The Eleventh Conference of the Society for Religion, Literature and Culture is almost upon us, and a large number of us will be in York, England at the College of York St John from 13-15 September. The title of the Conference is “Ethics and Responsibility: Theology, Literature and Film”, and there are still a few places available for last minute bookings. The Conference Organiser is Gaye Ortiz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Conference Assistant is Lucy Walshaw (email@example.com), and they would be glad to hear from you if you contact either of them. Both of them have put in an enormous amount of work to ensure the smooth running of this meeting and the Society is deeply in their debt.
The main Speakers at the Conference will be Professor Erik Borgman of the University of Nijmegen, and the current President of the Society; Professor Graham Ward of the University of Manchester, the Senior Editor of the journal Literature and Theology, and Lord David Puttnam, best known to many for such films as Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields. In addition there are numerous panels of shorter papers and seminars as follows:
Issues in Gender, Film and Ethics (organised by Alison Jasper and Jonneke Bekkenkamp
Film and Religion (Brent Plate)
Hermeneutics and Ethics (Jeff Keuss, Bart Philipsen and Andrew Hass)
A Canon of Lament and Hope: Jewish Women Against Thoughtlessness (Ria Van den Brandt and Veronica Vasterling)
Biblical Ethics (Kisten Nielsen)
Post-colonial Literature and Film (Jamie Scott)
Ethical Responsibility in Literature and the Cultural Use of the Bible (Pierre-Marie Baude)
Ethics and Children’s Literature (Elisabeth Jay)
Towards a New Theology of Culture (David Klemm)
American Literature and Ethics (Eric Ziolkowski)
Open Panel (Gaye Ortiz)
There will also be film screenings, and other cultural events in the medieval city of York. Clearly this is going to be a busy few days! Negotiations are already well advanced for publishing a book of the proceedings and any of the papers or communications delivered at the Conference may be considered for inclusion.
The Biennial Conference is also the occasion for the business meeting of the Society. The Committee of Professors Borgman (The Netherlands), Jasper (U.K), Ward (U.K), Nielsen (Denmark) and Beaude (France), are eager to listen to proposals for future meetings and activities. There are a number of possibilities for the next meeting in 2004, with venues suggested in Scotland and Sweden, and if you have any ideas for a theme, or for Speakers, please bring them along or communicate with us through email.
The field of literature, religion and culture continues to grow and develop. A recent meeting in the University of Moscow heralds the establishment of a new Centre in Russia for the study of literature and religion. The Reviews Editor of Literature and Theology has a growing number of publications to deal with, but if you have any ideas about books for review, or would like to be involved as a Reviewer, please contact Dr Alison Jasper (Alisonej@aol.com). The journal goes from strength to strength and has supported the Conference with a generous donation for student bursaries, as well as giving help to other publishing projects and meetings. For that we are most grateful.
Professor David Jasper
University of Glasgow