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Basis voor Actuele Kunst - BAK

Public Institution
On Post-Secularism: Revolution & Critique, 15.02.2009
  On Post-Secularism: Revolution & Critique
15.02.2009, 15.00-18.00 hrs

On Sunday 15 February BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents the third session of the discourse program On Post-Secularism, entitled Revolution & Critique with contributions by Mark Boulos, Marc De Kesel, and Natascha Sadr Haghighian.

The Left has a long and complex relationship with religion. Karl Marx disparaged religion as a "mystical veil" that needed to be removed in order to see society as it really is; by contrast some key contemporary leftist theorists take a far more positive view of religion. In the late 1960s, literary critic Terry Eagleton attempted to create a Catholic "New Left theology" and recently introduced the text of the Gospels in a series on "revolutionary writings." Furthermore, a hybridization of Leftist and Islamic notions was pioneered decades ago by authors such as Iranian sociologist and thinker Ali Shariati, whose works were heavily influenced by Marx and played an influential role in the Iranian Revolution. Now that the classical working class has disintegrated and a traditional Marxist revolution is hard to imagine, let alone achieve, successful religious revolutions such as the advent of Christianity and that of Islam, both of which rapidly transformed whole societies, take on a newly alluring aura for some thinkers. However, doesn't this also threaten to remain a theoretical project, a form of critique that does not make the leap into practice? This session explores the links between religious belief, critical thought, and revolutionary politics, focusing on how we might think of the relationship between the three in the contemporary world.

The discourse program On Post-Secularism examines the popular assumption of the revival of religious faith, issues of iconoclasm, and the changing character of secularism in a series of lectures, presentations, and research meetings investigating different perspectives on the manifestation of religion in the public sphere. On Post-Secularism is co-organized with the Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University (

Venue and time: Instituto Cervantes, Domplein 3, Utrecht, 15.00-18.00 hrs
Entrance fee €2
BOOKS@BAK members free
Participants are invited to join us for drinks and snacks following the session.
Reservations recommended, please contact: t. +31 30 2316125 or e:

For more information, please visit

Upcoming session:
Alternatives to Monotheism, 01.03.2009
Lars Bang Larsen, Wouter Hanegraaff, and a screening of works by Kenneth Anger and Joachim Koester

The exhibition The Art of Iconoclasm, curated by art historian and writer Sven Lütticken, which is also part of the project The Return of Religion and Other Myths, is on view until 1 March 2009 at BAK, Lange Nieuwstraat 4, and CM Studio, Centraal Museum, Agnietenstraat 2, Utrecht.
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