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KNAW Akademie Colloquium. Making Sense of Religious Texts: Patterns of Agency, Synergy and Identity. Day 1: Modalities

When:Tu 27-10-2015 14:30 - 17:00
Where:The Trippenhuis, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Amsterdam

Organisers: Sabrina Corbellini, Mladen Popović, and Stefania Travagnin (University of Groningen)

Texts and textual analysis are still a much-discussed topic in social and cultural research. Foundational arguments on textual analysis have contested the role of language and logocentric expressions, however the study of religious cultures seems to be strongly text-coded, and indeed the study of and on texts has always been crucial in the academic research and teaching of religion. Up to date scholarship hadiscussed ‘text’ within one specific religious tradition, with the effect that ‘text’ has been debated within the boundaries of one religious identity and not from an inter-religious and inter-cultural perspective. Furthermore, texts have been only seldom assessed through an interdisciplinary perspective that sets the ‘textual’ in relation and dispute with the ‘extra-textual’ (such as rituals and material culture).

This Colloquium will gather scholars in different fields and workingon texts and with texts, in order to provoke a debate on textuality that goes across religious traditions and academic disciplines. The Conference Committee is formed by three scholars from the University of Groningen: Sabrina Corbellini (Medieval History/History of Reading in Premodern Europe), Mladen Popović (Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, Director of the Qumran Institute) and Stefania Travagnin (Religion in China, Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia).

This debate on ‘text’ will be organised around the following five key issues: (1) modality (of texts), (2) authority (of/on texts), (3) practice (visualizing and ritualizing texts), (4) materiality (texts as objects) and (5) transmission (translation and transmission of texts).


Day 1: Modalities

27 October 2015

  • 2.30-3.00 Registration and Welcome
  • 3.00-3.30 Introduction: Sabrina Corbellini, Mladen Popović and Stefania Travagnin
    • Fabio Rambelli (University of California Santa Barbara, The Ontology of Texts
    • Wim Francois (KU Leuven), Scriptures and Non-scriptural Traditions in the work of Jean Gerson and Jacob Latomus
    • Carola Erika Lorea (La Sapienza University of Rome), “The more you search for Him in books and such… the more you get lost”: Bengali Baul songs as religious texts-in-performance
  • 3.30-5.00 Panel: Modalities of Texts
  • 19.00 Dinner

See also:

Day 2: Authority and Practice and Day 3: Materiality and Transmission