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Yes, we went to see them – again. For me, this was the ninth time since 2005. So now I’ve seen Tull in Australia, UK, USA, Denmark, Norway, and Russia. They seem to like turning up in places where I happen to be.

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Power/Religion: A Revanche of Reaction or a Metaphor of Revolution?

Venues: Helsinki (University of Helsinki) and St Petersburg (European University at St Petersburg and Russian Christian Academy for Humanities)

Date: September 10–15, 2013

After a short-lived belief in the secularization of societies, religion has returned to the political arena with a vengeance. It is one of the most controversial but also determining political issues in today’s world. But is religion a reactionary force or does it involve revolutionary potentiality? This three-day international conference addresses questions pertaining to the relationship between power, politics, and religion.

Schedule

Tuesday September 10

Arrival at Helsinki

19:00 Dinner

Wednesday September 11

Venue: Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki (Address: Fabianinkatu 24)

10:00 Opening words

10:15 – 10:45 Roland Boer (University of Newcastle), “Translating Religion and Politics: An Alternative Model.”

10:45 – 11:15 Niko Huttunen (University of Helsinki), “How Fantasy Becomes True: Paul between Political Realism and Eschatological Fantasy.”

11:15 – 11:45 Sergei Prozorov (University of Helsinki), “Pussy Riot and the Politics of Profanation.”

11:45 – 13:15 Lunch

13:15 – 13:45 Chin Ken Pa (Chung Yuan Christian University), “W. T. Chu’s Jesus the Proletarian.”

13:45 – 14:15 Olli-Pekka Moisio (University of Jyväskylä), “Max Horkheimer on Religion as a Resistance and Hope.”

14:15 – 14:45 Sergey Kozin (Russian Christian Academy for Humanities), TBA

Coffee break

15:15 – 15:45 Sanna Tirkkonen (University of Helsinki), “Power, Religion and Justice: Foucault on the Cult of Dionysus.”

15:15 – 15:45 Lars T. Lih (McGill University) “Shield of Aeneas: Ancient and Modern Narratives of World-historical Mission.”

15:45 – 16:15 Philip Chia (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) “Occupy Central: Scribal Resistance in Daniel, the Long Road to Universal Suffrage”

Discussion

19:00 Departure from Helsinki (Ferry to St Petersburg)

Thursday September 12

9:30: Arrival at St Petersburg

Venue: European University at St Petersburg (Address: #3 Gagarinskaya Street)

14:00 Opening words

14:15 – 14:45 Joseph Bartlett (Indiana University), “Extremism for Love: Horkheimer beyond the Age of Islamic Terror.”

14:45 – 15:15 Ali Al-Hakim (International Islamic Contemporary Thought Foundation), “Shi’ah’s Standpoint between Revolutionaries and Quietists.”

15:15 – 15:45 Jouni Tilli (University of Jyväskylä), “’We should obey the nation state and God rather than men’: Lutheran Metanoia and the Politics of Obedience.”

Coffee break

16:15 – 16:45 Youzhuang Geng (Renmin University of China), “The Rhetoric of Icons: from Image to Voice.”

16:45 – 17:15 Mika Ojakangas (University of Jyväskylä), “From Political Theology to Theological Politics.”

17:15 – 17:45 Markku Koivusalo (University of Helsinki), “The Theological Structure of the 20th Century Extreme Political Thought”

17:45 – 18:00 Discussion

19:00 Dinner

Friday September 13

Venue: TBA

11:00 – 11:30 Christina Petterson (Humboldt University of Berlin), “’Der Mensch muß immer im Streit seÿn’: Zinzendorf and the ideology of Language.”

11:30 – 12:00 Elisa Heinämäki (University of Helsinki), “What is Radical about Radical Pietism?”

12:00 – 12:30 Artemy Magun (European University, St Petersburg), TBA

12:30 – 12:45 Discussion

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 17:30 special section for additional Russian participants (in Russian)

19:00 Dinner

 

Saturday September 14

Sightseeing

20:00 Departure from St Petersburg (Ferry to Helsinki)

Sunday September 15

8:30 Return to Helsinki

 

Sponsors:

Subjectivity, Historicity, and Communality Research Group (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki)

Academy of Finland (Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki and the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä)

European University at St Petersburg (http://www.eu.spb.ru/)

Russian Christian Academy for Humanities (http://rhga.ru/)

Religion and Political Thought Project

Australian Research Council

Second Call for Papers

Power/Religion: A Revanche of Reaction or a Metaphor of Revolution?

