Activities

The platform offers regular seminars, workshops and lectures. To sign up for our seminar series, please contact Dr Tornike Metreveli: tornike.metrevelictr.luse

Spring 2022

Seminar Series: Populism and Religion - Spring 2022 (online)

Looking at populist rhetoric from a ‘Biblical’ point of view

Maria Armida Nicolaci
February 2, 16h15-18h00
Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/67579862136
Meeting ID: 675 7986 2136

Some so-called ‘tribal’ or premodern traits of modern populisms prompt us to evaluate populist rhetoric in light of the way in which the Christian Bible represents the identity of the ‘people of God’. Prophetic speech, especially, is depicted as a relentless fight against the various fetishes of the “people of God” and its idolatrous absolutization – as if it was a monolithic, ahistorical, untouchable, and abstract entity. Even the Scriptures, therefore, display a dynamics of identity comparable to the morphologies of some populisms. A glimpse at the ways in which the Christian Bible also unveils and challenges similar dynamics can provide useful insight for elaborating a non-idolatrous and, indeed, inclusive and open notion of a ‘people’.


Marida Nicolaci is Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the Theological Faculty of Sicily. Her research focuses on Johannine literature, Catholic epistles, the origins of Christianity, and Biblical Hermeneutics. Among her recent publications are: ‘The “People of God” and its Idols in “The One and the Other Testament”: How Sacred Scripture Challenges Populist Rhetoric’ (2019); ‘Le “parole di Dio” nella Chiesa. Tradizione in tensione’ (2019); and ‘Oltre i muri. Identità e differenza come dono’ (2021).

Populism in the Buddhist World

Charlie Carstens
April 13, 16h15-18h00
Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/67579862136
Meeting ID: 675 7986 2136

In the wake of its meteoric rise in public and scholarly circles, “populism” has accumulated an expansive—and at times dizzying—array of meanings, conceptualizations, and applications. We have become relatively comfortable with discussing this phenomenon in present-day, historically Christian settings (e.g., Europe, North America). But how tethered is populism to this setting? This presentation will consider the viability and analytical value of populism for three case studies from the pre-modern Buddhist world. Our aim is to draw upon this disparate cultural setting both to probe the limits of populism and to draw attention to its historical situatedness.

Charlie Carstens is a Ph.D. candidate in the study of religion at Harvard University. He holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a BA in Economics from Carleton College. His dissertation investigates theories and practices of power expressed through historical, poetic, administrative, and ritual texts of pre-colonial Burma. His research interests include historiography, governance, secularism, aesthetics, identity, and ethics.

Apocalyptic Hope and Political Defeatism

Jayne Svenungsson
May 11, 16h15-18h00
Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/67579862136
Meeting ID: 675 7986 2136

The increased presence of apocalyptic motifs in populist discourses have attracted large scholarly interest in recent years. This seminar will focus on how these tendencies are mirrored within contemporary political-theological thinking. While some political theologians depict apocalypticism as a liberating or progressive force, others see it as a dangerous or reactive phenomenon. Departing from the premise that apocalypticism per se is neither nor, the seminar will explore and ponder the potential promises as well as perils related to the notion of apocalyptic hope.  

Jayne Svenungsson is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lund University. Her research focuses on political theology and philosophy of history. Among her most recent publications are ‘Radical Incarnation: The Dangers and Promises of Christian Universalism in the Wake of Badiou’s Saint Paul’ (2021), and ‘Secularization’ in Bloomsbury History: Theory and Method (2021).
 

About the Seminar Series

These seminars on populism and religion focus on the theoretical, philosophical and theological aspects of populism. The worldview and the conception of politics — political community, political processes and political decision-making — are typically issues that characterise populist thought. One fundamental conviction is that precisely this kind of questions is necessary to deal with if we want to deepen the dialogue about how society is organised beyond straightforward descriptions and explanations of certain facts. Descriptions and certain facts cannot exclusively account for all the questions society constantly poses, let alone the answers.

