation
• The arts as new religion; artistic creation and the forging of meaningful worlds
Applicants should submit a 250-300 word abstract including the paper’s title, author’s name, affiliation and contact information to: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before December 17th, 2010. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 28th, 2011.
•University of Toronto
•Centre for the Study of Religion
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