Registration is open!

Register for the conference here. The delegate fee for the 3 days of the conference is £160, with day packages also available.

If you are a University of Glasgow student, please get in touch with anna.fisk@glasgow.ac.uk to be provided with a discount code to register for the full conference at the reduced rate of £60.

If you have applied for a bursary and been informed that your application was successful, please do not register for the conference on this system, instead email Anna with the details requested in the confirmation email.

Biblical Studies Panel

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The four horsemen from Revelation, Brooklyn NY, by street-artist Tristan Eaton. Photo (c) Jamie Rojo.

 

Dr Mette Bundvad is a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of Biblical exegesis at the University of Copenhagen, and is the convener of the Biblical Studies Panel. 

What interests you about the theme ‘lines in sand’, for the conference generally, and for the Biblical Studies panel?

On a general level, the “Lines in Sand” conference theme invites much needed discussion of borders, politics, and identity in the context of religion and culture.

For the biblical panel specifically, I hope that the conference theme will prompt us to think about the borders of the biblical texts, as well as the borders of the communities that read and produce these texts. “Lines in Sand” gives us an opportunity to discuss anew questions related to migration, exile, and the various stabilities and instabilities of text.

 

What are you hoping for from the papers and discussions in the Biblical Studies panel?

The conference theme is ideal for a panel on Biblical Studies. I hope that it will spur a wide-ranging discussion of the biblical texts and their reception from the perspective of their borders and margins.

Participants might focus on questions related to politics, ideology, and identity, exploring for example the practices of inclusion and exclusion employed by interpretive communities. Papers could also look at the changing identities of biblical texts, communities, and traditions, as they migrate geographically, through time, or between media. Or they could do something entirely different: I am also hoping to being surprised by some of the approaches taken by participants in the Biblical Studies panel.

 

If you have been before – what have been some highlights of previous ISRLC conferences? What are you most looking forward to in the 2016 conference?

I have been to ISRLC conferences three times before: Aarhus in 2008, Copenhagen in 2012, and Leuven in 2014. The ISRLC conferences are always hugely enjoyable. They are a unique forum for meeting colleagues from different disciplines, who are all doing exciting work within the broad field of religion and culture. That is also one of the things I look forward to the most this year: the fruitful, interdisciplinary conversations and the boundary-crossing panels.

As a side-note, ISRLC was the first international conference I presented at, and I still feel lucky that I had my first conference experience in such a supportive environment. I hope many graduate students will have the same, positive experience in Glasgow this year!

If you know Glasgow – any tips for places to visit? If not – is there anything you are hoping to visit in Glasgow?

I’ve never been to Glasgow, so I am hoping to find time to wander the streets and explore the city a bit. In addition to this, I have it on good authority that there is excellent food to be had in Glasgow!

 

For more information, see our Call for Papers page.

Dialogue Panel

 

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Panorama Mesdag

 

Dr Hannah Marije Altorf is the convener of the Dialogue Panel, and is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at St. Mary’s University.

What interests you about the theme ‘lines in sand’, for the conference generally, and for the Dialogue panel?

‘Lines in the sand’ makes me long for the sea near The Hague, where I used to walk and swim almost every weekend when I lived there. It provokes an image of absolute borders as well as fluidity. It makes me also reflect on the difficulties and dangers of the sea as a border, especially of course with the recent refugee crisis in mind.

In the last five years or so, I have become increasingly interested in the practice of philosophy, especially the practice of Socratic dialogue. Dialogue constantly challenges borders. It questions what is and what is not philosophy. Who makes this judgment, and why? The practice of dialogue can also challenge existing borders within communities, when in dialogue communities are created or changed.

What are you hoping for from the papers and discussions in the Dialogue panel?

I first organised this panel on dialogue at the ISRLC-conference in 2014 in Leuven and was delighted to receive a rich variety of papers (which will be published soon). I am hoping for the unexpected again, and for reflections on the practice of dialogue in difficult political situations or challenges to the practice of dialogue. Dialogue is one of those terms that seems to have an almost universal appreciation, especially when presented in abstract terms, but my curiosity is truly raised when considering the challenges of actual practice.

What are you most looking forward to in the 2016 conference?

I have been to most ISRLC-conferences since 2000, when I was part of the organising committee at the University of Nijmegen. I am looking forward to meeting old friends and new people, to being in Glasgow (see also below) and to hear the unexpected, inspirational paper. It has been my experience that the ISRLC-conference attracts creative thinkers, and I always enjoy the conference.

Have you been to Glasgow before? Any tips on places to visit? Any places you are looking forward to visiting?

I did my PhD in Glasgow and I really liked the city then. I look forward to visiting the Kelvingrove Museum, which has undergone restoration since I was there. It offers an interesting combination of art and history in a beautiful building. I also hope to go the Glasgow Film Theatre and to walk around the city and in the West End.

For more information, see our Call for Papers page

Theological Humanism Panel

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Dr Daniel Boscaljon is visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa, and is the convenor of the Theological Humanism panel. 

What interests you about the theme ‘lines in sand’, for the conference generally, and for the Theological Humanism panel?

