Sacred Texts and Print Culture

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 5:30pm
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Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 5:30pm to Sunday, December 4, 2005 - 1:00pm

The Religious Studies Program/History Department and Pasts, Inc.


Sacred Texts and Print Culture – The Case of the Qur’an and the Bible of the Orthodox Churches during the 18th and 19th Century

First Conference:

Mapping Social and Cultural Sites and Genealogies

With the advent of a new age of mass communication it is appropriate to reconsider the effects and impacts of the first technological revolution on sacred texts. While the study of print on ideas and culture in Western Europe has prompted a wealth of documents, histories, and broader frameworks of analysis, the study of the impact of print on the sacred texts of Islam and of Orthodox Christianity, which share some common features in their reactions to print culture, has not yet brought forward systematic analysis, let alone developed into a coherent perspective that embraces the effects of print culture for these religions. In light of the often scarce empirical information and of the lack of in-depth studies available, the main purpose of the conference will center on gathering material about the formative period of the 18th and 19th centuries and on generating a broader conceptual frame that would allow conceiving the various historical incidents in a complex cultural context.


Thursday, December 1st, 2005

5.30 p.m. – Popper Room
Lecture: Brian Stock (University of Toronto): The Reader's Dilemma. (Co-hosted with the Humanities Center.)


Friday, December 2nd 2005

9-9.30 a.m.: Arrival

Session 1

9.30-10.30 a.m.:
Opening and Introduction: Different Imprints: Authority of the Sacred Book and Print Culture
Yehuda Elkana, Rector and President of the CEU and Nadia Al-Bagdadi (Budapest), Mushirul Hasan (New Delhi), Sorin Antohi (Budapest)

10.30-11 a.m.: Break

Session 2

11 a.m.-12.30 p.m.:
From Manuscript to Print – The Bible in West and South Asia
Chair: Mushirul Hasan
Hilary Kilpatrick (Lausanne): "Early Orthodox Printing of the Scriptures"
Heleen Murre (Leiden): "Negotiating Sacred Texts: Printing in the Church of the East in the Nineteenth Century"

1-2 p.m.: Lunch

Session 3

2.30-4.30 p.m.:
From Manuscript to Print – The Church and the Bible in Eastern Europe
Chair: Sorin Antohi
Elena Yukhimenko (Moscow): "The Bible in Old and New Church Tradition of the Imperial Russia"
Mihail Neamtu (Bucharest): "The Psalter into Romanian Translation: (16-18th Century): Historical and Theological Reflections"
4.30-5.30 p.m.: Break

5.30 p.m. – Popper Room
Keynote lecture by William Graham (Harvard University): "Scripture as Concept and Reality: Some Fundamental Considerations"
Chair: Nadia Al-Bagdadi


Saturday, December 3rd, 2005

Session 4

9.30-11 a.m.:
From Manuscript to Printing Culture –The Qur’an outside the Arab World
Chair: Mushirul Hasan
Ulrike Stark (Chicago): "A Qur’an for every household: Mass printing and the commercialization of Islamic sacred texts in nineteenth-century Lucknow"
Efim Rezvan (St. Petersburg): "The Qur’an of Catherine II" 

11 a.m.-11.30: Break

Session 5

11.30-1 p.m.:
From Manuscript to Print –Disseminating the Qur’an in the Arab World
Chair: Aziz Al-Azmeh
Umar Ryad (Leiden): "Al-Manar’s Early Years (1897-1900) in the light of Sheikh Rashid Rida’s Unpublished Private Papers"
Mohamed Ghaly (Leiden): "Printing the Qur’ân: Fathoming out Qur’anic Characteristics responsible for Reluctance"
Session 6

2.30-5.30 p.m.
The Icon and the Word – Interfaces of Visual and Textual Genealogies, Part 1
Chair: Tilo Schabert
Oleg Tarasov (Moscow): "The Late Russian Icon" (paper only)
Geoffrey Roper (Cambridge): "Missionary Typography in Arabic Religious Texts and its Relationship with Orthodox and Muslim Sacred Printing in the 19th century"
Muhammad Haddad (Tunis): "La religion des publicistes: Le Coran, avant et après l’imprimerie"
Islam Dayeh (Berlin): "The Flügel Edition vs. The Cairo Edition: A Comparative Approach"

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

9.30-11 a.m.
In Memoriam Prof. István György Tóth – The Interface of Literacy, Printing, and Orality in the Context of Religious Literature in Central and Southeastern Europe (18th-19th centuries)
Zoran Velagic (Osijek): "Production, Distribution and the Cultural Impact of the Early Modern Croatian Catechisms"
Chair: TBA

11.30 a.m.-1 p.m.:
Round-table with all participants: Transfigurations of the Sacred – New Approaches towards the History of the Book in and for Modernity
1 p.m.: Farewell