Looking Beyond the Screen: Spiritual Diversity and the Post-Secular in Contemporary Cinema

Wednesday, 25. March 2020 to Sunday, 29. March 2020
Judson Memorial Church, Washington Sq., New York

€ 50 / $ 55 Conference fee (plus travel and accommodation costs)

Recent years have brought an exciting resurgence of spirituality in domains previously considered solely secular. Film is a clear example of a place in which this balance has often been explored, and the most current shift is most visible in urban public spaces and civil society, where spiritual curiosity coexists with secular sensibilities, and creative connection emerges from the potent space between the two. This relationship, named by many as “postsecularism” has gained hopeful relevance in an era when nationalism, societal division, terrorism, and tribalism threaten to keep individuals and groups tied to their respective and fearful echo chambers. Even as these threats have gained momentum, across the globe, contemporary reality is being beautifully reimagined by religious diversity and fresh approaches to spirituality in traditionally secular realms.

With New York City serving as a fascinating example of how cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity manifests itself on spiritual and secular planes, it is the aim of this seminar to explore the city’s vibrant film culture, the role of Christianity in a multi-faith society, and the expanding spiritual dimensions of film, in hopes that a study of all three might serve scholars, faith leaders, and lay people in articulating how the idea of “postsecularism” might suggest new and hopeful possibilities in a damaged world left reeling in the face of seemingly hopeless division.