Santander International Summer School “What is Caesar’s, what is God’s?”
A transcultural Perspective on the Legitimation of the political and religious Spheres
Date: March 9 to 18, 2015
Venue: Kyoto University, Japan
Twenty outstanding doctoral students from selected universities in Asia, Europe and Latin America will be invited to participate in the Santander International Winter School „What is Caesar’s, what is God’s?“. The speakers are scholars from Heidelberg University as well as renowned experts from other Asian, European and Latin American universities.
It has become common sense in contemporary academia to refer to the concept of “religion” as originally a European idea. Already in the 1960s, dissonant voices like that of Canadian scholar Wilfred Cantwell Smith questioned the universality of the term “religion”, judging it to be inadequate for addressing “non-western” realities. Stimulated by the genealogical approach put forward by Michel Foucault, scholars such as Talal Asad have published ground-breaking work, which helped further clarify some of the many facets of “religion” as a historical construct. What these studies have shown is that the modern idea of “religion” was always delineated vis-à-vis an “Other”: that is, it was only through the idealization of that which was not pertaining to “religion” that this sphere was reshaped to have a much more limited meaning. It was in this same context that the conceptual dichotomy between “religion” and “politics” was established along with categories such as “superstition,” “science,” and “the secular”, a process which began in the early modern era. The Santander International Winter School sets out to deliberate these issues from a global perspective.
The school is developed by members of a project on Discursive Practices of Political Legitimation at Universität Heidelberg’s Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”. The scientific coordinators of the Summer School are Prof. Hans Martin Krämer and Dr. Orion Klautau from Universität Heidelberg, and Prof. Yutaka Tanigawa from Kyoto University. The Winter School is co-coordinated by Kyoto University (Graduate School of Letters).