Comparative religion, History of religion
As this course is supported by a grant from INTAS, which covers the participation costs of selected applicants from NIS countries (New Independent States of the former Soviet Union) applications from these countries are encouraged.
NIS countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Grant recipients are expected to be of 35 years of age or less at the starting date of the course and must be permanently living in one of the NIS and be NIS citizens. (NIS scientists with a permanent residence outside the NIS or with a temporary research position lasting longer than 6 months outside the NIS at the time of the summer school are not eligible to receive INTAS support.)
The INTAS grant includes tuition fee, accommodation, subsistence and travel costs at the cheapest possible price (APEX, PEX or "excursion" must be used). Visa and travel insurance expenses may be included in the travel costs.

Course date

4 July - 15 July, 2005
Application deadline:
15 February, 2005
Course Director(s): 

Aziz Al-Azmeh

Central European University, Humanities Center, Budapest, Hungary

Nadia al-Bagdadi

Central European University, History , Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Mohammed Haddad

University La Manouba, Humanities, Tunis, Tunisia

Daniel Madigan

Pontifical Gregorian University, Institute for the Study of Religions and Cultures, Rome, Italy

Jonathan Sheehan

Indiana University at Bloomington, Religious Studies, Bloomington, United States of America

Guy G. Stroumsa

Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, UK/The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Brian Stock

University of Toronto, Comparative Literature, Toronto, ON, Canada
It is one of the ironies of the modern age that the advent of modernity reinforced the status and the authority of the Book in scriptural religions, and facilitated the rigors of its literal reading. Even at the present transitional moment, which with Information Technology is acquiring yet another epochal revolution with results still unforeseeable, the authority of the Book seems smoothly to accommodate the new means and tastes in the transmission of knowledge, religious and profane, and its modes of communication and easy generalization. The return to the textual foundation of the religion does not, however, relate to the Book as divine or otherwise hallowed word alone. It has very determinate consequences for the Book as text definitively established, for the text as physical object, and for the Book as a concept, not least a concept that in the modern redaction is in a sense de-traditionalized, rid of the techniques of medieval glossators and commentators.
The purpose of the Summer School is to scrutinize the pre-modern conceptions of the canonical texts, the techniques of reading involved in its elaboration and use, and subsequently to examine the transformations from the pre-modern to the early modern and modern periods in the textual formation of major religions. This calls for considering the imprint of modern modes of text production (the definitively fixed physical text), modern styles of text arrangements (refashioning the canon and regimes of intertextuality), and the very notion of canonical text (hermeneutics and techniques of reading). It would also be a desideratum to develop a vocabulary which allows for communication among scholars, who will come from the various domains relevant to this issue and address studies from these respective fields.
Students are encouraged to apply from the following disciplines: patristics; medieval Judaism, Christianity and Islam; the Reformation; religion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Humanist antiquarianism and philology; historiography; hermeneutics, as well as from various regions reflecting different styles of dealing with these traditions.