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Ergebnisanzeige ""Post-Secular Europe?": Religion and Faith in Contemporary Literature"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
Titel"Post-Secular Europe?": Religion and Faith in Contemporary Literature
BeschreibungCFP for a Special Session at the MLA San Francisco 27-30 December 2008:

"Post-Secular Europe?": Religion and Faith in Contemporary Literature

In the decades after WWII, the ongoing process of secularization rapidly progressed further in both Eastern and Western Europe. Since 1989, however, there has apparently been a resurgence of religious beliefs and spirituality, among the traditionally Christian, as well as Jewish and Muslim populations. Other, non-European and non-traditional faiths, especially Buddhism or so-called New Age movements, have also gained in popularity, although organizations like Scientology have faced difficulties in gaining official and popular recognition. This panel will explore how contemporary literature reflects on the recent revival of religious faith and spirituality in Europe.

Questions that papers might address include:

- Is the recent turn toward religion and spirituality in European populations accompanied by the emergence of a "post-secular literature"? If yes, how could "post-secular literature" be defined? How does it differ from earlier models of writing that contain spiritual elements, i.e. from Romantic and Neo-Romantic notions of art-as-religion or pre-Enlightenment genres of spiritual or confessional literature?

- Is the new interest in faith and spirituality in Europe also accompanied by a professedly "atheistic literature" that would parallel recent criticisms of religion (i.e. Christopher Hitchen's "God is not Great")? Is it possible to define "atheistic literature"?

- What kinds of literature and poetic language emerge in a turn towards spiritual concerns? How do authors use or reflect on canonical religious texts such as the Bible, the Talmud, and the Qur'an, or other traditions of spiritual literature? (i.e. Barbara Honigmann's autobiographical writings, Patrick Roth's neo-biblical narratives, Emine Sevgi Özdamar's representation of praying)

- How do authors represent the contemporary encounters between different faiths and religions in Europe?

- What specific issues are discussed in the literature of immigrants from Muslim countries into traditionally Christian European populations, or in the post-colonial literature from Muslim North African countries? Is there a change in the religious attitudes of second- or third generation immigrants or younger post-colonial authors?

- How is the resurgence of Judaism in Europe represented in contemporary literature?

- How have literary authors from the formerly Socialist Eastern European countries discussed religion and faith since 1989?

- Have September 11, 2001 and its aftermath left any traces in contemporary European literature with respect to the representation of faith and religion?

- Does a European equivalent exist for the "post-secular fiction" that John A. McClure discovers in post-modern North-American literature (i.e. Pynchon, Morrison, DeLillo)?

- What methods of literary or cultural criticism are adequate for the exploration of religion and faith in contemporary literature? What questions can or need to be asked?

Deadline: March 15, 2008

Please send 250-word abstracts to
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortSan Francisco
PersonName: Mergenthaler, May 
Funktion: Ansprechpartner 
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
SchlüsselbegriffeKomparatistik (Kulturvergleich, Interkulturelle Literaturwissenschaft)
Klassifikation00.00.00 ohne thematische Zuordnung
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
Ein Angebot vonGermanistik im Netz
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