Call for Submissions: Religion and Emancipation

The Emancipatory Promise of Inventive Theology

17-19 June 2021

a workshop at
Luxembourg School of Religion & Society
in cooperation with
Strasbourg University
and
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
(Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary and
Centre for Contextual Biblical Interpretation)

Argument

Religions, each time in a specific manner, appear to be inhabited by contradictory doubleness. On the one hand, they tend generally toward a justification of the dominant power’s dispositions, but on the other hand, they also inspire protestation and revolts against domination. This contradiction is palpable particularly, but by no means exclusively, in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

This might be explained by the fact that those religions were originally constituted as “counter-religions,” emancipatory movements aiming at the liberation of the dominated from their state of servitude. The God of the Abrahamic religions does indeed present God’s self as the agent of subversion of social hierarchies. God is the one who liberated the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt, who “hath put down the mighty from their seat.” The Exodus-motive in Judaism and in Christianity and the Hijra in the history of Islam symbolize that emancipatory dimension.

Smashed and suppressed by the State and the ecclesiastical apparatus at its service, this dimension is reopened in our days by means of various “liberation theologies.” By rereading biblical and koranic sources, these groups managed to hear undeniable calls there for critique and socio-political struggle. Today the question should be asked if this emancipatory potential is exhausted or if it could still be reactivated. In other words, could it be possible to transcend the aporetic character of the link between religion and emancipation and, if so, how?

Workshop

We cordially invite graduate students, religious leaders, and other interested persons to take part in a three-day workshop on the grounds of the Luxembourg School of Religion and Society.

During this workshop, participants will present from their own research and thought. Presentations will serve as starting points for conversation and discussion in the group. While not excluding theological, sociological, and historical methodologies, these encounters privilege a philosophical approach enriched by hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and “post-modern” thought.

The workshop will be led by

  • Prof. Chris Doude van Troostwijk (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society / Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary)
  • Marius van Hoogstraten (Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary)

Invited teaching scholars:

  • Prof. Alberto Ambrosio (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society)
  • Prof. Peter-Ben Smit (Center for Contextual Biblical Interpretation / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Jacob Rogozinski (Strasbourg University)
  • Prof. Willie van der Merwe (Stellenbosch University)

Call for Submissions

Graduate students, religious leaders, and other interested persons are thus invited to submit proposals for 15-20 minute papers on issues related to the theme of the workshop. Proposals must be written in English and should include a title and a max. 300-word description or abstract of the presentation. Proposals also should include the name of the author, the author’s institutional affiliation (if relevant) and e-mail address.

Please submit proposals by 4 April 2021 by email to Prof. Chris Doude van Troostwijk (christian.doude@lsrs.lu) and Marius van Hoogstraten (m.m.van.hoogstraten@vu.nl) with the subject line, “R&E Workshop Submission.” Successful submissions will be contacted by 18 April.

For participants in this workshop, lodging will be provided within the Luxembourg School of Religion & Society.

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