Conference: Political Demonology – The Logic of Evil in Contemporary Literature and Theology



Friday, 20 May 2016

Worcester College, Oxford

Keynote Speakers:

Conor Cunningham, Associate Professor in Theology and Philosophy, University of Nottingham

Elizabeth Frazer, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford

Conference Programme

10:00 – 10:15 Registration and Coffee

10:15 – 10:30 Welcome and Introductions

Session 1:  (Demono-) Logics

10:30 – 11:30 Opening Keynote: Conor Cunningham (University of Nottingham):

‘The Nightmare that Dreams: The Soul and Nihilism’

11:30 – 11:50 Tom Grimwood (University of Cumbria): ‘The Two Deaths of Osama Bin Laden –Demonic Repetition in Contemporary Culture’

11:50 – 12:10 Henry Mead (Teesside University): ‘Modernist Myths of the Fall’

12:10 – 12:30 Q&A, Discussion

12:30 – 1:00 Lunch

Session 2: Political (Dis-) Orders

1:00– 1:20 Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist. (Heiligenstift, Austria): ‘The Dialectics of Individualism and Totalitarianism in Charles de Koninck, David Foster Wallace, and Michel Houellebecq’

1:20 – 1:40 Birgit Mikus (University of Oxford): ‘The Evil State in Contemporary Dystopian Fiction’

1:40 – 2:00 Bruno Godefroy (Universities of Erlangen and Lyon): ‘“Political Theology” or “Occasional Decisionism”? On the Formal Character of Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology’

2:00 – 2:15 Q&A, Discussion

2:15 – 2:30 Coffee Break

Session 3: Demonologies of the Soul – Beyond Evil

2:30 – 2:50 Max Muir (University of Oxford): ‘Going Beyond Evil in Theory, Politics and Practice’

2:50 – 3:10 Torgeir Fjeld (University of Gdansk and European Graduate School): ‘Freedom and Demonology’

3:10 – 3:30 Adrian Pabst (University of Kent): The pessimistic anthropology of liberalism vs. the Good (title TBC)

3:30 – 3:45 Q&A, Discussion

3:30 –3:45 Break

4:00 – 4:30 Closing Keynote: Elizabeth Frazer (University of Oxford): ‘Politics and Magic’

4:30 – 4:45 Q&A, Discussion

4:45 – 5:00 Michael Mayo & Therese Feiler: Synthesis, Next Steps & Farewell


This conference is organized by the Political Demonology Working Group, initiated by Therese Feiler (Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty of Theology and Religion) and Michael Mayo (Junior Research Fellow in English, Worcester College) at the University of Oxford.


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