Frame Frame

Tom Huisjes and Eline Reinhoud | The Parthenon of Books: Censorship through Blasphemy Laws

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract This article analyses Marta Minujín’s Parthenon of Books as it was realised during the Documenta 14 exhibition in Kassel, Germany (2017). Many of the books used to construct the Parthenon were banned by religious institutions, which raises the question of the role of blasphemy laws and blasphemy-related censorship in today’s Western democracies, as such laws limit the freedom of expression as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). We analyse how Minujín’s artwork contributes to existing campaigns for the abolition of blasphemy laws, arguing that while its message is not limited to blasphemy-related censorship, its critical stance towards religious censorship is an undertone that cannot be...

Jerrold Cuperus | Narrating Dutch Christianity: Secularism, Heritage, and Identity in Museum Catharijneconvent

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract This article analyzes how a Dutch museum for Christian heritage uses objects to construct narratives about the entanglements of Christianity and Dutch history. The exhibition “Christianity in the Netherlands” presents a specific postsecular narrative, which positions its audience in a political discourse that emphasizes the Christian tradition of the Netherlands, but is potentially exclusionary to part of its audience. This article analyzes the exhibition and argues that viewing practices, and the sacralization of art and heritage figure into the construction of a national Dutch identity which privileges a specific cultural form of...

Manav Ratti | ‘The God of the Imagination’: Postcolonial Postsecularism and Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract Salman Rushdie’s novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999) invokes religion and mythology in its representation of miracles, wonder, sorcery, revelations, infernos, frontiers, metamorphoses, and other worlds as it narrates the lives—across the United States, India, and Europe—of celebrated rock singers Ormus Cama and Vina Apsara. This article analyzes how Rushdie represents elements of secularism and religion in order to gesture toward and search for inspirational, generative, and creative potentials. I argue how Rushdie’s literary representation of secularism and religion is an expression of postcolonial postsecularism, as an imaginative possibility emerging from the historical conditions and contexts—across India and western Europe—of philosophical and political secularism, religious thought and practice, and...

Christopher Douglas | What Is Christian Postmodernism?

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract Christian Postmodernism is a rhetorical strategy of fundamentalist apologetics. It seeks to level the playing field of expert knowledge by developing institutions and networks of counter-expertise to produce uncertainty in fields such as evolution, Bible criticism, climate change, sex education, and others. This article analyzes a literary example of Christian Postmodernism, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ famous Left Behind series, where characters must learn to read the Bible as fundamentalists do, for its ‘plain sense’ mapping of the End Times. Christian Postmodernism characterizes the epistemic crisis among U.S. conservatives today and was crucial to the election of Donald Trump in...

Magdalena Maczyńska | From Religious Nostalgia to Eco-Postsecularism: Scriptures for Climate-Changed Futures in Fictions by Richard Jefferies, Will Self, and Octavia Butler

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract This paper offers an eco-postsecular reading of Octavia Butler’s two-part Parable series (1993-1998) and Will Self’s Book of Dave (2006), alongside a Victorian predecessor of contemporary climate fiction: Richard Jefferies’s After London; or, Wild England (1885). The futuristic visions of Jefferies, Self, and Butler illustrate the exceptional explanatory and affective power of sacred texts, and reflect on the benefits and hazards of reading, re-reading, and un-reading religious scriptures under conditions of climate...