Both senior and junior scholars, as well as doctoral students and beginners are welcome to the seminar. In order to reach as many as possible, the main language is English, but in the future occasional seminars in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, French or German, are not precluded, if that is appropriate.

Seminar Series on Christianity and Nationalism - Spring 2022

Time: Tuesdays at 16.15-18.00
Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/69542595209

15 Feb    Christianity and Nationalism in Nazi Germany: Two Cases from Malmö and Berlin

The presentation concerns two Deutsche Christen: Wilhelm Stapel and Herbert Kühn. Wilhelm Stapel (1882–1954) was a Protestant, nationalist, antisemitic publicist based in Hamburg. One of his most influential books is Der christliche Staatsmann: Eine The-ologie des Nationalsozialismus (1932). The book was discussed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his seminars on systematic theology. Stapel was a good friend of Carl Schmitt. Herbert Kühn (1898–1977) was the head of the NSDAP in Malmö and the priest of the German (Protestant) Church in Malmö from 1930–1946. At the risk of over-simplifying complexity, one could say that Stapel is a representative of the intellectu-al, academic fusion of Christianity and nationalism while Kühn practiced this fusion on a daily basis in Malmö. Stapel is relatively well-known (and is receiving renewed attention from the German radical right). Kühn’s story is virtually unknown. In my presentation, I seek to introduce these two characters and, by doing so, I want to ex-plore the relationship between Christianity and Nationalism in theory (Stapel) and practice (Kühn) both in Germany (Stapel) and in Sweden (Kühn).

Valentin Jeutner is an Associate Professor of Law at Lund University. His teaching and research activities concern foundational questions of law including, for example, the relationship between law and religion. Valentin is also a licensed  attorney (New York) and occasional advises governments, international organizations and individ-uals.


22 March    Islamic (Re)collections: Ritualizing Turkish Nationalism in and beyond Museal Space

During the past two decades, Turkey has witnessed a stark reorientation in/of the imagination of the ‘nation’, under the auspices of President Erdoğan and the AKP-government. Inherent to this contest is a politics of memory, through which the Ot-toman-Islamic past is re-visited and re-invented in cultural and ritual production. This surfaces in newly created and (quasi)ritualised museal spaces, appealing to his-toric-nationalist-devotional learning and affect. With trajectories in (the purportedly secular) public space and sphere of education, such memory production contributes to a hegemonic sacralisation of Turkish republicanism.

Torsten Jansson is Senior Lecturer in Islamology at the CTR, and Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University.


26 April    Sovereignty, Sedition, and Sacrament in the Affair of the Placards (1534)

On Sunday morning, 18 October 1534, French Catholics on their way to Mass en-countered conspicuously placed broadsheets attacking the Eucharist. This so-called “Affair of the Placards” ended a period of conciliation towards Protestants, with the King publicly affirming the centrality of the Eucharist to both church and state in France. In this paper I analyze the anti-Eucharist polemics of the broad-sheets and the aftermath of the next several years, leading up to the transfer of pros-ecutions of heresy from the inquisitorial courts of the church to the sovereign courts of the crown. I focus specifically on the construction of heresy as sedition against the state and the role of the Eucharist in unifying church and crown in Catholic re-sponses to sacramentarian arguments.

Julia Reed teaches in the History of Science department at Harvard University and is currently collaborating with the Research Group led by Professor Katja Krause, “Experience in the Premodern Sciences of Soul and Body” at the Max Planck Insti-tute for the History of Science. She is a historian of early modern medicine and Christianity, focusing on the relationships between the developments in early mod-ern medical theory and practice in western Europe and the theological, social, and institutional transformations during and after the Christian reformations in the six-teenth and seventeenth centuries.