Venues: Helsinki (University of Helsinki)

St Petersburg (European University at St Petersburg and Russian Christian Academy for Humanities)

Date: September 10–15, 2013

Paper proposals due May 1, 2013

After a short-lived belief in the secularization of societies, religion has returned to the political arena with a vengeance. It is one of the most controversial but also determining political issues in today’s world. The majority of contemporary wars and terrorist attacks are religiously laden. The age of theocracies is by no means over. European secular countries are trying to tackle with the issue of religious symbols in the public sphere. Religious words such as blasphemy have reappeared in political vocabulary. While the Lutheran State-Church is reduced to insignificance, in Orthodox countries the Church and the State have entered into a mutual partnership legitimizing each other’s power claims against secular reformists. Overtly secular intellectuals in the West have turned to religious discourses in their quest for tools of cultural and political criticism in order to fight capitalism and neoliberal hegemony. Not Marx or Lenin but the Apostle Paul and Thomas Müntzer are leading revolutionary figures today.

But is religion a reactionary force or does it involve revolutionary potentiality? Or is religion, particularly the Abrahamic religions, fundamentally twofold, originally based on a revolutionary event but developed into a power system of the Church. Or is the very power of the Church based on the fidelity to the revolutionary event in its origin? What about religious doctrines? In the Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul proclaims that every person should be subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13), while in the same letter he observes that we are “not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Further, in Acts 5:29 we may read the Apostles’ collective reply to the high priest who charged them not to preach in the name of Christ: “We must obey God rather than men.” Indeed, does not religion open up a transcendent dimension of freedom within the immanence of political order? Or is it precisely this transcendent dimension of freedom – but also that of secrecy (arcana) – that is needed in order to legitimize clerical and political power? Presumably, there is no definitive answer to these questions, for it is quite obvious that we have to take into account historical contexts: it is probable that same religious principles that empower revolutionary militants can be used by the established Churches in order to suppress them. Or is it? This two-day conference addresses these and related questions. Papers may deal with perennial, historical or contemporary issues. Both theoretical and empirical approaches are welcome.

Schedule

Tuesday September 10

Arrival at Helsinki

19:00 Get together party / dinner

Wednesday September 11

Venue: Collegium for Advanced Studies (University of Helsinki)

9:15 – 11:45 five papers

11:45 – 13:15 lunch

13:15 – 15:45 five papers

19:00 Departure from Helsinki (Ferry to St Petersburg)

Thursday September 12

9:30: Arrival at St Petersburg

14:00 – 17:30 five papers

19:00 Dinner

Friday September 13

10:00 – 12:30 five papers

12:30 Lunch

14:00 – 17:30 special section for additional Russian participants (in Russian)

19:00 Dinner

Saturday September 14

Sightseeing

20:00 Departure from St Petersburg (Ferry to Helsinki)

Sunday September 15

8:30 Return to Helsinki

Paper Proposals

Researchers interested in presenting a paper at the conference are asked to send an abstract of no more than 300 words by the 1st of May 2013 to the following email addresses:

mika.ojakangas@jyu.fi

power.religion2013@gmail.com

NOTE: The conference will take place in Helsinki and St Petersburg. Those participants who wish to participate in the sessions in both cities are recommended to use the opportunity to purchase a visa free cruise / hotel package to St Petersburg including two nights on board (St Peter Line / Princess Maria, Helsinki – St Petersburg – Helsinki) and two nights’ accommodation in a hotel (four stars) in St Petersburg. The price of the cruise / hotel package is about 250-300€. If you are interested in the package, please contact Mika Ojakangas (mika.ojakangas@jyu.fi) before the 1st of April.

Looking forward to receiving your paper proposals,

Roland Boer (University of Newcastle, Australia)

Sergey Kozin (Russian Christian Academy of the Humanities)

Mika Ojakangas (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Sponsors:

Subjectivity, Historicity, and Communality Research Group (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki)

Academy of Finland (Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki)

European University at St Petersburg

Russian Christian Academy for Humanities

Religion and Political Thought Project (Australian Research Council)

Call for Papers

Power/Religion: A Revanche of Reaction or a Metaphor of Revolution?

