Emiliano Urciuoli presents a working paper on ‚Jumping Among the Temple Towers Snapshots of an Early Christian Critique of Polytheism’s ‘Spatial Fix’‘

The paper aims to critically resort to the materialist-geographical concept of the ‘spatial fix’ for deepening understanding of the functioning of ancient Mediterranean polytheism as urban religion. In its second and main part, it focuses on a few selected samples of the early Christian critique of the polytheist production of a religious built environment in order to better foreground the spatialized character of these polemical arguments. Lastly, it touches on the major changes occurred in this polemical discourse at the time of the increasing ‘materialization’ of Christian religious space.

Anton Röhr gives a working paper on ‚Metamorphosis of criticism in affirmation? Hartmut Rosa and Theodor W. Adorno‘

This paper contains a productive confrontation/conversation between the concept of resonance by Hartmut Rosa and the negative Dialectics of T.W. Adorno. As its starting point it takes Rosas proposition, that his concept is in advantage to Adornos, in so far it contains an elabo-rated concept of the good life, while Adorno‘s seems to remain dark and pessimistic. Based on that, this paper tries to show, why the „pessi-mism“-label doesn‘t fit really to Adornos work. Rather there are very reasonable concerns, that lead Adorno to the view he holds. In this pa-per the concept of resonance meets Adornos concerns, that can be summed up by the term „metamorphosis of critique to affirmation“. In the course of this paper, I try to reveal with Adornos thoughts, that because of the method of social critique Rosa applies, his theory of re-sonance tends to perform this „metamorphosis“ literally behind his back.

João Tziminadis presents a working paper on ‚What is the Disease of Ageing? The Old, Medical Practice and Mortality ‚

The aim of the text is to investigate ways to provide an answer to the question ‘what is the disease of ageing’? This question is raised because of biogerontology’s endeavor of treating ageing. But also raised by many social scientific critiques of biogerontology. As will be demonstrated, much of this critique is directed to the ways that the ‘pathologization’ of ageing might affect the status of the elderly. My argument, however, is that to better understand what biogerontology’s ‘disease of ageing’ is, one needs to detach ageing from old age. In the end, two tentative answers to the question of the title are drafted.

Carsten Hermann-Pillath, Guo Man and Feng Xingyuan publish a new book: ‚Ritual and Economy in Metropolitan China A Global Social Science Approach‘

Tradition und moderne Wirtschaft: Verflechtungen in chinesischen Megacities – Neue Buchpublikation von Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Guo Man und Feng Xingyuan

Das neue Buch von Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (Fellow am Max-Weber-Kolleg der Universität Erfurt, Guo Man und Feng Xingyuan „Ritual and Economy in Metropolitan China. A Global Social Science Approach“ konzentriert sich auf Shenzhen, eine der am stärksten globalisierten Metropolen Chinas, ein führendes Zentrum der Hightech-Industrie und, als Schmelztiegel von Migranten aus ganz China, ein Ort lebendiger kultureller Kreativität. Während in den frühen Entwicklungsstadien von Shenzhen diese lebendige kulturelle Kreativität mit der Widerstandsfähigkeit der traditionellen sozialen Strukturen in den „städtischen Dörfern“ der Migranten in Shenzhen in Verbindung gebracht wurde, untermauern diese Strukturen heute dynamisches Unternehmertum und städtische Selbstorganisation in ganz Shenzhen und sind allmählich mit den formalen Strukturen der städtischen Verwaltung und Politik verschmolzen. Das Buch untersucht diese Entwicklungen und zeigt, wie wichtig traditionelle soziale Strukturen und die traditionelle chinesische Kultur für die wirtschaftliche Modernisierung Chinas waren. Im weiteren Verlauf des Buches werden die Auswirkungen dieser Entwicklungen auf die Zukunft der chinesischen Kultur und das wirtschaftliche Engagement Chinas in einer globalisierten Welt aufgezeigt.

„Dies ist eine anregende Studie über die kulturellen Grundlagen der Urbanisierung und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung in der Volksrepublik China am Fallbeispiel der südlichen Metropole Shenzhen. Die ungewöhnliche Kombination wirtschaftlicher, soziologischer und anthropologischer Ansätze der Autoren bietet neue Perspektiven für Spezialisten in all diesen Bereichen und für Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Chinastudien im Allgemeinen“, so Philip Clart, Professor für Kultur und Geschichte Chinas an der Universität Leipzig.

