30 / Future of Religion
The Wholly Other, Liberation and the Rescue of the Hopeless

28 April – 3 May 2008        Send to printer


Course directors

Mislav Kukoč, University of Split, Croatia
Goran Goldberger, Institute for Social Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Denis R.Janz, Loyola University, New Orleans, United States
Gottfried Küenzlen, University of Bundeswehr München, Germany
Dinka Marinović-Jerolimov, Institute for Social Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Michael R.Ott, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, United States
Tatiana Senyushkina, Taurida National University, Simferopol, Ukraine
Rudolf J. Siebert, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, United States


Course description:

Call for Papers for the 32nd International Course on theFuture of Religion: The Wholly Other, Liberation, and the Rescue of the Hopeless.Dear Friend:We are writing this letter to you, in order to invite you wholeheartedly to our 32nd international course on the Future of Religion: The Wholly Other, Liberation, and the Rescue of the Hopeless. to take place in the Inter-University Center for Post - Graduate Studies (IUC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from April 28 May 3, 2008. We invite you to our discourse, because we are convinced, that you as a scholar are most competent to contribute to the clarification, understanding, explanation and further development of our new topic.DedicationWe shall dedicate our 32nd international course on the Future of Religion: The Wholly Other, Liberation, Happiness and the Rescue of the Hopeless to our great friend, Professor Dr. Ivan Supek (1915-2007), His whole life and work was driven by the insatiable longing for the totally Other, including the yearning for enlightenment, friendship, and love, as well as liberation, happiness and the rescue of the hopeless victims of society history. I met Ivan the first time on his trip to the United States in1974. He was a guest at Western Michigan University. At that time he invited me, to come to the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik, which he had founded in 1970. A year later I participated and gave papers in his course on the philosophy of science and in another course on Marxism and phenomenology. At the end of both courses, Professor Ivan Supek and Professor Branko Bo-niak asked me, to found a course of my own. I agreed and took the title from the end of one of my two papers: The Future of Religion. Two years later we started our course. From 1977 on I met Ivan almost every year in Dubrovnik. We had wonderful discourses with each other on quantum physics, on the law of gravity, on religion, on his novels, on history,on dialectics and positivism, on politics, on the principle of uncertainty, on the freedom in the atom as well as in society, on the God, who gambled, on inverse evolutionary selection in civil society, and even on his own dreams - he had also studied with Carl Gustav Jung - , etc. in the Inter-University Centre, or in Hotel Lero, and after the war in Hotel Argentina. We talked about his studies with Werner Heisenberg. We remembered his arrest by the Gestapo in Germany in 1941, because of his antifascist activities. His Professors Heisenberg, Hund, and von Weizscker intervened to release him from prison. We talked about Ivans return back to Croatia in 1943 after his doctoral work with Heisenberg had been completed, and about his time in the Croatian anti-fascist movement, and about his struggle against the German occupation forces. We reflected on his time as Minister of Education and Science in Zagreb. Ivan was a humanist and a man of peace. Already in 1944, fourteen months .before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Ivan warned of the danger of the newly developed atomic bomb, which had the potential to destroy all life on earth.. We talked much about war and peace, particularly his unwillingness to participate in a project for building the atomic bomb for the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. We reflected on his consequent turn from active research in theoretical physics to researching more in philosophy and literature. In the year 1960 Ivan became not only the Rector of the University of Zagreb, but he also founded the Institute for the Philosophy of Science and Peace, The Institute was also a center for the nuclear disarmament movement. Ivan was also the founder of the international organization World Without a Bomb. Ivan formulated his famous ten humanistic principles, which were repeated at almost every later peace summit and event. Ivan also established the International League of Humanists. Ivan did not stop his humanistic peace work with his retirement in 1985. Ivan was a critic of the globalization process and a proponent for the Global Justice Movement. His life long struggle for peace, human rights, and democracy made Professor Supek one of the greatest humanists of the 20th century. Also after his death on March 5, 2007, in his home in Zagreb, after a long illness, his heroic peace advocacy remains of highest actuality. Ivan continually legitimated and protected our course on the Future of Religion in the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, and thus made its uninterrupted continuation through 32 years possible. While for Ivan art had become his religion, he at the same time showed a wonderfully wise tolerance toward and understanding for the Abrahamic as well as all other world religions. He was amazingly objective, truthful, and honest in his academic work, and in his novels in an always changing and often very difficult political and cultural context. He had many friends at home and abroad, not only in Europe, but also in the United States and Canada. Ivan was not only an outstanding scholar and artist, but also a great, and wonderful, and most friendly and warm-hearted human being, who deserves our remembering solidarity, as well as our admiration, and our love, and our imitation, if also on a much smaller and modest scale. Ivan will be with us in spirit in our courses to come, and he will continue to inspire us