Events Calendar

  • March 9: Pilgrimage and the Evolution of Spiritual Tourism; Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland
  • June 13-14: Down Town / Down Soul: Early Modern Mysticism and the Political; Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • August 5-7: Job, Intertextually - Synchrony and Diachrony across Creative Debate; Tartu, Estonia. Call for papers and more information.
  • September 20-22: Spirituality, Theology, Education; Universdity of South Africa, Pretoria. Call for papers and more information.
  • September 26-27: Bible, Churches and Spirituality in a (Non?-)Secular World; Stellenbosch (near Cape Town), South Africa. Call for papers and more information.

Pilgrimage and the Evolution of Spiritual Tourism (Flyer PDF)
March 9, 2018
Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland

In an exciting new collaboration the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (SpIRE) in Dublin and the Department of Languages, Tourism, and Hospitality at the School of Humanities at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) are organising a conference on Pilgrimage and the Evolution of Spiritual Tourism. The event will take place in WIT, Waterford, a modern cosmopolitan city steeped in history, heritage and culture with a unique Viking quarter, on Friday, 9th March 2018, from 10.00-16.15 in the Tourism and Leisure Education Building, Cork Rd Campus, WIT, Waterford.

Keynote speakers: Dr Dee Dyas, Centre for Pilgrimage Studies Director, York University and Principal Investigator, AHRC ‘Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present’ project; Dr Stefano Dominioni, Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, Luxembourg, who oversees the certification by the Council of Europe of cultural routes in the field of European heritage; John G O’Dwyer, Chairperson of Pilgrim Paths Ireland and author of Pilgrim Paths in Ireland: From Slieve Mish to Skellig Michael (Collins Press, 2017).
    • How is the notion of pilgrimage prompting us to reconceptualise our understanding of spiritual tourism?
    • How will integrating the current interest in pilgrimage into tourism initiatives challenge and re-invent current practice?
    • What new research and practice frontiers lie ahead as we contemplate the next decade of pilgrimage tourism?

You are warmly invited to participate in this conference and to submit a paper or poster for consideration. For more information, please e-mail Noel or Bernadette.
You are kindly requested to bring the conference to the attention of other interested parties at your institution or organisation. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 17th November 2017 so early distribution of this email will be appreciated.
There will also be an optional gathering the day before the conference to walk medieval Waterford and to share a meal and music. The walk will start at 4pm in the undercroft of the Medieval Museum, Cathedral Square.

Book and prepay for one or both events here

Organising Committee: Dr Bernadette Flanagan, Dr Michael O’Sullivan, Ray Cullen, Dr Patrick Lynch, Dr Michael Howlett, Dr Bernadette Masterson, and Dr Noel Keating
Down Town / Down Soul: Early Modern Mysticism & The Political
June 13-14
Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

In the beginning of the seventeenth century, René Descartes coined the human Self as man’s unique source of certainty beyond any possible doubt. This was, according to many, the birth of Modernity and the modern subject. Yet, that same century was not without counter-movements putting this self-assured subject thoroughly into question. One of those movements was the mystical wave that went over France and Western Europe. The so-called ‘spirituality of the inner life’ (‘spiritualité de la vie intérieure’) was as much focussed on the human Self as Descartes was, but not in order to establish its self-assured position, but to analyse the position of that newly acquired modern Self and to lay bare the abyss on which it was built. In this spiritual literature we find a genuine “science of the subject” or “anatomy of the soul”. To the construction of the modern subject, these authors added, so to speak, its ‘deconstruction’. In a paradigmatic way this movement shows how modernity is bound to theories and formations of subjectivity in an era marked by confessionalisation and the emergence of a variety of models for piety and faith in different contexts – France, Spain, England, Germany, the Low Countries.
This construction/deconstruction of the modern subject that took place in the milieus of early modern mysticism was not without a socio-political dimension. It had an impact on both the way the citizen understood himself as subject of the new political order, and the way political power understood itself. The struggle in and with the individual’s inner Self resonates in the political struggle in which the individual citizen establishes his Self within a state which conceived itself as a Self as well. The inner struggle of the early modern mystical Self must be examined in its relation to the struggle in the heart of the political Self.
The Titus Brandsma Institute is a Research Center for Christian Spirituality and Mysticism. In 2018 it celebrates its 50th anniversary. One of the events that year is a two-day international conference, entitled “Down Town / Down Soul: Early Modern Mysticism and the Political”, organized by the Titus Brandsma Insitute, in collaboration with the Oblate School for Theology San Antonio, Texas, US. The conference will take place at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 June 2018.

The theme of the conference is twofold:
1. The impact of early modern mysticism on the formation of the modern subject: In what sense can the “science of the subject”, present in early modern ‘spiritualité’ authors, be read as ‘deconstructing’ the upcoming modern subject?
2. The relation of early modern mysticism to the politics of its time; and, more specifically, the influence of the early modern mystical subject on the emerging political subject, and vice versa. 

For more information, please e-mail Marc De Kesel.