International Understanding Conference 2010
Rochester's faith and community leaders share their beliefs about the interfaith movement and the significance of the 2010 IUC, a forerunner of the Sacred Texts and Human Contexts conference.
Conference Topics and Process for Submitting Proposals
Our three main questions on the introductory page - the divisive and uniting qualities of interpretive responses to sacred texts, the contexts that affect those responses, and the models for future harmony provided by successful interfaith communities in the past - invite many other questions. We hope to bring together anthropologists, economists, historians, political scientists, and sociologists, in addition to textual scholars, theologians, and specialists in religious studies.
Some of the questions that seem to us to seek an answer are listed below the procedures for submitting proposals. The list is a dynamic one: as you submit your questions, whether as parts of proposals for presentation or as questions you wish to hear discussed, we will add them to this list.
Procedures for submitting proposals
We look forward to your proposals for papers and/or panel presentations. These proposals (attachments in .docx format preferred) should be sent to email@example.com with the subject line, "Proposal Submission." The deadline for all proposals is January 31, 2013. Selected papers will be published.
- Proposals will be reviewed when they are received. You will be informed of acceptance within a month. The proposal should be no more than 550 words. In addition you should send a 225-word resume that presents your expertise in the area of your presentation, as well as your address, telephone number, and email address.
- No proposals will be accepted after January 31, 2013.
- Your entire presentation will be due May 1, 2013.
- Acceptance of your presentation for publication will be sent September 25, 2013.
Questions Seeking Answers: Some Possibilities
- Do the material forms and ritual uses of scriptures create common ground between religious groups or do they mark antagonizing differences between communities?
- How do the texts’ visions of sacred places/lands bring harmony/disharmony to a pluralistic world?
- What vision of harmony conditions our reading of the texts?
- What vision of disharmony conditions our reading of the texts?
- Is the unity or division evidenced in the texts based on belief, ritual, morals, or polity?
- Do religious people adapt to the text or does their reading of the text adapt to their wishes?
- What do we mean by text? As it is written? As it is spoken? As it is “used” in communal gatherings of worship and prayer?
- What were the original purposes of the text in each of the religions?
- What is the role of translations of texts in unifying and/or dividing those in a religion?
- How do claims of exclusive authority play out in the sacred texts of each of the Abrahamic traditions?
- How does each textual tradition prioritize that tradition in the eyes of God vis a vis other humans?
- What are the various methods of interpretation used by each faith tradition in understanding its sacred texts?
- What are the various methods of preaching used to communicate these meanings to each religious community?
- What passages vex interfaith dialogue, and what passages contain elements that might encourage fruitful discussions across the faith traditions?
- To what extent are any of the traditionally authoritative textual hermeneutics and rhetorics open to contemporary Western academic methods of textual interpretation?
- To what extent are particular interpretative traditions accepted as authoritative in each tradition? Are these interpretive traditions open to contemporary academic methods of textual interpretation?
- How are the sacred texts related to the divergent versions of the conception of the Household of God - the nation of Israel, the realm(s) of Christendom, and the Umma of Islam?
- What is at stake in responses to the passages that define and prescribe defenses of each conception?
- Is there scriptural warrant in the traditions for an overarching conception of the household of God?
- What social groups or movements of the past might we take as inspiring or cautionary examples of textual interpretation and application to social life?