DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday October 5, 2012.


"Viennese Jews and the Christian Question"




44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

March 21-24, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts
Host Institution:  Tufts University


This session seeks papers that address the interest of Viennese Jews in studies of the Christian religion and spirituality in turn of the century Vienna. Recent studies have addressed the role of religion in Viennese Modernism and have suggested that despite advances in science and technology, which spurred on the popular trend toward secularization in Europe, new approaches to faith and spirituality in art, literature and philosophy were also burgeoning at this time. These works reflected new approaches toward the role of Christianity in cultural and political institutions, a critical examination of faith and its role in society, the desire to reconcile science and religion, and to engage with modern discourses on religion and philosophy. Although Jews and Christians alike were a part of this movement, the unique political situation in Vienna at this time, which drew new attention to the "Jewish Question" via a publicly virulent antisemitism, raises the question as to whether we can talk about assimilated Jews as approaching this critique of Christianity within the German cultural tradition from a different perspective or motivation than their non-Jewish contemporaries.

Of particular interest for this panel are the perspectives of Jewish writers and artists on what one might call the "Christian Question" - the debate over whether the Catholic culture of Vienna, its rites, traditions, texts and myths were still to be considered relevant in light of modernization, industrialization, and the shifting values of modern society.  Literary or interdisciplinary approaches to topics such as Jewish perspectives on Christianity vis vis science, philosophy and art, the revision of Biblical narratives, the meaning of symbolism and rites, are welcome, as well as the contextualization of these works with those of non-Jewish contemporaries.

Submit proposals (300 words) and a short academic bio to Caroline Kita at [log in to unmask].

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday October 5, 2012.



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