Venues: Helsinki (University of Helsinki)

St Petersburg (European University at St Petersburg and Russian Christian Academy for Humanities)

Date: September 10–15, 2013

Paper proposals due May 1, 2013

After a short-lived belief in the secularization of societies, religion has returned to the political arena with a vengeance. It is one of the most controversial but also determining political issues in today’s world. The majority of contemporary wars and terrorist attacks are religiously laden. The age of theocracies is by no means over. European secular countries are trying to tackle with the issue of religious symbols in the public sphere. Religious words such as blasphemy have reappeared in political vocabulary. While the Lutheran State-Church is reduced to insignificance, in Orthodox countries the Church and the State have entered into a mutual partnership legitimizing each other’s power claims against secular reformists. Overtly secular intellectuals in the West have turned to religious discourses in their quest for tools of cultural and political criticism in order to fight capitalism and neoliberal hegemony. Not Marx or Lenin but the Apostle Paul and Thomas Müntzer are leading revolutionary figures today.

But is religion a reactionary force or does it involve revolutionary potentiality? Or is religion, particularly the Abrahamic religions, fundamentally twofold, originally based on a revolutionary event but developed into a power system of the Church. Or is the very power of the Church based on the fidelity to the revolutionary event in its origin? What about religious doctrines? In the Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul proclaims that every person should be subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13), while in the same letter he observes that we are “not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Further, in Acts 5:29 we may read the Apostles’ collective reply to the high priest who charged them not to preach in the name of Christ: “We must obey God rather than men.” Indeed, does not religion open up a transcendent dimension of freedom within the immanence of political order? Or is it precisely this transcendent dimension of freedom – but also that of secrecy (arcana) – that is needed in order to legitimize clerical and political power? Presumably, there is no definitive answer to these questions, for it is quite obvious that we have to take into account historical contexts: it is probable that same religious principles that empower revolutionary militants can be used by the established Churches in order to suppress them. Or is it? This two-day conference addresses these and related questions. Papers may deal with perennial, historical or contemporary issues. Both theoretical and empirical approaches are welcome.

Schedule

Tuesday September 10

Arrival at Helsinki

19:00 Get together party / dinner

Wednesday September 11

Venue: Collegium for Advanced Studies (University of Helsinki)

9:15 – 11:45 five papers

11:45 – 13:15 lunch

13:15 – 15:45 five papers

19:00 Departure from Helsinki (Ferry to St Petersburg)

Thursday September 12

9:30: Arrival at St Petersburg

14:00 – 17:30 five papers

19:00 Dinner

Friday September 13

10:00 – 12:30 five papers

12:30 Lunch

14:00 – 17:30 special section for additional Russian participants (in Russian)

19:00 Dinner

Saturday September 14

Sightseeing

20:00 Departure from St Petersburg (Ferry to Helsinki)

Sunday September 15

8:30 Return to Helsinki

Paper Proposals

Researchers interested in presenting a paper at the conference are asked to send an abstract of no more than 300 words by the 1st of May 2013 to the following email addresses:

mika.ojakangas@jyu.fi

power.religion2013@gmail.com

NOTE: The conference will take place in Helsinki and St Petersburg. Those participants who wish to participate in the sessions in both cities are recommended to use the opportunity to purchase a visa free cruise / hotel package to St Petersburg including two nights on board (St Peter Line / Princess Maria, Helsinki – St Petersburg – Helsinki) and two nights’ accommodation in a hotel (four stars) in St Petersburg. The price of the cruise / hotel package is about 250-300€. If you are interested in the package, please contact Mika Ojakangas (mika.ojakangas@jyu.fi) before the 1st of April.

Looking forward to receiving your paper proposals,

Roland Boer (University of Newcastle, Australia)

Sergey Kozin (Russian Christian Academy of the Humanities)

Mika Ojakangas (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Sponsors:

Subjectivity, Historicity, and Communality Research Group (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki)

Academy of Finland (Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki)

European University at St Petersburg

Russian Christian Academy for Humanities

Religion and Political Thought Project (Australian Research Council)

ship

This is the fifth conference to be held in the ‘Religion and Radicalism’ series. To date, we have had:

Copenhagen: September 2010

Taipei: September 2011

Newcastle: October 2012

Herrnhut: March 2013

A five-volume series, under the title of Religion and Radicalism, will gather the articles from this international series of conferences.

