Conference at UG: The Power of the Word.Poetry: Word Made Flesh: Flesh Made Word About the Conference

About the conference

The Power of the Word International Conference


Poetry: Word Made Flesh: Flesh Made Word 

Organised jointly by Heythrop College, University of London; the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London; and the Faculty of Languages of the University of Gdańsk.

University of Gdańsk, Poland

12-14 September 2013

A Word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die
Cohesive as the Spirit
It may expire if He
“Made Flesh and dwelt among us”
Could condescension be
Like this consent of Language
This loved Philology.
(Emily Dickinson)

The third Power of the Word conference, to be held this time in Gdańsk, Poland on 12-14 September 2013, focuses on the themes of revelation, incarnation and human embodiment in relation to poetry. It seeks to take further a dialogue inaugurated by Heythrop College, University of London, in 2011, where the first conference was held, and continued at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study (also University of London) in 2012, between theologians, philosophers, literary scholars and creative writers. The Power of the Word conferences explore connections and disconnections, continuities and discontinuities between religious experience, religious practice, theological reflection, biblical interpretation, ethics and spirituality on the one hand and poetry on the other. These explorations focus attention both on explicitly religious poetry and on that which is (sometimes emphatically) not. Central questions for this year’s conference might include, for example: is poetry, as Eliot suggested, an instance of the word made flesh? And if it is, how and under what conditions is this so? Is this idea of poetry, if it is true, applicable only to explicitly religious or devotional poetry? In what sense and to what extent might poetry be said to partake, in a Christian perspective, of the mystery of the Incarnation, as poets and theologians have claimed? On the other hand, what of the view that poetry is nothing more (nor less) than an expression in words of our embodied selves and the material world? Are these two perspectives mutually exclusive?

The conference, interdisciplinary and ecumenical in scope, encourages theoretical discussion as well as analysis of specific texts and reflection on the work of particular authors, poets and thinkers of different countries, cultures and religious traditions. The beautiful Hanseatic city of Gdańsk provides a fitting setting for such reflection. Its rich cultural history involves diverse religious traditions, well evoked, for example, in Gunter Grass’s The Tin Drum. The home of the Solidarity movement, it has always been a hospitable city that has welcomed visitors and enjoyed cultural variety; while its connections with literature in English go back to Shakespeare’s time, when the city had an Elizabethan theatre stage that was used by English itinerant players. The University of Gdańsk is situated midway between the city centre and the spa town of Sopot, not far from the historic cathedral of Oliwa.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Revd Professor David Brown (Institute for Theology, Imagination & the Arts, St Mary's College, University of St Andrews), Professor Michael Edwards (Collège de France), Professor Angela Leighton (Trinity College, Cambridge), Professor Tadeusz Sławek (University of Silesia), Professor Andrzej Wierciński (University of Freiburg). 

Ostatnio modyfikowane: 27.11.2012