Theology and Media: from EuARe Congress in Bologna
Four members of cTPM took part recently in an historic event in a historic city. The event was the founding conference of the European Academy of Religion (www.euare.org), the city Bologna.
The four members of the Centre who travelled to the conference were Gábor Ambrus, a researcher in the Centre concentrating especially on the field of Media Theory and its theological implications, Centre co-ordinator and researcher Martin Kočí, researcher and director of a major Charles University project at the Centre, František Štěch, and Associate Fellow Tim Noble.
The trip had a threefold purpose. First, it was a chance for us to get together and discuss our present and future work. Second, it was a chance to present our work through forming a panel (a group of speakers filling one of the slots available at the conference) on Theology and Media and presenting our Centre to a broader public, both those who were able to attend our session and others who were able to read about our panel in the conference programme. And third, as is often the case with such conferences, it was a chance to meet, by accident or design, both old colleagues and new potential partners for our future work.
At our panel, each of the four presented a brief paper. František Štěch spoke on “Media Theory and Theology as Mediation”, Martin Kočí on “Interrupting (Media) Representation” elaborating on Derrida’s notion of the transcendental illusion of media and its possible remedy by means of theological thinking, Gábor Ambrus on “Two Scenarios of Mediation and Their Theological Assessment”, and Tim Noble on the interruptions to communication in Christian mission with reference to Shusaku Endo’s Silence. Prof Ivana Noble of the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University kindly acted as a respondent to the papers and a rich discussion followed. It was a good opportunity to address the area of the interplay between theology and media, with all papers focusing in different ways on the notion of mediation. It is hoped to submit the papers together for publication in a journal, thus helping to raise more the awareness of the work of the cTPM.
We hope that this will not be the last time we get to present at such a conference, and certainly Bologna, with its beautiful architecture, great food and accessibility, was a great setting, so there are not likely to be too many complaints if we have to return!