[Newsletter Alte Geschichte] [Judaistik] Vortrag 08.05.2014: Prof. Daniel Boyarin

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Fr Apr 4 11:21:57 CEST 2014



Von: Institut für Judaistik [mailto:judaistik at univie.ac.at] 
Gesendet: Freitag, 04. April 2014 09:54
An: Judaistik
Betreff: Vortrag 08.05.2014: Prof. Daniel Boyarin




Eine gemeinsame Veranstaltung des Instituts für Judaistik, des Salzburger
Zentrums für Jüdische Kulturgeschichte, der Theologischen Kurse Wien und des
Koordinierungsausschusses für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit

am  8. Mai 2014, 16.00h Institut für Judaistik HS 1

Univ. Prof. Dr. 
Daniel Boyarin, Berkeley

 The Apologetic Invention of Religion: From Philo to Gregory of Nyssa

Since the writing of William Cantwell Smith, it has become almost
commonplace to remark that at a certain moment in late antiquity, certain
writers were "almost there" in anticipating the allegedly only modern notion
of "religion." J.Z. Smith echoes this when he claims that distinctions among
"religions," between "our [true] religion" and "their [false] religion" were
being made by fourth-century Latin apologists (presumably it is Lactantius
to whom he refers). Rejecting Cantwell Smith’s apparent assumption of a
totally forgotten false start in late antiquity and an absolutely de novo
and ex nihilo modern invention, J.Z. Smith remarks that it was this
(fourth-century) distinction that was "at hand for the evaluation of the
newly encountered religions beginning in the sixteenth century." The
reclaiming of that earlier usage then led to the then current classification
of there being four religions on earth, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and
paganism. It is here, in one sense, that the current intervention enters
into the discourse. On the one hand, I propose that terms like "religion"
have appeared and functioned in discursive contexts before the sixteenth
century and that these contexts can be specified with more precision than
has been done until now. Instead of a linear series, even a linear series of
ruptures, as we find in current genealogies of sexuality, religion, the
political etc., I propose that such structures can appear, disappear, and
reappear given particular sets of contexts within the social world.


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