Judaism

Panel Convenor: Marianne Schleicher

Call for Papers:

In Judaism, אמת  (emet) mostly translates to truth, though it has also signified trustworthiness, sincerity, factuality, Torah, insight, and source of life. The word thus connotes both something absolute and a moral ideal in human interactions. However, with global political instability, poststructuralism’s dissolution of the subject as the seat of cognition and free will, as well as posthumanism’s destabilisation of the boundaries between nature-culture and human-nonhuman, אמת  has become a free-floating signifier. Fake news, scare campaigns, and conspiracy theories disturb, but how to argue against them on these premises.

In looking for ways to rethink truth and other connotations of אמת  in order to prevent vulnerable states of meaninglessness and chaos, the Judaism panel asks what Jewish religion, literature, and culture have associated with truth and other connotations of אמת  from the Hebrew Bible until today. Has Judaism’s transformations from archaic over axial to late modern religious culture implied that אמת  has travelled from this world, through the world-to-come or the transcendent sphere, to the inner life of each individual or to the plurivocity of literature, poetry, and art? Or has אמת  accumulated its presence in all of these domains and to what consequences? Has the exilic experiences of Jews through almost two millennia resulted in certain perspectives on truth and other connotations of אמת  that may offer solutions to the current global crisis of epistemological instability? Answers to one, some, or all of these questions are most welcome.

Please send proposals and abstracts (around 300 words) and a short bio to Marianne Schleicher, ms@cas.au.dk. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2018 (response from the panel can be expected towards the end of March or beginning of April). Speakers will only be allowed to give one presentation at the conference. If you are submitting to another panel as well, please let us know so that we can liaise with the other strand chairs.