Friday, April 12, 2013
On Tuesday, I got back from Springfield, Missouri, where I’ve been for a conference organised by Phil Snider and hosted by Drury University - Subverting the Norm II: Can Postmodern Theology Live in the Churches? (Apr 5-6 2013). Having slept all day Tuesday and been away visiting family on Wednesday and Thursday, I’ve finally got a little time (with my husband going away for a stag weekend in Amsterdam!) to start reflecting on this conference.
Having presented a plenary session on Slavoj Zizek’s pneumatology at the first Subverting the Norm conference (Oct 15-16 2010), this time round I presented two breakout sessions: first, ‘Atheism as a Contemplative Practice and Philosophy as a Spiritual Discipline’ in a session with Jim Kast-Keat on Atheism for Lent; and second, ‘A New Kind of Christian is A New Kind of Atheist: Psychoanalysis, A/Theism and the Philosophy and Politics of Identity Suspension’ in a session with Tad DeLay on Psychoanalysis and the Church.
I had a great weekend, making new friends, connecting offline with online friends, and meeting back up with friends from STN1.
The conference was asking, ‘Can Postmodern Theology Live in the Churches?’ but a lot of other questions were raised over the weekend and the week that followed. I’ll be posting about these things in the coming days as I emerge from the fog of jetlag.
I’ll talk about some of the highlights for me (including the closing roundtables and the session on emerging Christianity) in later posts.
For now, I want to thank Phil for all his hard work, as well as everyone else involved, including Matt Gallion, Emily Bowen and Abigail Smith.
And since I already posted the abstract/blurb for my Psychoanalysis and the Church presentation, here’s the one for my Atheism for Lent presentation:
How can atheism be understood as a contemplative practice? How can philosophy be seen as a spiritual discipline? This presentation takes Atheism for Lent as a case study that suggests ways in which the practice of engaging with philosophical critiques of religion by great modern atheists can encourage subjective transformation among faith communities. It introduces a small-scale research project from the UK that examines how reading philosophical texts can impact individual and collective practices.