Hermeneutics in History: Mircea Eliade, Joachim Wach, and the Science of Religions

Hermeneutics in History: Mircea Eliade, Joachim Wach, and the Science of Religions

November 3-4, 2006

The University of Chicago
Divinity School
1025 E. 58th St.

Chicago, IL 60637

2007 will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mircea Eliade, and 2005 was the 50th anniversary of the death of Joachim Wach. To evaluate the legacy of Eliade and Wach to the discipline of the history of religions, we have chosen the intermediary year, 2006, to hold a two-day conference to reflect upon their academic contributions and their political lives in their social and historical contexts, and also the relationship between the works and the lives.

The Martin Marty Center is the host and sponsor of the conference, with Wendy Doniger, Matthew Kapstein, and Christian Wedemeyer (all from the University of Chicago) acting as organizers. The conference will take place on Friday, November 3, and Saturday, November 4, 2006, from 9 am to 6 pm on both days, at Swift Hall, the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. There will be two keynote lectures, open to the public, one at 5 pm each day, as well as four seminars (of two papers each): two devoted to Eliade, one to Wach, and one to Wach and Eliade. These will be closed to the general public (though open to members of the university community), and will consist of discussions of papers circulated in advance to participants, with abstracts available to the public. The papers of the conference will later be published as a book.

Carlo Ginzburg, of the University of California at Los Angeles, will deliver the keynote on Eliade, and Hans Gerhard Kippenberg, of the Universität Bremen and the Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien at Universität Erfurt, will deliver the keynote on Wach.

The other scholars who will present papers at the seminars are: Gregory Alles (Westminster, Maryland); Matei Calinescu (University of Indiana at Bloomington); Daniel Dubuisson (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France); Antoine Faivre (École pratique des hautes études, Sciences Religieuses, Sorbonne, Paris); Moshe Idel (The Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem); Bryan S. Rennie (Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania); Jonathan Z. Smith (University of Chicago, Chicago); Florin Turcanu (University of Bucharest); and Steve Wasserstrom, (Reed College, Portland, Oregon). The three organizers of the conference will be the respondents.

Lodging information for attendees

For more information, please contact wachiade@yahoo.com. To register for the panels, please email Susie McGee at smcgee@uchicago.edu, with "Wach/Eliade conference registration" in your email subject. Please include your academic affiliation in your email.