to work for peace among the nations through promoting peace among the world religions in continued open discourse. Presentation of Papers We hope very much, that you can follow our invitation, and that you can come to the IUC in beautiful Dubrovnik in the last week of April/May 2008, and that you can join us in our 32nd international course on the The Future of Religion; The Wholly Other, Liberation, Happiness, and the Rescue of the Hopeless, and that you can present a paper to us out of the center of your own presently on-going research-activities, interests, competence and teaching, and in the framework of the general thematic of 2008. Of course, you are also very welcome, if you do not want to be a resource person and to read a paper, but rather prefer to appear as participant, and thus contribute as such to our, to be sure, very lively discourse. Our course will be part of a very rich IUC Program of courses and conferences in the Academic Year of 2007/2008. Dubrovnik and the IUC are indeed alive and well and even growing again in spite of all the tragic events of the past decades! We hope very much, that the whole region of the former Yugoslavia will soon become part of the European Union, We hope, that the further trials in Den Haag will be guided not by the Jus or Lex Talionis and by the motive of retaliation, but rather in the perspective of the Golden Rule, which is present in all the.living world religions, and of its secular inversion into the categorical imperative, and into the apriori of the universal communication community, and of a global ethos built on these religious and secular principles, and of an international law, which is rooted in it and will, therefore, never be without mercy and the power of at-onement and of reconciliation. All ethics and legality must in order to have motivating power - ultimately be rooted in the longing for the totally Other than the horror and terror of nature and history.Publication Please, prepare your paper out of the material of your present research, in the horizon of our specific theme of this year, and in the context of the present historical situation. It must not be perfect. Nobody is perfect! You can still complete your paper to the level of publication-maturation after you have presented it, and after we have discussed it together, and after you have returned home. Our discourse may help you, to complete your paper, and to make it ready for publication. Finally, we would like to collect our research papers once more for a third volume, following Professor Reimers excellent first volume - The Influence of the Frankfurt School on Contemporary Theology. Critical Theory and the Future of Religion. Dubrovnik Papers in Honor of Rudolf J. Siebert. Lewiston, New York, Queenston, Ontario, Canada, Lampeter, Dyfed, Wales, United Kingdom, and Professor Michael Otts most outstanding second volume The Future of Religion: Toward a Reconciled Society, which has appeared with the publisher Brill in Holland in 2007, and which we shall celebrate especially and publically during our upcoming meeting. Maybe Jim Reimer and Michael Ott will assist us once more with their great publishing experience, to bring out our third volume in the not too distant future. Resource Persons and Participants Thus, we - the Director, Professor Rudolf J. Siebert, Western Michigan University, and the Co-Directors, Professor Mislav Kukoc, University of Zagreb, Professor Gottfried Knzelen, University of the Federal German Army, Munich, Denis Janz, Loyola University, New Orleans, Professor Michael Ott, Grand Valley University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Dinka Marinovic-Jerolimov, Institute for Social Research Zagreb, and the Coordinators Professor Tatiana Senyushkina, Taurida National University, Simferopol, Ukraine, and Dr. Goran Goldberger, Institute for Social Research, Zagreb, invite you very personally in the name of the IUC, to join us as resource persons or participants in our 32nd international course on The Future of Religion: The Wholly Other, Liberation, Happiness, and the Rescue of the Hopeless in the IUC Building, from April 26 May 3, 2008. We chose this year's course title once more in a democratic procedure. It grew almost logically out of the texts and the contexts of our previous discourses on the Future of Religion. This years theme is certainly once more of highest actuality considering the present world situation: the so-called war against terror, which is continually fought on both sides according to the Jus Talionis, without any redemption in sight, as the possible result of the praxis of the Golden Rule in personal, national, and international affairs: a praxis driven by the yearning for the totally Other, including the longing for light, friendship, love, as well as liberation and happiness, and the rescue of all the hopeless victims of society and history, who have never had their day in court.Addresses: Home, Secretariat, and Hotels. In case you have any further questions, please address them to me at the following addresses and through the following media. My home address is: 630 Piccadilly Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49006, USA. My home telephone number is: 269-381-0864. My e-mail address is RSieb3@aol.com. My Fax address is: 269-381-1935. My website is: http://www.rudolfjsiebert.org/. If you plan to come, please also contact directly the Secretariat of the Inter-University Center, Don Frana Bulica 4, HR 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia, Tel.+385 20 413626/7; Fax +385 20 413628. Please, also contact either Hotel Argentina, Tel + 385 20 440 555, Fax + 385 20 432 524, or Hotel Lero, Tel. + 385 20 411 455, Fax + 385 20 432 501, or any other hotel or private pension of your choice in Dubrovnik for room and board. Hotel Lero is the less expensive one. Hotel Argentina is the more expensive one. Most of us will probably stay at Hotel Lero. For further information concerning the broader context of our international course on the Future of Religion, please look at my web site: http://www.rudolfjsiebert.org/.


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