17 May    Honey From the Lion – Christianity and the Ethics of Nationalism

This seminar will draw on Doug Gay’s experience of the Scottish context to make a case for the possibility of an ethical nationalism, beginning with a critical review of how we define terms and moving to establish theo-political criteria for evaluating the claims of particular instantiations of nationalism. It will argue that nationalism can (and must) be performed and practiced in ways which are anti-imperial, post-colonial, antifascist and antiracist. It rejects the idea that patriotism is a more ethical-ly defensible term and argues from the perspective of Reformed theology, that na-tionalisms and national identities need to be discipled in ways which may also offer analogues for secular or humanistic modes of education for citizenship.

Rev Dr Doug Gay is Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Glasgow and Principal of Trinity College (presbyterian). His research interests span Ecclesi-ology, Liturgical Theology and Political Theology. He is author of Remixing The Church (SCM 2011), Honey From the Lion – Christianity and the Ethics of Nationalism (SCM 2014) and Reforming The Kirk the future of the Church of Scotland (2017). He is a member of the Scottish National Party and active in the continuing campaign for Scottish independence.

The Conversation Series on Christianity, Nationalism and Populism - Spring 2022

A Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Moral and Epistemological Preliminaries.

Conversation with Prof. Fr. Nicholas Denyskenko.

25 May @ 18:15 (CET)
Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/64847342557

Hosted by Dr. Tornike Metreveli

Nicholas Denysenko is Emile and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair and Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He has written several books and articles on liturgical theology and Orthodoxy in Ukraine, including The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation (NIU Press, 2018).  Denysenko writes and speaks on diverse topics, and specializes in liturgical theology and Orthodox Christianity. His work has appeared in venues such as the Journal for the American Academy of Religion, Theological Studies, Studia Liturgica, Worship, and St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly.  


Grounded Nationalisms. A Sociological Analysis.

Conversation with Professor Siniša Malešević.

25 February 2022 @ 16:00 (CET)

The Conversation Series Podcast hosted by Dr. Tornike Metreveli.

Siniša Malešević is an award-winning sociologist and a Chair of Sociology at University College Dublin. Malešević’s main research interests include the study of war and organised violence, ethnicity, nation-states, and nationalism, empires, ideology, sociological theory and the comparative historical sociology. He authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has given more than 140 invited talks all over the world. Professor Malešević’s publications have been translated into Arabic, Albanian, Chinese, Croatian, Persian/Farsi, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Indonesian, French, Russian, Serbian and Spanish. Malešević’s most recent books include: Why Humans Fight: The Social Dynamic of Close-Range Violence (Cambridge UP, 2022), Comparative Sociological Theory (Sage 2021) + Classical Sociological Theory (Sage 2021), both with S. Loyal, and Grounded Nationalisms: A Sociological Analysis (Cambridge UP, 2019, runner up/honourable mention, 2020 Stein Rokkan award).
 

Autumn 2021

Three Populist Online Seminars - Autumn 2021

September 28, 16h15-18h00
Right-wing Populism and Religion - a Case of Banal religion?
— Andreas Mebus, Copenhagen

Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/67579862136
Meeting ID: 675 7986 2136


October 14, 16h15-18h00
On People in Populism and Religion
— Ervik Cejvan, Lund

NB The previously announced seminar with Marc Boss is postponed due to personal reasons. 

Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/67579862136
Meeting ID: 675 7986 2136    


November 25, 16h15-18h00
Populist Discourse, Authenticity and Violence
— Patrik Fridlund, Lund

Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/67579862136
Meeting ID: 675 7986 2136  


These seminars form a series of seminars on populism and Christianity focusing on the theoretical, philosophical and theological aspects of populism. The worldview and the conception of politics — political community, political processes and political decision-making — are typically issues that characterise populist thought. One fundamental conviction is that precisely this kind of questions is necessary to deal with if we want to deepen the dialogue about how society is organised beyond straightforward descriptions and explanations of certain facts. Descriptions and certain facts cannot exclusively account for all the questions society constantly poses, let alone the answers. Both senior and junior scholars, as well as doctoral students and beginners are welcome to the seminars. In order to reach as many as possible, the main language is English, but in the future occasional seminars in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, French or German, are not precluded, if that is appropriate.

