Call for Papers

The issues of 2016 will be dedicated to “Religion and Spirituality in Literature and the Arts”.

EUROPE Review invites papers on the theme of “religion and spirituality” from a variety of interpretative approaches.

Research in literary studies and the humanities generally, has seen during the last two decades a renewed interest in the role of religion in culture, a development sometimes known as the ‘Religious Turn’. Part of this development has involved a revisionary approach to the assumption that modernity is characterized by ever increasing secularization, Charles Taylor spearheading a movement aiming to achieve a more nuanced understanding of what secularization entails—while, of course, the key role of religion in pre-modern and non-Western cultural products has always been widely acknowledged.

One facet of the investigation of what secularization means is the recognition that intimations of the transcendent in modern literature and other modern arts may be inspired by various forms of spirituality that fall outside the field of traditional organized religion—and indeed the influence of such spiritual movements may not be limited to the modern era. On the other hand, there is currently a lively dialogue between the study of literature and the arts, on the one hand, and theology, on the other, as witnessed by the recent flourishing of such fields of study as ‘literature and religion’, and ‘theological aesthetics’. Prominent theologians and theological schools have made aesthetics and the arts a key concern in their work have also increasingly, in their more recent work, shown an interest in religious concepts and thinkers.

Theoretical approaches to the possible similarity or coincidence between the modes of cognition involved in religious/spiritual conviction/knowledge and aesthetic perception/knowledge have proliferated during the last century, philosophical traditions involved including phenomenology, post-structuralism, neo-Thomism, and Eastern Orthodox thought. On the other hand, the twentieth-century debate included discourses which viewed art in terms which made no provision for or even disallowed a relationship of special relevance with religion (e.g. art as political protest, art as social institution).

We invite papers in French or English addressing topics including (but by no means limited to) the following:

˗ Religion or other spirituality in the works or life of literary figures or artists (literature, visual arts, music, film, theatre, dance, etc.);
˗ Secularization and its re-evaluations;
˗ Theology in literature or other arts, or theological approaches to literature and other arts;
˗ The ‘Religious Turn’;
˗ Interpretations of apparently non-religious writers or artist as religious, or vice-versa;
˗ Comparisons, relationships, and/or contestations between religion and other spiritualties in literature and the arts;
˗ Relationships between different religious traditions as active in works of literature or other works of art;
– Mysticism in literature and the arts today and in the past;
– Philosophical approaches to the link between aesthetic and religious cognition;
– Contestations of the relevance of art to religion or spirituality;
– National and transnational religious connections mediated by art and literature;
– The religious imaginary and its symbols today and in the past;
– Artistic and literary testimonials about negotiating a place for religion in cultural memory archives ;
– The devotional connection in artistic and literary resistance to totalitarianism;
– Religion as a stimulus for post-communist art and literature.

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, which explore all possible intersections of literary and cultural studies with the other disciplines in (and even beyond) the humanities.