Preliminary Call for Papers.

Power/Religion: A Revanche of Reaction or a Metaphor of Revolution?

Venues: University of Helsinki and the European University at St Petersburg

Date: 10-15 September, 2013

After a short-lived belief in the secularization of societies, religion has returned to the political arena with a vengeance. It is one of the most controversial but also determining political issues in today’s world. The majority of contemporary wars and terrorist attacks are religiously laden. The age of theocracies is by no means over. European secular countries are trying to tackle with the issue of religious symbols in the public sphere. Religious words such as blasphemy have reappeared in political vocabulary. While the Lutheran State-Church is reduced to insignificance, in Orthodox countries the Church and the State have entered into a mutual partnership legitimizing each other’s power claims against secular reformists. Overtly secular intellectuals in the West have turned to religious discourses in their quest for tools of cultural and political criticism in order to fight capitalism and neoliberal hegemony. Not Marx or Lenin but the Apostle Paul and Thomas Müntzer are leading revolutionary figures today.

But is religion a reactionary force or does it involve revolutionary potentiality? Or is religion, particularly the Abrahamic religions, fundamentally twofold, originally based on a revolutionary event but developed into a power system of the Church. Or is the very power of the Church based on the fidelity to the revolutionary event in its origin? What about religious doctrines? In the Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul proclaims that every person should be subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13), while in the same letter he observes that we are “not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Further, in Acts 5:29 we may read the Apostles’ collective reply to the high priest who charged them not to preach in the name of Christ: “We must obey God rather than men.” Indeed, does not religion open up a transcendent dimension of freedom within the immanence of political order? Or is it precisely this transcendent dimension of freedom – but also that of secrecy (arcana) – that is needed in order to legitimize clerical and political power? Presumably, there is no definitive answer to these questions, for it is quite obvious that we have to take into account historical contexts: it is probable that same religious principles that empower revolutionary militants can be used by the established Churches in order to suppress them. Or is it? This two-day conference addresses these and related questions. Papers may deal with perennial, historical or contemporary issues. Both theoretical and empirical approaches are welcome.

Organizers:

Mika Ojakangas, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Artemy Magun, European University at St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Sergey Kozin, University of Newcastle, Australia

Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, Australia

Please send paper proposals to me at this stage.

This is the fifth conference to be held under the ‘Religion and Radicalism’ series. To date, we have had:

Copenhagen: September 2010

Taipei: September 2011

Newcastle: October 2012

Herrnhut: March 2013

A five-volume series, under the title of Religion and Radicalism, will gather the articles from this international series of conferences.

Some more utterly shameless self-promotion, this time in St. Petersburg:

Lenin and Theology: Miracles Can Happen

Роланда Бура (Roland Boer) на тему “Lenin and Theology: Miracles Can Happen”.

Роланд Бур – профессор в Университете Ньюкасла (Австралия).

Краткий анонс: In certain respects, a revolution is a miracle’, wrote Lenin in 1921. Revolution = miracle; революция = чудо: the permutations of this equation are the concern of this talk. Although revolution is arguably the central theme of Lenin’s extensive writings and political practice, my angle is different from the many others who have dealt with Lenin and revolution, for I am interested in its theological translation – hence miracle. What does it mean for Lenin to say that revolution is a miracle? Miracle is not so much a moment that changes the very coordinates of existence (or in Hume-derived terms as an event that is inexplicable according to the ‘laws’ of nature), but rather a point of contact between two seemingly incommensurable worlds. In theological terms, a miracle is a touching between heaven and earth, the moment when transcendence is bent towards immanence. In Lenin’s appropriation, the two worlds are no longer heaven and earth but those of spontaneity and organisation, between the unexpected the expected. Time and again, he emphasises and devotes immense energy to the need to organise and prepare, yet the moment of revolution-as-miracle inevitably occurs without forewarning. Into this discussion come the related issues of working within or outside the system, and the question of freedom (formal and actual).

(ht sk)