The Dunedin School blog has had a mention in the world’s leading journal on the Bible and critical theory, The Bible and Critical Theory. In the current editorial (October 2009), the Editor, Julie Kelso directed readers of the journal to our call for papers for the upcoming 2010 Bible and Critical Theory Seminar in Dunedin (7-8 February 2010). The seminar series is regarded as the world’s leading seminar on the Bible and critical theory.
Ok, I was just playing with the ‘theologian’ title there. But in recent years, Richard Dawkins has certainly been a big bad kitty running amok in the theological rooster coop. So he may be more deserving of the title than the dull defenders of dogma.
The news is that Richard Dawkins will be winging his way to Wellington, New Zealand for the Writers & Readers Week (9-14 March 2010) which forms a part of the 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival.
7.00pm to 8.30pm
Saturday 13 March 2010
Fisher & Paykel Appliances Auditorium, The University of Auckland Business School
Dawkins’ most recent book, The Greatest Show on Earth, marks a return to his own field of evolution. So his talk in Wellington could be expected to concentrate on that topic.
“Richard Dawkins will present evidence for his argument that evolution is an incontrovertible fact. In his new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, the renowned evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist takes on creationists, including followers of “intelligent design” and all those who question evolution through natural selection.
Richard Dawkins will be introduced by Brian Boyd, The University of Auckland’s Distinguished Professor of English. He teaches a course in Literature and Science that includes Richard Dawkins’s The Blind Watchmaker.”
James Harding and Gillian Townsley have drunk their way through every pub in Dunedin, in their quest to find the perfect venue for the Bible and Critical Theory Seminar next February. The venue will be The Bog, located on the corner of George and London Streets, Dunedin. Here’s a pic:
Remember, the due date for paper proposals is 31 December 2009. Proposals to James Harding (james.harding(at)stonebow.otago.ac.nz) or Roland Boer (roland.t.boer(at)gmail.com).
Update: Transport and Accommodation.
The Dunedin School would like to invite all of you to a public lecture sponsored by the University of Otago’s Department of Theology and Religion:
Dr. Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University, will deliver an Open Lecture entitled ‘When Religion Meets New Media: Considering the Religious-Social Shaping of Technology’ on Monday 16th November at 5.10pm. The lecture will be held in Burns 7 St David Seminar Room 2.
Dr. Campbell has a PhD in Practical Theology and Computer-mediated Communication from the University of Edinburgh-Scotland and is been an active researcher studying religion and the internet. She is author of Exploring Religious Community Online (Peter Lang, 2005) which explores the relationship between online and offline Christian communities and implications online religion has for offline faith communities and religious institutions. She is also co-editor of A Science and Religion Primer (Baker Academic, 2009) an introductory resource to the study of science, technology and religion and author of the forthcoming book When Religion Meets New Media (Routledge, forthcoming 2010) on how religious communities negotiate their use of new media. Dr. Campbell writes about her research interests also in her blog: When Religion Meets New Media.
I’ve had an exhilarating 5 days, which includes a total of 10 flights, 45 hours in the air, 1 academic conference on U2, 1 U2 stadium concert, and only 13 hours sleep. The first academic conference on U2 included some really impressive papers from theologians, musicologists, anthropologists, and more – interweaved with keynote speakers Anthony DeCurtis, Neil McCormick, Matt McGee, and Agnes Nyamayarwo. It went off.
The audience was a great mix of academics and U2 fanatics – and these categories were not necessarily, or even often, exclusive. It was all U2 geeky goodness. When for instance, during one question-time, Danielle Rhéaume noted that she was the person who found and returned the long-lost original October lyrics, one could feel a palpable chill come over the entire room.
