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International Graduate Seminar on Post-Secular Europe
1 November 2011
Deadline for applications: 31.12.2011
International Graduate Student Seminar
Over the past decade, the concept of post-secularism seemed to solve several of the conundrums an exploration into the present and the future of intercultural interaction has to face today. In contrast to the doom-and-gloom visions of the inevitability of conflict between religiously defined global regions, famously defined by Samuel Huntington as a clash of cultures, post-secularism hopes to reconcile diverging interests in multicultural societies, to allow for a dialogue between diverse religious commitments, and, more importantly, to establish common ground between faith-based communities and societal constituencies which reject any form of religious identity or commitment.
This graduate student seminar intends
to investigate this assumption. In its first instalment, it should
address more specifically
- the concept of post-secularism and its philosophical, social and political implications
- the relationship of Enlightenment philosophy and religious thought in the 18th century
- the cultural and religious transformations of east European Jewish communities in the 19th century
An opening keynote will be delivered by Professor David Sorkin, Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, author, among others, of The Religious Enlightenment. Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton University Press 2008). Professor Sorkin will also attend the seminar itself, and engage in our discussions.
seminar will inquire whether the tools to investigate earlier examples
of multicultural cohabitation can teach us about the potential of
post-secularism, and develop a critical assessment about the limits of
its applicability. Also, a discussion with multi-faith initiatives in
London involved in educational initiatives is planned.
London and Warsaw
The seminar should be held in two instalments, the first in May 2012 in London, the second in September 2012 in Kraków. An equal number of graduate students from London and from Kraków (ca 6-8 from each side) shall meet on both occasions, prepare presentations, discuss research projects, and engage with lecturers invited for the occasion. A detailed programme of the second instalment of the seminar will be available shortly.
The seminar is addresses graduate students
(MA and PhD) in the Humanities and in Social and Political Sciences,
but students from other disciplines may also apply. The language of the
meetings will be English. Participation in the seminar is free of
charge. Students from outside London may apply for a contribution to
travel and accommodation expenses.
Applications are now open for the first instalment of the seminar. Please send a cover letter including a proposal for a presentation (within the framework of the above mentioned perspectives), a short CV, and the contact details of one referee, ideally the supervisor of the applicant, by e-mail only, to:
Dr François Guesnet
Sidney and Elizabeth Corob Reader in Modern Jewish History
Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
University College London
The deadline for applications to this first workshop is 31 December 2011.
This Graduate Student Seminar has been developed in cooperation of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL, the Department of Jewish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, the Department of Humanities, Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza, Kraków, the Polish Cultural Institute, London, and the UCL European Institute.