Two public lectures…

We are delighted to announce two Theology and Religious Studies public lectures taking place next week at the University of Auckland. We are fortunate to welcome Professor Dr Volker Küster and Dr Dorothea Erbele-Küster, both from the Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz. Volker and Dorothea are currently lecturing in Melbourne but were kind enough to offer to pop over the Tasman to visit us here in Auckland. We are very excited about their visit and, given the fascinating titles of their lectures, really look forward to hearing them speak. We hope you can join us in welcoming them to the University of Auckland.

volker 2

Professor Dr Volker Kuster, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

‘Splendour of Images – Power of Images’

Tuesday, 31 March, 6.30pm, Arts 1, room 315 (206-315), 14a Symonds Street, Auckland

Art and religion are closely intertwined. Images express the glory of Gods and Goddesses and sometimes are believed to contain religious power themselves. Images have been venerated as well as destroyed for religious reasons throughout the ages. The lecture  is a further step in the development of an inter-religious aesthetic. With the help of five generative themes – aniconism, representation and illustration, iconoclasm, syncretism and de/secularization – rich material from different religions will be compared.

Professor Dr Kuster holds the post of Professor of Missiology and Comparative Religion at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. His research in contextual and intercultural theology focuses on the issues of dialogue, conflict, and reconciliation and the visual arts in religion. His publications have included Theologie im Kontext: Zugleich ein Versuch über die Minjung-Theologie (1995); The Many Faces of Jesus Christ (2001); God/Terreur. Een Tweeluik (2008), and A Protestant Theology of Passion: Korean Minjung Theology revisited (2010); Einführung  in die Interkulturelle Theologie (2011).


 Dr Dorothea Erbele-Kuster, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

‘”A Delight to the eyes and desirable as a source of wisdom” (Gen 3:6): On the relation between ethics and aesthetics’

Wednesday, 1 April 12pm, Arts 2, Room C303 (207-303), 18 Symonds Street, Auckland

In this lecture, Dr Erbele-Kuster shares some insights into the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. Focusing on Genesis 2-3, she considers the significance of the tree of knowledge that is said to sit in the middle of Eden – particularly the way that the text links human longing for this tree’s beautiful fruits with the beginning of sin. Through a close study of this text, Dr Erbele-Kuster asks if this can provide a starting point for an ethics of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, particularly in terms of the role of the senses in ethical decision-making.

Dr Erbele-Kuster teaches Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. She is currently working on a book on ethics in the Hebrew Bible. Her recent publications include ‘A Short Story of Narratology in Biblical Studies’, in Religious Stories We Live By: Narrative Approaches in Theology and Religious Studies, ed. R. Ganzevoort et al. (2014) and Body and Gender in Leviticus 12 and 15 (2015).

Posters for these events are dowloadable here:

Volker Kuster Theology public lecture

Dorothea Erbele-Kuster Theology public lecture

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