"World Literature, World Religion": A proposed seminar for ACLA 2015

full name / name of organization: 
Nazry Bahrawi / Singapore University of Technology and Design

This is a call for papers for a proposed panel "World Literature, World Religion" at the American Comparative Literature Association 2015 annual meeting to be held at Seattle, Washington, on March 26-29, 2015.

Our panel propose to look at the intersections between religion and literature through the lens of World Literature, which had allowed literary criticism to expand its inquiry into new realms such as the question of scale in the practice of comparative literature, the circulation and migration of literary and religious texts beyond their points of origin, and 'the universal' in aesthetics and ethics.

We invite contributions that engage theory to speculate the ways in which world literature could shed new light on the study of literature and theology across cultures and geographic origins. We also welcome close textual analysis that explore how the sacred is conveyed and interpreted in literature beyond local frames of belief.

Our aim is to generate a favorable environment to discuss questions like:

• Can literature be a space where non-denominative, non-parochial ideas of faith are imagined?
• What is meant by the 'world' in world religion and/or world literature?
• What forms can secularism and/or postsecularism assume in world literature?
• What is the role of 'theory' in the field of religion and literature?
• Can comparisons be made across different faith-based literatures?
• What kinds of links exist between aesthetics and faith in literature?

We welcome contributions that deal with specific beliefs (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Secularism, and others) or specific faith groups (Abrahamic, or non-Abrahamic), as well as comparative papers. Enquiries can be sent to Nazry Bahrawi, Singapore University of Technology and Design (nazry_bahrawi@sutd.edu.sg) or Gonçalo Cordeiro, University of Lisbon (g_cordeiro@sapo.pt).