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Reading Spiritualities, 20-22 January 2006, Lancaster University
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Reading Spiritualities

Constructing and representing spiritualities through the medium of text: sacred, literary and visual  

20-22nd January 2006

This conference has passed and is maintained online for interest only.

You can download conference abstracts

Hosted by the Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University.

Keynote Speakers

Michele Roberts

Title: "getting a/cross god."

Ursula King

Title: 'Gendering the Spirit' Reading Women's Spiritualities with a Comparative Mirror

David Jasper:

Title: “Do not hide your face from me” (Psalm 27): The Sacred and the Profane Body in Art and Modern Literature

The reading, response, construction and representation of sacred, secular and cultural 'texts' have always been a vital source in the quest for the spiritual. This is true of new and emerging spiritualities as well as traditional religions. While 'spirituality' is a fluid notion, sacred texts and literature, poetry, drama, art, cinema, dance, music are all forms of text through which ideas and images of the spiritual are manifest and through which the spiritual can be created. This conference will explore the interactions and connections between texts old and new, readers and spiritualities. Further, this event also aims to discover ways in which texts are informed by the spiritual and how texts inform the spiritual. How is the creative process a spiritual pursuit? How do texts represent spiritual themes and identities? How do texts create spiritual themes and identities? How are texts used to imagine the divine? What is the role of 'reading' texts in the search for religious and spiritual meaning? What is the relationship between the text, reader and reading in the context of spirituality?   This event will bring together creative writers, theorists from contemporary literature and literary theory, feminist and gender studies, new spiritualities, biblical studies, religious studies, history, and spiritual practitioners. Abstracts are invited from theoretical, textual, empirical work and the creative arts from a wide range of disciplines and themes.  Abstracts to be 300 words in length and papers should be 20 minutes.

Deadline for abstracts: 31st October 2005.

Panels and non-traditional formats welcomed.

Note: The Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies is sponsoring a panel on teaching and learning issues connected to the theme ‘reading spiritualities’. For anyone interested in giving a paper in this area, there will be a bursary available to help cover the cost of the conference fees. If you wish to apply for a bursary, please indicate this when submitting your abstract. For more information, contact Dr D Bird at

If you would like any further information please contact:

Conference Organisers

Dr Deborah Sawyer
Tel: +44 (0)1524 592415

Dawn Llewellyn
Tel: +44 (0)1524 65201 ext 94566

Department of Religious Studies
Furness College
Lancaster University

Tel: + 44 (0)1524 592425
Fax: + 44 (0)1524 847039

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