Seminar Series on Christianity and Nationalism - Autumn 2021

Time: Tuesdays at 16.15-18.00

Zoom:https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/69542595209

 

7 Sept

‘I Will Shake All Nations’: Theological Perspectives on Nationalism and  Universalism

Since the beginning of Christianity, Christian theology has struggled to articulate the difference of the Christian message and practice in relationship to the universal visions of political communities. With the crisis of representation and the heightened tensions between apparently ‘particularist’ nationalism and ‘abstract’ cosmopolitanism, how can theology formulate anew a universalism that is neither irreducibly particularist nor without place, context, or identity? And how can such an approach shed light on contemporary debates about nationalism?

This seminar is a joint seminar with the online academic network Resonans:

https://resonans.mf.no

Ragnar Misje Bergem is a postdoctoral fellow in systematic theology at the MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society.

Mårten Björk is a postdoctoral researcher in systematic theology at the CTR, Lund University.        


5 Oct

For the life of the World: A Theological Perspective on the Social Ethos Using the Philosophy of Giorgio Agamben

This seminar will discuss the relationship between economy and theology in Giorgio Agamben’s thinking. In particular, it will focus on the image of the empty throne (hetoimasia tou thronou) as a symbol of Glory, and as a the point of contact between theology and politics. The theology of the empty throne allows us to make the transition to a theology that concerns the world (the economic aspect is implicit). According to Agamben, the fracture between the immanent Trinity and the economic Trinity, between theologia and oikonomia finds its true reconciliation in the logic of inoperosità. Finally, this notion of inoperosità is a concept, drawn from theology, which Agamben uses for his political and economic philosophy.

Barbara Hallensleben is Professor of Dogmatics and Theology of Ecumenism and Director of the Study Centre St. Nicholas for the Eastern Churches.

Guido Vergauwen is Professor Emeritus of Fundamental Theology and former Rector of the University of Fribourg.

Stefan Constantinescu is postdoctoral researcher and Co-Director of the Study Centre St. Nicholas for the Eastern Churches.

9 Nov           

Religion and Radical Right-Wing populism in Contemporary American Politics

This seminar will focus on the entanglement of Evangelicalism, conspiracy theories, and radical right-wing populism in contemporary United States politics. The papers will address Trump’s appeal to a particular religious audience, and the interface between Trump’s critique of his political opponents and his audience’s receptivity to certain types of religious language.

Aron Engberg is a lecturer in Mission Studies and Ecumenics and a postdoctoral researcher at CTR. His research concerns the relationship between Evangelical Christianity, language ideology and politics in various contexts.

Aaron Goldman is a postdoctoral researcher at the CTR. His research focuses on the intersection of ethics, theology, and conceptions of critique in Early Modern to Post-Enlightenment European philosophy and religious thought.

7 Dec           

Hate Speech, the Finnish Law, and Christian Conservatives

In current Finnish legislation, ‘excitation against a group of people’ is criminalized. Hate speech against ethnic, sexual, religious, and certain other minorities falls under this category. The seminar brings attention to cases in which religious conservatives are being considered as violating this law. It also aims at discussing the possibility to develop a theoretical scale of less and more harmful hate speech, starting from unfair criticism and vituperation and ending with criminalized variants. While the freedom of speech protects many kinds of morally questionable utterances, it is important to develop a scale that can provide some ethical evaluation of such speech.

Risto Saarinen is Professor of Ecumenics at the University of Helsinki since 2001. He has published extensively on the Reformation, ecumenical theology and history of philosophy, for instance, Recognition and Religion (Oxford 2016), Luther and the Gift (Mohr Siebeck 2017) and On Hope (in Finnish 2020). He received the lifetime award of Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2020. 

