Lecture

11 January 2009

Mythic Narratives of Secularism and Religion

lectures by Sven Lutticken, Kenan Malik, Markha Valenta

Time and again, it seems that voices in the media proclaim a dualistic clash between the West, the Enlightenment, and secularism on the one hand, and resurgent religious fundamentalisms on the other. For a long time, many citydwelling Europeans believed that religion would inevitably continue to decline; modernization was seen as inextricably linked to secularization. Today, the rebirth of religion is neither a mere illusion nor an unproblematic reality—rather it may be a myth, or a family of myths, that shape reality together with competing secularist myths. Paradoxes abound. Couldn’t it be said that both militant secularists and “Enlightenment fundamentalists” effectively sacralize “the secular” itself? And haven’t monotheistic religions at times functioned as instruments of secularization, not least in the Reformation? As philosopher Marc De Kesel has written, monotheism’s paradox is that it is a critique of religion manifesting itself as religion. This session reflects on various religious and secular narratives, attempting in the process to open up possible futures beyond that of a zero-sum “clash of civilizations.”

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibition

31 October–31 December 2004

Cordially Invited, episode 3

Cordially Invited examines the issue of hospitality in relation to a topic of major global, political, and moral consequence today: migration. The project explores these issues through the notion of a cordial invitation, understood here as a symbolic tool which can be used to negotiate between two imaginary, unattainable ideals: the unrestricted right to move across political and economic boundaries, and the unqualified acceptance such rights imply.

Exhibition

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture Program

12 November–17 December 2005

Undercurrents

Undercurrents is a dynamic, informal forum for reflection about what is behind the contemporary state of warfare. It is developed as an equal parallel to the exhibition Soft Target. War as a Daily, First-Hand Reality.

Summer School

22-26 July 2019

BAK Summer School: Art as Politics

BAK Summer School: Art as Politics brings together those involved in arts, academia, and social action to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp and influence our dramatically changing times. Deadline for applications: 1 May 2019.

Lecture

Education Program

11 March–15 April 2019

Course: Art and Politics

The basic course of the BAK School for Art and Politics is organized from 11 March until 15 April 2019. In six weekly sessions, the participants learn about how contemporary art relates to the political in an accessible way. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director.