CFP: Syncretism and Spirituality in the 1960s (3/12; MLA '99)

Kali Tal (kali@kalital.com)
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 15:37:21 -0700

>
><bold>Syncretism and Spirituality in the 1960s:=20
>
>Charting the Postmodern Crossing of U.S. Literature and Religious
>Studies
>
></bold>
>
>This proposed special sesssion will chart the way in which texts of the
>1960s represented the emerging force of the postmodern religious
>aesthetic. As factions within the decade embraced syncretism and new
>ideas of spirituality, key pieces of literature documented, fueled, and
>created its movement away from organized religion towards more subjective
>practices. This new syncretism did not destroy the system of religion but
>altered it by expanding its own boundaries. As a result, the 1960s were a
>time when religion was not collapsed but transformed from within as the
>secular world both enhanced and devalued its power forever. Thus the
>distinction between secular and sacred texts blurred immeasurably.
>
>
>Panelists will look to postmodern religious studies and literature to
>analyze an important shift of a decade more often identified by its
>revolts for political and civil rights. The session seeks to find works
>created in the 1960s that both mirrored and acted as a catalyst for
>religious and spiritual trends. Although literature has
>attacked/critiqued organized religion for decades, and even centuries,
>the 1960s in the United States represents a time when literary ideals and
>the actions of the populace were synthesized in a capacity never seen
>before. Burgeoning ideas of spirituality evident in such disparate
>realms as Vatican II, the Civil Rights Movement, Death of God theology,=20
>and the counterculture discovered a foundation and support in works from
>Barth, Cox, Kerouac, Kesey, Pynchon, Reed, Vonnegut, etc. Furthermore,
>this crossing of literature and religion has been augmented by the rise
>of poststructuralist and postmodern theories. The panel will embrace the
>blurred lines between sacred and secular to question what is and what is
>not a 1960s religious text. In asking these questions the session
>seeks to chronicle the effects of these religious and spiritual
>transformations on the culture of both the 1960s and the decades that
>followed.
>
>
>By March 12, 1999 please send brief vitae, 500 word abstracts, and/or
>completed papers to:
>
>
>Paul Michael Reifenheiser
>
>Department of English
>
>Florida State University
>
>Tallahassee FL, 32301
>
>pmr6075@garnet.acns.fsu.edu
>
>
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