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Published on Monday, June 20, 2011


Les religions sont des systèmes de communication hautement symboliques dans lesquels le corps occupe une place prépondérante et le plus souvent strictement définie. Qu’il soit idéalisé ou condamné, le corps est un médiateur essentiel des traditions religieuses dont il se fait le témoin visible. Le groupe de recherche « Commun(icat)ing bodies » de l'université de Graz organise une conférence internationale pour explorer le rôle du corps comme média dans la religion et vise à comprendre comment le corps peut transformer les traditions religieuses et comment ces dernières impriment leurs systèmes de croyance sur et dans les corps. Les propositions de sociologie, philosophie et sciences des religions, traitant de la diversité religieuse occidentale ou orientale, sont les bienvenues.


** Call for Papers **

Commun(icat)ing Bodies.  The Religion & Body Conference http://communicating-bodies.net
University of Graz / Austria 15 – 17 February 2012


Religious traditions are highly symbolic and effective communication systems. Over time they have developed a sophisticated 'language' to communicate their ideas, values, and norms. Central to the system of rules and meanings of many religious traditions is the body, i.e. the status of the body, what should be done with or to the body, or the role of bodily pleasures. To communicate their visions, religions idealize, normatize, gender, denounce, or make bodies fit into their imaginations. What is often overlooked, however, is that 'this' idealized, denounced, or imagined body develops its own dynamic in which the body becomes a medium in its own right. As medium, the body bears witness to the religious traditions trying to inscribe their belief systems onto and into the body. The conference Commun(icat)ing Bodies, thus, understands the body as medium in the communication system 'religion' and explores how 'both bodies' –  the abstract and idealized body and the concrete body existing and living in time and space – tell stories and express religious narratives and structures. Studying the relevance of the body-medium, the conference aims to contribute to a better understanding of how religious communication works and how the body as medium transforms the religious traditions that try to mark the body and inscribe their visions into the body-flesh.


We welcome original and critical papers from scholars from a variety of disciplines (e.g. religious studies, sociology of religion, theology/philosophy, cultural studies, communication studies, film/media studies,...) exploring the impact of the body on religious communication. As in our global world the boundaries between different religious traditions continuously transform, we are looking for contributions that appreciate the religious diversity in West and East in both its historic and contemporary dimensions. In particular, we are interested in papers dealing with the following topics and their relevance for today’s societies and religions:

  • The Body as Medium The body as medium in religious communication systems The body as medium of meaning in asceticism Religious practices as body practices, as embodied practices
  • Representations of the Body-Medium Representations of the body-medium in arts and media Representations of the body in religious writings/texts Body technologies

Deadline / Submission Please submit your 400 words abstract to bodies@uni-graz.at –

the deadline for submissions is Sept., 30 2011.

Financial Support We are committed to encourage the participation of scholars from a broad range of countries and disciplines. Therefore - depending on conference funding -, financial support may be available for a limited number of presenters. In particular, we aim to support independent and unemployed scholars who do not have access to other forms of funding, post-docs, and doctoral researchers. To apply for funding, please include a short statement of why you require financial support when submitting your abstract.

Background The conference is part of two research projects at the University of Graz funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): * the international and interdisciplinary research project Commun(icat)ing Bodies at the Institute of Fundamental Theology (Graz) involving theology and religious studies scholars from Austria, Italy, and Switzerland; * the research project Asceticism in Modern Monasticism at the Institute of Religious Studies (Graz) in collaboration with the Centre d'Etudes Interdisciplinaires des Faits Religieux (CEIFR / Paris).

Organizing Team

Dr. Christian Feichtinger // Dr. Isabelle Jonveaux // Dr. Alexander D. Ornella christian.feichtinger@uni-graz.at // isabelle.jonveaux@uni-graz.at // alexander.ornella@uni-graz.at



  • Université de Graz - Heinrichstrasse 78
    Graz, Austria (8010)


  • Friday, September 30, 2011


  • corps, religion, média


  • Isabelle Jonveaux
    courriel : isabellejonveaux [at] yahoo [dot] fr
  • Alexander D. Ornella
    courriel : alexander [dot] ornella [at] uni-graz [dot] at
  • Christian Feichtinger
    courriel : conference [at] grk2571 [dot] uni-freiburg [dot] de

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Isabelle Jonveaux
    courriel : isabellejonveaux [at] yahoo [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Commun(icat)ing Bodies, The Body & Religion », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, June 20, 2011, https://doi.org/10.58079/ip7

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