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

Exhibitionary

Screening

15 July 2021, 18.30-20.00

Fragments of Repair/Gathering VI: Invisible Bridges

A public program realized in the framework of the multi-part project Fragments of Repair

Taking place on Thursday 15 July 2021, the sixth gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings, consists of a screening of artist Kader Attia’s Reason’s Oxymorons (2015) and a conversation between Kader Attia (Berlin) and Stefania Pandolfo (medical anthropologist, Berkeley, CA).

Screening

24 June 2021, 17.30-20.00

Fragments of Repair/Gathering V: The Object’s Interlacing

A public program realized in the framework of the multi-part project Fragments of Repair

Taking place on Thursday 24 June 2021, the fifth gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings, consists of a screening of artist Kader Attia’s The Object’s Interlacing (2020), followed by a conversation between Souleymane Bachir Diagne (philosopher New York/Dakar) and Wayne Modest (material culture curator and researcher, Amsterdam/Rotterdam).

Education Program

21 June, 19.00–7 July, 21.00 2021

Course: Art as Politics

An Online Extension of BAK Public Studies

A new edition of the online course Art as Politics, taking place on the following dates: 21, 23, 28 and 30 June & 5 and 7 July 2021. The course, taught by BAK’s Maria Hlavajova, brings those involved and/or interested in art, theory, and social action into collective conversation.