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CFP: Sensing the Sacred: Religion and the Senses, 1300-1800 (The University of York, England, UK, 21-22 June 2013)
full name / name of organization:
Robin Macdonald, Emilie Murphy, Elizabeth Swann / The University of York
Sensing the Sacred: Religion and the Senses, 1300-1800
The University of York, England, UK.
Confirmed keynote addresses from:
Religion has always been characterised as much by embodied experience as by abstract theological dispute. From the sounds of the adhān (the Islamic call to prayer), to the smell of incense in the Hindu Pūjā (a ritual offering to the deities), the visual emblem of the cross in the Christian tradition, and the ascetic practices of Theravada Buddhism, sensation is integral to a range of devotional practices. At the same time, the history of many faiths is characterised by an intense suspicion of the senses and the pleasures they offer.
This international, interdisciplinary conference, to be held at the University of York from 21 to 22 June 2013, will bring together scholars working on the role played by the senses in the experience and expression of religion and faith in the pre-modern world. The burgeoning field of sensory history offers a fertile ground for reconsideration of religious studies across disciplinary boundaries. We welcome papers from anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, historians, literary scholars, musicologists, philosophers, theologians, and any other interested parties. Possible topics might include, but are by no means limited to:
- Synaesthesia: how do religious rituals blur sensory boundaries, and challenge sensory hierarchies?
Proposals (max. 300 words) for papers of 20 minutes are welcomed both from established scholars, and from postgraduate students. Applications from panels of three speakers are encouraged, as well as individual proposals. They should be sent to conference organisers Robin Macdonald, Emilie Murphy, and Elizabeth Swann at firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm on 5 November 2012.