CFP: Lacan & (a)theology (Netherlands) (2/20/07; 9/19/07-9/20/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Dominiek Hoens

"The Triumph of Religion": Lacanian perspectives on (a)theology
Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands)
19-20 September 2007

At a press conference in Rome, 1974, when asked for his opinion about the
relation between psychoanalysis and religion, Lacan promptly replies: "In
the end, it is either the one, or the other." But he hesitates answering the
next question - 'who, then, will win the battle?' - and finally states that
"religion will never go down." Religion, so he adds, will "triumph." And
after a moment of doubt, he feels compelled to say the opposite about
psychoanalysis: it will certainly not triumph, at the best it will succeed
in 'surviving.'

Is this passage not symptomatic for the numerous references to religious and
theological issues in Lacan's entire oeuvre? On the one hand, he severely
criticises religion and defends the greatness of modern atheism, on the
other hand, however, his references to theological issues and schemes are
that crucial in the construction of his theory that one is inclined to
consider it as an 'a-theology', and, thus, still theology.

What has Lacan to say about religion? And what do his reflections on
religion tell about the theory in general ? The conference intends to
operate between these two questions.

We will try and:
a. explore how Lacanian theory can deal with the current revival (or
persistence) of religion and with religious fundamentalism.
b. clarify how Lacan's answers to these questions relate to the general
Lacanian framework. His difficulty in replying to the current 'triumph of
the religion' might also shed light on the incapacity of current critical
thought in general to deal with that question.

The conference will take place at the Radboud University Nijmegen (The
Netherlands) on 19 and 20 September 2007. It is an initiative of the
Heyendaal Institute of the Radboud University Nijmegen in collaboration with
the Jan van Eyck Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique, Maastricht (The

If interested in presenting a paper, please send an abstract before 20
February 2007,
to both Marc De Kesel ( and Dominiek Hoens

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Received on Tue Dec 19 2006 - 17:26:22 EST