MBIT discussion group for conference: Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives (with Notre Dame University)

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MBIT discussion group for conference: Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives (with Notre Dame University)

What is the role of the desire of/for God in art and aesthetic experience from a phenomenological perspective? The phenomenological tradition is arguably marked by two distinct turns: to the aesthetic and, more recently, to the theological, both of which seek to negotiate the relationship between the subject and its correlate, whether objective or not. Desire for both turns is instrumental in the reconciliation of these two poles. The shape that desire takes determines the manner by which God or the Absolute figures into the analysis.

The recent debates concerning the significance of the preservation and restoration of Notre Dame de Paris after its having partially burned down on 16 April 2019 uniquely exhibit the intersection of desire, art, and God. The discourses surrounding the event largely focus on whether the meaning of the cathedral should be accounted for in religious or secular humanistic terms. This brings to light the multiple identities the cathedral possesses: as a cultural and historical symbol in the secular French Republic, a religious monument for both European and global Christians, and a work of art and human genius displaying the rich depths of humanity itself. What light would a phenomenological analysis of these elements of human experience shed on the political dimension of the relation between religion and secular culture?

Discussion Leader: Dr Férdia Stone-Davis

Dates: 2nd–3rd October 2020.

Where: Online via Zoom

If you would like to take part in a discussion group relating to the conference, please contact Dr Férdia Stone-Davis: fjs23@cam.ac.uk

COST: FREE

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