For more information: https://www.routledge.com/Ritual-and-Economy-in-Metropolitan-China-A-Global-Social-Science-Approach/Herrmann-Pillath-Man-Feng/p/book/9781138391970

Blaž Ploj is going to present a working paper on ‚Hyper-performativity, Metapoetics and the Carnivalesque Coronation of the Clever Slave‘

In the first part of this paper, the concept of hyper-performativity is being discussed. The second part focuses on the metapoetic use of rituals in the play Rudens. The third part is an attempt of describing the carnivalesque coronation of the clever slave in the Mostellaria (The Haunted House).

Nora Lafi presents a working paper on ‚Daily Life Spatialities of Religiosity in Ottoman Tunis: Reflections on the Complexity of Urban Religious Landscapes‘

On September 26, 1861, chronicler Ahmed Ibn Abî Dhiyâf reported, an angry crowd of protesters gathered inside the Ezzituna Mosque of Tunis. They were upset against the consequences of the modernizing reforms of the local government in this Ottoman province and of pressures by foreign consuls. The gathering then evolved into a street demonstration that took the direction of the Palace of the Bardo, the residence of the Bey outside of the city walls. What could be interpreted as the mere protest of a group of conservative religious notables against modernity and its ambiguities, in fact hides numerous layers of complexity that involve the relationship between space and religiosity. The demonstrators, indeed, did not directly walk to the Bardo. Before exiting the city walls, they stopped at a mausoleum dedicated to a local saint, Sidi Mahres (951-1022), patron of the city since the middle-ages. Passing through this place meant for the protesters that their demonstration had acquired a religious, but also civic, legitimacy and force. Demonstrators grabbed symbols of the saint, among which his banners, that they carried in the demonstration. After the failure of a negotiation in front of the palace, they broke the banners of the saint. It meant that a riot could start. It is the object of this presentation in the colloquium to investigate these dimensions of complexity in the relationship between space, society and religiosity. Using the concept of religious landscape and reflecting on methodology in urban history as well as on the notion of longue durée, Nora Lafi analyses how the spatiality and nature of everyday life popular religiosity in Tunis, that also included forms of devotion common to Jews and Muslims and had some specific feminine declensions, invites to nuance ideas of identity and religion as blocks. What this presentation suggests, with an attention to the inertia of deep forms of religiosity and to notions like negotiation, mediation and accommodation, is to revise the very definition of urbanity and to see logics of spatialization of the self as more complex than the mere projection onto the urban space of pre-defined identities.

Petra Gümplová presents a working paper on ‚Common Ownership of the Earth in the Anthropocene‘

This paper analyzes the conception of common ownership of the earth
(COE) and its recent appropriations in the theory of global distributive
justice. Taking Mathias Risse’s theory as the main reference point, the
paper asks whether COE provides a plausible starting point for thinking
about natural resource justice in the age of the Anthropocene.
After providing a brief summary of Risse’s argument, I focus on three
central aspects of Risse’s theory of COE: 1) the concept of ownership and
its underlying ontological assumptions, 2) the basic needs thesis, and 3)
the implications of common ownership for the climate justice. Concerning
the first, I argue that due to ontological assumptions built into
ownership’s structure and the corresponding relation to non-human
world it authorizes, it is problematic to meaningfully extend it to global
domain and utilize it to protect what I argue is better captured by the
term global commons. Concerning the basic needs thesis, I argue that
Risse relies on an implausibly specieist and anthropocentric notion of
basic needs which can no longer hold in the Anthropocene. I explore the
question whether the replacement of basic needs with human rights can
partially mitigate the basic needs thesis failures. Thirdly, I discuss Risse’s
view of intergenerational justice and the proposal of a fair distribution of
burdens of climate change mitigation. Here I argue for the framework of
global commons to be used instead of common ownership. Overall, I
argue that in the current environmental predicament, COE no longer
appears to be a meaningful conception to ground the morality of human
relationship to natural environment and provide plausible distributive or
other implications for the allocation of natural resources.