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

Summer School

9-13 September 2019

Bratislava BAK Summer School: Art as Politics

The Bratislava BAK Summer School: Art as Politics is a collaborative and intensive learning week in Bratislava from 9–13 September 2019, organized in partnership with Open Studio/ Studio IN – Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, APART Collective in Bratislava, and initiated by Kristína Országhová.

Exhibition

4-18 July 2019

Futures Without…

HKU MA Fine Art Graduation Show with daily performances

From 4–18 July 2019, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst hosts the HKU MA Fine Art Graduation Show Futures Without... This transdisciplinary graduation show features video, spatial installations, sound and visual experiences, drawings, objects and photographs. It also hosts a vivid program of daily performances.

Series

10 March 2019–05 January 2020

BAK, basis voor…

In the series BAK, basis voor…, BAK joins forces with other organizations in addressing shared urgencies and developing propositions for “being together otherwise.” The series is part of the preparatory phase of the forthcoming project Trainings for the Not-Yet, organized by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk and BAK from September 2019–January 2020.