In the wee hours of Monday morning, and after a few Guinesses, I attempted some ‘Numb-style’ photographs at the Durham Irish pub with a few of the conference attendees. Here are some: my Alaskan co-presenter (Dan), the Discoverer of Bono’s October Journal (Danielle), an Aussie U2 fan who hasn’t missed a concert in quite a while (Gary), and an Aussie film-maker (
hmmm… I can’t quite remember her name anymore; I must be sleep-deprived; but you watch: some avid U2 fan will tell me soon; they’re good like that Natalie):
As an indication of some of the papers on offer: Sydneysider Greg Clarke compared Bono’s and Nick Cave’s conceptions of Jesus, and he reckons that while Cave has a lot in common with nineteenth century liberal scholars such as D.F. Strauss, Bono has a lot in common with someone like C.S. Lewis. That wording is more mine than his, though. He also mentioned a new Aussie book by Craig Schuftan and Brad Cook, with an outrageously punny title: Hey! Nietzsche! leave them kids alone (2009). Christopher Endrinal very clearly explained the mechanics of vocal layering in U2 songs such as ‘The Fly.’ The layering of the fly voice and the angelic falsetto was something which I had looked at in my own paper on fallen angels, so it was good to see how we came at this from different angles (and with different conclusions, but hey!). Dan Pinkston’s comparisons between U2 and Stravinsky, in the paper which followed, issued a challenge all those musical snobs who refuse to acknowledge where classical and pop music share important techniques in common.
There were two Kiwis present; Steve Taylor was the other one. I hear there may well be a book following, containing some of the papers.
- Deane Galbraith
Here are some other conference blog reports:
That’s my paper title that I’ve highlighted on the conference T-shirt, because, after all, how many times do you get a conference t-shirt with your paper title on it? Ah, the pride (in the name of love) with which I will wear it!
Come along if you’re somewhere near Durham, NC next weekend (2-4 October). They’ve even managed to put on a U2 concert in a nearby Raleigh baseball stadium on the Saturday night.
If, however, you can’t make it, then I understand the conference organisers will be publishing a book containing some of the papers. And there’s a great variety of papers on everything concerning U2 from a whole host of disciplinary perspectives. I’m quite looking forward to hearing some of them. It’s good to get some interdisciplinary insights going on about a single topic. Will they be even better than the real thing?
What you might expect to see WHEN you come to the B&CT Conference next Feb …
This guy’s name is Little Ollie and you might get lucky enough to see him:
OR, if you prefer …
Dunedin? IT’S ALL RIGHT HERE!
And these guys are STUDENTS, in case you didn’t realise – a migratory species of bird that arrive in February …
Unusual conferences are great! In a couple of weeks I’ll be flying out to Durham, North Carolina to take in the first academic conference on U2.
The conference program is here and includes stuff from a whole range of different disciplines. I’ll be presenting on fallen angels in U2’s music, and the interrelationships with ancient Jewish and Christian accounts – and mixing it up with some thoughts on how to avoid the ‘original versus deviant copy’ approach to reception history.
If you’re intrigued, come along! Registration is open to anybody who’s interested.
Important Information first:
DATE: 7-8 FEBRUARY 2010
James Harding (james.harding(at)stonebow.otago.ac.nz)
Roland Boer (roland.t.boer(at)gmail.com)
Papers are invited on all aspects of the intersections between the Bible and critical theory, which also includes matters of religion, politics and culture.
Due date for paper proposals: 31 December 2009.
Apparently James and Gillian are working their way through each of Dunedin’s pubs, in order to select the venue. I hear that the front-runner at the moment is the Captain Cook Tavern, well patronized by University of Otago students.
Update: The venue will be The Bog. See here for the location.
Update: Transport and Accommodation details.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Towards a Unified Science of Religion
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand
12-14 February 2010
The belief in gods, demons, and other supernatural agents is a persistent feature of human culture, which cries out for explanation. In the last twenty-five years explanations of religion have reached a new level of sophistication. We now have a range of different scientific theories of religion, in cognitive science, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, drawing upon a significant body of empirical data. This conference, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Otago, will bring together researchers from these different disciplines and different theoretical perspectives, to explore the possibility of a unified science of religion.
Participants are invited to submit paper proposals presenting original research on any topic related to the theme of the conference. The proposal should take the form of an abstract of no more than 200 words, and should be submitted electronically (along with contact details) to the conference secretary: Jonathan Jong ( jonathan[at]psy.otago.ac.nz ) by 15 December 2009.
Further details about registration and accommodation and will be available soon on the conference website.
Please direct enquiries to the conference secretary, Jonathan Jong ( jonathan[at]psy.otago.ac.nz ).