The Conversation Series on Christianity, Nationalism and Populism - Autumn 2021

Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine

Conversation with Professor Catherine Wanner

November 23 @ 16:00 (CET)

Listen to the podcast

Hosted by: Dr. Tornike Metreveli Postdoctoral Researcher, CTR 

Catherine Wanner is a Professor of History, Anthropology, and Religious Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research employs ethnographic and archival methods and centers broadly on the politics of religion, secularism, and increasingly on human rights in the former Soviet Union. Her most prominent two books “Burden of Dreams:  History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine” (Penn State Press, 1998), a multi-sited ethnographic study of how the nationalist paradigm influenced historiography and cultural politics in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and “Communities of the Converted:  Ukrainians and Global Evangelism” (Cornell University Press, 2007), an analysis of how Soviet-era evangelical religious practices and communities in Ukraine have changed since the collapse of socialism won numerous prestigious prizes. Her most recent monograph is a study of the politics of religion and vernacular religious practices in Ukraine, entitled Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine. 

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Studying Lived Religion: Contexts and Practices

Conversation with Professor Nancy T. Ammerman

October 8 @ 19:30 (CET)

Listen to the podcast

Hosted by: Dr. Tornike Metreveli, Postdoctoral Researcher, CTR

Nancy T Ammerman is one of the most influential sociologists in the study of lived religion. Her most recent research published in her edited 2006 book Everyday Religion Observing Modern Religious Lives (Oxford University Press) and her 2013 book, Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes Finding Religion in Everyday Life, (Oxford University Press) explored the
ways religion and spirituality are part of the everyday world of work, home, health, and public life Following on that research, she has articulated an invitation to “re think religion” based on sociological theories of practice and a body of research on “lived religion”. Pulling all of this together is her book Studying Lived Religion Contexts and Practices, which will be
out from NYU Press in October 2021. Along with Grace Davie, she was Coordinating Lead Author for “Religions and Social Progress Critical Assessments and Creative Partnerships” in the Report of the International Panel for Social Progress (Cambridge University Press 2018).

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Nationalism in the neoliberal order: Old wine in new bottles?

Conversation with Professor Christian Joppke

September 30 @ 18:00 (CET)

Listen to the podcast

Hosted by: Dr. Tornike Metreveli Postdoctoral Researcher, CTR

Christian Joppke holds a chair in sociology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. A student of eminent Jürgen Habermas during his student years in Germany, he later received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. He authored more than 100 publications in major sociology journals and is one of the most widely cited sociologists. His books are published by major academic (Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge) and are considered as classics in the field of migration studies. Joppke’s present research cover social movements and the state, citizenship and immigration, most recently religion and politics, especially Islam in Western societies. His most recent scholarship, also published widely in core journals and presses, such as his book Neoliberal Nationalism: Immigration and the Rise of the Populist Right (Cambridge 2021), deals with the complex interaction between nationalism and neoliberalism.

Spring 2021

The Conversation Series on Christianity, Nationalism and Populism - Spring 2021

The Conversation Series on Christianity, Nationalism and Populism: Theorizing Religion in ‘Post-Truth’ Times

Conversation with Professors Jayne Svenungsson, Patrik Fridlund and Paul Linjamaa. June 15, at Zoom 18.00-20.00.

Hosted by: Dr.Tornike Metreveli Postdoctoral Researcher, CTR

Listen to the podcast


The Conversation Series on Christianity, Nationalism and Populism: Transnationalism and Religion

Conversation with Professor José Casanova. April 22, at Zoom 18.00-20.00

Hosted by: Dr.Tornike Metreveli Postdoctoral Researcher, CTR

Listen to the podcast


The Conversation Series on Christianity, Nationalism and Populism: Eastern Orthodoxy in Wars of 21st Century

Conversation with Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun. March 31, at Zoom 17.00-19.00.

Hosted by: Dr. Tornike Metreveli Postdoctoral Researcher, CTR

Listen to the podcast

Sidansvarig: alexander.mauritsctr.luse | 2022-05-19