COV&R-Bulletin No. 10 (March 1995)
Announcement of 1997 COV&R Meeting: Film and Modernity: Violence and Religion ( Universität Graz, June 24-26, 1997)
The annual meeting of COV&R in 1997 will take place in connection with the Second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz (Austria), that lasts from June 23 to June 29, 1997. The organizers of the Assembly are the Council of European Bishops' Conferences and the Conference of European Churches, a consultative body for the Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Churches in Europe. The theme of the Assembly will be "Reconciliation - Gift of God and Source of New Life". The following six central issues will be addressed during the Assembly:
1. The search for visible unity between the churches
2. Dialogue between the different religions and cultures
3. Commitment to social justice, and especially to overcome poverty, alienation and other forms of discrimination
4. Commitment to reconciliation within and between nations, and to non-violent solutions to conflict
5. A new practice of ecological responsibility, particularly with regard to future generations
6. Reconciliation with other world religions
To link our annual meeting with the Ecumenical Assembly has several advantages. It gives us the opportunity to interest a larger audience in the mimetic theory and helps us to find organizational and financial support. Our meetings in the morning will address especially the participants of our annual meeting. In the afternoon the conference will take place in the center of Graz and will be open for a broader audience.
The COV&R meeting will be in Graz, from the 24th-26th June, 1997. The theme of the meeting is Film and Modernity: Violence and Religion. Within the aesthetic development of modern times the emergence of film and cinema is particularly significant. Film implies a wide range of synaesthetic aspects, new technological approaches to aesthetics and represents a new way of aesthetics reaching the public. At the same time film is particularly modern as it follows the project of modernity to create new pictorial worlds challenging imagination and ideologies. Therefore its use for amusement and advertisement in industrial societies and also for propaganda purposes in totalitarian systems. As an aesthetic project of realized modernity film also implies and reflects the violent substructure of modern civilization--the 'iron cage' of Max Weber, the general processes of acceleration in modernity (Virilio) and its inclination to suppress conflicts by evading into fantastic artificial worlds.
It is therefore of high interest to confront Girard's theories on modernity and aesthetics with the ongoing aesthetic debate on film in Europe and America. The Institute of Fundamental Theology of the Universität Graz has already dealt with the relation between film and theology for several years and will be the main organizer of the whole conference.
1. Film as an aesthetic and cultural project of modernity
2. Film and the specific violent dynamics of modernity
3. Violence, guilt and sacrificial structures in contemporary film (contributions from eastern Europe--e.g. E. Kusturicas Underground; American films; "Holocaust"-films)
Call for Papers
Interested members of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion are kindly requested to contact either the Institut für Fundamentaltheologie der Universität Graz or the Institut für Dogmatik der Universität Innsbruck with suggestions as far as themes, film examples and papers are concerned. It would be a great help to receive such proposals in time, i. e., before our annual meeting at Stanford University in June 1996, so that accommodation for the participants, the reservation of cinemas and films and the place for the symposium itself can be definitely organized.
Addresses:Gerhard Larcher or Christian Wessely, Institut für Fundamentaltheologie, Universität Graz, Bürgergasse 3, A-8010 Graz, Austria
Tel. (43 316) 825300
FAX: (43 316) 825300-4
Raymund Schwager, Institut für Dogmatik, Universität Innsbruck, Universitätsstraße 4, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Tel. (43 512) 507-8561
FAX: (43 512) 507-2959