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METAMORPHOSES of Christianity in Literature, Art and Philosophy

The project Metamorphoses...

- is an initiatiev of Willie van der Merwe (professor of philosophy of religion, Vu Amsterdam) and of Laurens ten Kate (professor of liberal religion and humanism, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht)
- aims to offer an interdisciplinary research context for philosophers, theologians, art historians, and literary theoristst

- aims to enter a dialogue with contemporary artists and writers

- by establishing a platform for exploration and creation

- in a series of seminars, debates, lectures and performances


The Metamorphoses-seminars are being organized with the financial support of the VU Research Institute CLUE+.

















Joseph Beuys, crucifixes, 1950



Seminar program

December 16, 2016, 14.00 - 17.30
Wees realistisch- denk het onmogelijke - reflecties over Kairos.

Een symposium met filosofe Joke Hermsen.


Past seminars

December 1st, 2015, 10.00 - 17.00

The Force of God: Toward a New Relationship between Democracy and Religious Imaginaries. A Seminar with Carl Raschke and Kurt Appel. 



The background to and inspiration of this 12th Metamorphoses seminar is Carl Raschke’s recent book, The Force of God: Political Theology and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy (Columbia University Press 2015). Raschke ties democracy’s retreat to the West’s failure to confront its decadence and mobilize its vast spiritual resources. 

Drawing on the thought of Hegel and Nietzsche as well as recent work by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Joseph Goux, Giorgio Agamben, and Alain Badiou, Raschke aims to recast a political theology for the 21st century, grounded in a powerful, hidden impetus that Raschke coins as the ‘force of God’. This enables him to frame a new value economy and a critical theory that acknowledges a vital, spiritually grounded relationship between politics and the religious imaginaries of determining our past and present. Starting from the themes and critique developed in the book as presented and discussed by the author in his opening lecture, Kurt Appel will engage in a broader analysis of the mutual metamorphoses between religion and present day democratic societies. After both lectures there will be ample room for exchange and discussion.

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