CFP: Risk and Rapture: Apocalyptic Imagination in Late Modernity — Centre for Faiths and Public Policy, University of Chester

 In Call for Papers, Uncategorized

CFP: Risk and Rapture: Apocalyptic Imagination in Late Modernity
Centre for Faiths and Public Policy, University of Chester
Wednesday 11th September 2013
Keynote Speaker: Professor Scott Lash (Goldsmiths College, University of

Apocalypse captivates the human imagination. Once synonymous with end of
the world scenarios and confined largely to the religious, the term is part
of vernacular language in the West and is used to describe a myriad of
events from the fiscal difficulties of the Eurozone to nuclear war, from
environmental disaster to the dangers of digital technology.
The advancement of science and technology has assisted in expediting
anxiety with regard to apocalyptic catastrophe because such progress has
produced unforeseen hazards and risks. Critical theories of risk have been
developed that harness and organise responses to scientific developments in
an attempt to provide solutions to possible catastrophe. It is suggested
that in order to prevent global catastrophe, modern society must be
reflexive. Moreover, the advent of such hazards has served as a recruiting
sergeant for fundamentalist religious groups who have clear and explicit
eschatologies. Rather than viewing possible risks and hazards as
by-products of late modernitysigns of the times, they are re-interpreted as
signs of the end times. Consequently, one strand that runs through the
above is the political implications of apocalyptic ideology and theories of
risk. Whether this is the focus some Christian dispensationalist groups put
on the role of the state of Israel in the Middle East, or the so-called
catastrophic acceleration of global-warming, decisions based on
interpretations of these inevitably have political ramifications.
The purpose of this inter-disciplinary conference is to investigate and
evaluate some of the variety of apocalyptic discourse that exists in
contemporary popular western culture along with critical theories of risk.
Papers are invited that explore both the secular and religio-political
dimensions of apocalyptic language in contemporary society and include, but
not restricted to, the following themes:

Secular interpretations of apocalypse;

Religio-political apocalyptic discourse;

Critical theories that seek solutions to contemporary notions of

Correlations between critical theories of risk and apocalyptic

The growth of fundamentalisms as a reaction to risk culture(s).

Proposals for short papers are invited on any aspects or themes related to
the above. Papers will be 20 minutes in length with an additional 10
minutes discussion. Applications to submit a paper should include:

Proposers name and affiliation;

Title of the paper;

250-word abstract;

Details of any audio-visual equipment you will need to deliver your

Short paper proposals should be submitted to Riskraptureconf [at] by no later than 4pm on Friday 6th April 2013.
Conference costs: 50 (25 unwaged and students) inclusive of lunch and
Conference registration will open in due course.

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