CfP: ‘“Desert” as experience and imagery in Jewish religion, literature, and culture’ Judaism Panel at the 18th Biennial Conference for the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture, University of Glasgow, 9-11 September 2016


The Judaism Panel welcomes proposals for 20-minute papers. With reference to ‘desert spirituality’ as the overall conference theme, the Judaism panel wants to counter its Christian bias and its world-renouncing understanding of asceticism as well as point to the completely different connotations that ’desert’ has as literary imagery in Jewish religion, literature, and culture after two millennia of exile.

Up against Jewish history, ‘desert’ signifies inter alia complex experiences in the past as well as visions of what the future should – or more likely, should not – look like. Accordingly, the Judaism panel calls for papers willing to reflect on

  • what the literary imagery of ‘desert’ may mean in a Jewish context?
  • how past ‘desert’ experiences have contributed to the uniqueness of Jewish religion, literature, and culture, its practices, theologies, and ethics?
  • why past ‘desert’ experiences have convinced some Jews to invest in diasporic Judaism in spite of the possibility since 1948 for Jews to live in a Jewish nation-state?
  • whether world-renouncing practices of asceticism have ever been or could be compatible with past, present or future versions of Jewish religion?

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to the panel convener, Dr. Marianne Schleicher no later than 18 April 2016.
For further information concerning this panel, please, contact the panel convener.

For further information concerning the overall conference, please, see the conference website:

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