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International Workshop: Inside Out: Affect(s) in Multi-Religious Secular Societies

Nov 04, 2016 - Nov 05, 2016

International workshop organized by CRC projects C02 and C04 (Hubert Knoblauch, Christian von Scheve, Anna Berg, Meike Haken, N. Yasemin Ural)

The concept of “religious emotion”, as used in theology, philosophy and other
disciplines, has for long be associated with individual faith and subjective religious
experience or, as Schleiermacher put it for the Christian tradition, “the sense of
absolute dependence on God”. However, developments in cultural studies and the
social sciences have instigated new ways of conceiving of religious emotion.
First, research on emotion more generally has highlighted the profoundly social
constitution of emotion, including religious emotions. The social constitution of
religious emotion can be looked at from two perspectives. On the one hand, an inside perspective addresses the specificity of religious emotions for individuals or
collectives, for instance asking how religious emotions are phenomenally distinct
from other emotions and what their role is in the construction of social reality. On the
other hand, an outside perspective emphasizes what gets to be called religious
emotions, in particular in contemporary Western societies, cannot be understood
without the background of a contested secularity characterized by an agitated
boundary-making between “the secular” and “the religious”. Crucial questions
emerging from this perspective pertain to how certain emotions are framed in public
discourse as “religious” and what kinds of political purposes they serve.
Secondly, the emerging field of “affect studies” provides a theoretical approach that,
although closely linked to the concept of emotions, goes well beyond subjective
feelings, rather focusing on affect as a force or intensity that links various sorts of
bodies. Although the field is somewhat disparate, concepts of affect converge on the
idea of the ultimate relatedness of bodies, their “being positioned”, “acted upon”, and “acting”. On the one side, the concept of affect provides new perspectives on
contemporary societies and may help probing the dominant dichotomy between the
“rational secular” and the “emotional/irrational religious”. It encourages us to reflect
upon the ways in which “the religious” as well as “the secular” is constituted through practices pertaining to bodies and senses. Within this framework, on the other side, material, historical, and ideological backgrounds likewise play a crucial role in how actors come to understand and make sense of their affections as “religious”.

In this workshop, we invite participants to reflect upon and discuss the role of affect
and emotion with respect to secular-religious conditions and challenges. We are
particularly interested in the ways in which emotion and affect contribute to the
constant reconstruction of “the secular” and “the religious” as antagonistic entities
and how they are implicated in the social and communicative construction of reality.


Friday November 4

09.00 Arrival and Registration

09.30 Christian von Scheve & Hubert Knoblauch (Freie Univesität & Technische Universität Berlin)

Welcome & Introduction

Secular and Religious Sensibilities

10.00 Monika Wohlrab-Sahr (Universität Leipzig)

Disembedded Religion and the Infinity of References: From Subjective Emotions to Civilizations

10.45 John Corrigan (Florida State University)

Feeling Empty: Religious and Secular Collaborations

11.30 Donovan Schaefer (University of Oxford)

Secular Affects: The Emotional Life of Religion and Non-Religion

12.15 Lunch Break

13.45 Schirin Amir-Moazami (Freie Universität Berlin)

The ‘Affective Economies’ of Debates on Islamic Bodily Practices across Europe

14.30 Nur Yasemin Ural & Anna Lea Berg (Freie Universität Berlin)

Freedom of Speech and Secular Affect in German Public Debates

15.15 Coffee Break

15.45 Monique Scheer (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

On Secular Longings for Religious Feelings

16.30 Birgitte Schepelern Johansen (Københavns Universitet)

Cultivating Secular Sensiblities in Academic Practice

17.30 Plenum (until 18.30)

19.00 Dinner

Saturday November 5

Affects, Emotions and Religiosity

09.30 Levent Tezcan (Ruhr Universität Bochum)

Living in ‘Non-Muslim’ Spaces as a Challenge for Muslim Self. Reflections on Evil and Islamic Affect Regimes

10.15 Short Break

10.45 Meike Neufend (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Framing Aesthetic Situations: How to Perceive Popular Sufism in Lebanon?

11.30 Dominik Mattes & Omar Kasmani (Freie Universität Berlin)

Sensational Arrangements: Affect and Intercorporeality in two Charismatic-Religious Communities in Berlin

12.15 Lunch Break

13.15 Veronika Zink (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen)

On Conversion. Emotions in Transition

14.00 Meike Haken and Hubert Knoblauch (Technische Universität Berlin)

Religious Emotions in Christian “Events”

14.45 Hubert Knoblauch & Christian von Scheve


15.15 End of the conference

Time & Location

Nov 04, 2016 - Nov 05, 2016

Freie Universität Berlin
Goethestr. 49
14163 Berlin