The theme invokes a sense of liminality, which makes sense for an interdisciplinary group like the ISRLC. It generates a recognition of borders and boundaries while simultaneously underscoring why these are provisional acts, at best. The Theological Humanism section is happy to embrace the sense of fragility and impermanence invoked by the theme, especially as it applies to the thin and ever shifting boundary between the human and the divine.

What are you hoping for from the papers and discussions in the Theological Humanism panel?

Our hope each year is that the Theological Humanism sessions provide attendees with a set of sessions that provide continuity in diversity. I’ve been quite pleased with how the panels have run for the last two conferences, as each paper built into a productive session and as each session provided a foundation for the next. I will be thrilled if we can attain a similar level of continuity in 2016.

I’m also hoping that we receive some papers more engaged with ecology and politics than we have in the past. I think this year’s theme works well to encourage this type of submission, and I’m curious as to how that will deepen the work of those whose interests fall more toward the theoretical.

What have been some highlights of previous ISRLC conferences? What are you most looking forward to in the 2016 conference?

My favorite part of the ISRLC is participating in informal conversations after sessions that deepen the introductory work of a paper. Generally, those who attend pay attention to the papers and ask relevant questions both during the session and afterward. It’s a rich, supportive group of thinkers and scholars, almost all of whom seem oriented to moving closer to a sense of the good and the true. Unlike larger and smaller conferences that I have attended, the ISRLC is an excellent size—it allows a diversity of approaches that share a passion for playing between boundaries.

 

For more, see our Call for Papers page.

Material Religions Panel

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S. Brent Plate is the Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Hamilton College, and is the convener of the Material Religions Panel.

What interests you about the theme ‘lines in sand’, for the conference generally, and for the Material Religion panel?

The theme is a wonderfully poetic invocation with some real practical and political repercussions. With our panels, we will think about a number of ways this plays out. We will enquire about: What happens to the meaning and status of objects as they cross political, cultural, and religious borders? How are books (especially sacred ones) used beyond their semantic content to function as power lines between communities? And, how do various types of media play with and reconfigure religious relationships?

What are you hoping for from the papers and discussions in the Material Religion panel?

Overall, a deepening of the impact of material reality on religious life. As an academic field of study, religious studies has long suffered from over-attention to doctrine, and interpretation of texts, and ignored the physical reality that is the basis of religious life and practice. We are hoping to highlight many of the ways objects, and sensual engagements with those objects, establishes channels of authority just as they disrupt given structures.

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What have been some highlights of previous ISRLC conferences? What are you most looking forward to in the 2016 conference?

I’ve been attending and organizing ISRLC panels since 2000. I always enjoy the conference as it’s full of interesting scholars from many parts of the world. It has the ability to be a focused, yet interdisciplinary venue for new work in theology and religious studies.

From your time in Glasgow – any tips on places to visit? Any places you are looking forward to visiting?

All the museums (especially Kelvingrove and the Modern), but St Mungos museum is an absolute must! When I lived in Glasgow for a couple years in the mid 90s, I spent a lot of my time at the CCA and the GFT. Both are worth a visit. I’m looking forward to being back!

For more information, see our Call for Papers page.

Lost in Translation Panel

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Dr Aukje van Rooden is one of the conveners of the Lost in Translation Panel, and is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Art and Culture at the University of Amsterdam

What interests you about the theme ‘lines in sand’, for the conference generally, and for the Lost in Translation panel?

It is especially the combination of the theme ‘lines in sand’ and its subtitle ‘Borders, conflicts and transitions’ that interests me. Instead of the clear and distinct distinctions that are usually called for in cases of borders, conflicts and transitions, the imagery of lines in sand encourages an approach that rather focuses on the contingency, changeability and temporariness of these distinctions. Lines in sand are not available, pre-given forms, but rather the emergence of form. A different set of philosophical questions is at stake here, questions that nevertheless deal with the issue of border conflicts. In our Lost in Translation panel we will discuss the border conflicts that emerge when traveling from one language to another. These of course include conflicts between nations or cultures, but also, and maybe more importantly, between different types of belonging.

What are you hoping for from the papers and discussions in the Lost in Translation panel?

In the Lost in Translation panel we seek to explore translation not only in the narrow linguistic sense, but as a much broader cultural phenomenon that is especially important in our globalized societies. Furthermore, by putting the notion of the Untranslatable at the center of this exploration, we aim at questioning an all too easy celebration of the global human condition as one of a unified humanity in increasingly intimate contact with itself. Since the issue of the Untranslatable has many dimensions – literary, philosophical, political, theological – we are of course hoping for a fruitful exchange between these different approaches, and, through that exchange, for a better understanding of the complexities of our own human condition (why aim for less?).

What are you most looking forward to in the 2016 conference?

This will be my first ISRLC conference, but my two co-conveners are keen visitors and it didn’t take them long to get me enthusiastic. I especially welcome the interdisciplinary take of the ISRLC and am looking forward to meeting new people and ideas.

Have you been to Glasgow before? Any tips on places to visit? Any places you are looking forward to visiting?

No I haven’t, so I will definitely make time for visiting the city!

For more, see our Call for Papers page.