Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cfp: "Walter Benjamin: Convergences of Aesthetics and Political Theology," Universidade de Chile, October 20-22, 2010.

With his stress on the constellation of art, religion and politics, Walter Benjamin has become a key thinker for the contemporary debate on the role of religion in the public sphere. Benjamin placed philosophy –the practice of criticism- at the service of art, seeking to release a political and theological potential he called “messianic”, far from every theocracy and fundamentalism. Benjamin’s urgent demand for the “politicization of art” as an antidote to the fascist “æsthetizationof politics” is well known. The aim of this international conference is to understand and discuss the bridge between the aforementioned demand and the contemporary attempts, by many thinkers influenced by Benjamin, to “politicize theology”, now understood as an antidote to the fundamentalist theologization of politics. Organizing Institutions: · Universidad de Chile · Instituto de Humanidades, Universidad Diego Portales · Goethe Institut,Santiago de Chile · DAAD, Santiago de Chile Conference Committee: · Vanessa Lemm, Universidad Diego Portales · Horst Nitschack, Universidad de Chile · Pablo Oyarzún, Universidad de Chile · Eduardo Sabrovsky, Universidad Diego Portales · Miguel Vatter, Universidad Diego Portales Confirmed international speakers: · Hauke Brunkhorst, Flensburg Universität, Flensburg, Germany · Gertrud Koch, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany · Bettina Menke, Universität Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany We welcome proposals for 20-30 minute papers on all topics relevant to the conference theme, including the following: The artwork’s aura and its effacement: Technical reproducibility or alterity of the absolute? The crisis of experience. The concept of “profane illumination”. Language and the sacred. The Angel of History and “dialectics at a standstill”. Allegory and melancholy from the Trauerspiel to Baudelaire. Benjamin and the question of sovereignty. The Benjamin-Scholem dialogue. Kabbalah and Messianism. Benjamin and Political Theology Papers on other relevant topics will also be considered. Early submissions are welcome. Conference languages are Spanish and English. We will work with simultaneous translation during plenary sessions. Please send an abstract of a maximum of 600 words and a short bio to, no later than April 15th 2010. Notification of acceptance will be sent no later than April 30th 2010. For further information, please contact the organizers at

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