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Phenomenology, Religion and Violence

Annual Meeting of the Society for Phenomenological Philosophy

Keynote by Dr. Michael Staudigl, University of Vienna:

On making transcendence together.

Toward a phenomenology of religious violence

In this talk I will argue that phenomenology offers us a viable framework to productively think through the relation between religion and violence. I hypothesize that this correlation needs to be reconsidered in a threefold perspective (religio triplex) in order to avoid our all too well known reductionist conceptions of "religious violence." With this desideratum in mind, I argue for distinguishing between a) the originary violence of revelation, "absolute affection," shaking transcendence (mysterium tremendum et fascinans), etc.; b) the violent implications of concrete socio-topologies of the sacred and the profane; and c) the violent potentials transmitted in the narrative semantics of religious traditions. In order to properly distinguish these three layers and to shed light on their complex dynamism and interplay, I will draw upon Schutz's theory of "multiple realities," Merleau-Ponty's "phenomenology of embodiment," and Ricoeur's "poietics of the possible God." In conclusion, this will lead me to conceptualize religion in terms of "making transcendence together"—-a conceptualization that explicitly avows an intrinsic correlation of religion and violence but also stresses the perfect contingency of "religious violence."


Conference programme Friday February 2, 9:30 am - 5:15 pm

When & where?

Keynote lecture:

Thursday, February 1, 20:00
Faculty of Philosophy, room Omega

Rest of the programme:

Friday, February 2, 9:30 - 5:15
Van Swinderenhuys, Club Lounge

Fee, book

Conference fee: € 25,00; for students € 10,00

All participants will receive a copy of the presented book

Last modified:17 September 2020 5.27 p.m.