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

Date: January 20 – 22, 2006
Venue: Lancaster, England, UK

Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University.
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 (300 words) are invited from theoretical, textual, empirical work and the creative arts from a wide range of disciplines and themes.
Dr Deborah Sawyer
Tel: +44 (0)1524 592415
Dawn Llewellyn
Tel: +44 (0)1524 594566