Conference - Sacred Kingship in World History: Between Immanence and Transcendence

Amy Barnes's picture
May 25, 2019 to May 26, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
World History / Studies, Anthropology, Islamic History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology


Sacred Kingship in World History: Between Immanence and Transcendence
Hosted by the Oxford Centre for Global History and the University of Texas

Date:                25-26 May 2019

Location:         Brasenose College, University of Oxford

Registration:   £50 standard, £25 student
                         Includes entry to all conference sessions, tea/coffee and lunch on both days, and a drinks reception on 25th May 
                         Register here

“We have no right, in the present state of our knowledge, to assert that the worship of gods preceded that of kings.” Almost a century ago, A. M. Hocart made this striking observation about the common origin of religion and politics. Our conference aims to revisit this question in our present state of knowledge from across the fields of Anthropology, History and Religious Studies. We take inspiration from several developments in scholarship: the return to kingship as a matter of serious anthropological enquiry with the publication of Sahlins' and Graeber’s On Kings; the growing appreciation of kings as sacred figures among historians and scholars of religion, particularly of Islam; the re-emergence of comparative methods and global history; and the burgeoning scholarship on political theology and sovereignty across the disciplines. In light of these trends, our goal is to explore a new framework for understanding such issues at a global level and over the very long term.

Speakers: Aziz Al-Azmeh (CEU), Jan Assmann (Konstanz), Nicole Brisch (Copenhagen), Faisal Devji (Oxford), Jos Gommans (Leiden), Peter Gose (Carleton), David Graeber (LSE), Nicole Jerr (USAFA), Lynette Mitchell (Exeter), Michael Puett (Harvard), Joel Robbins (Cambridge), Robert Yelle (Munich)

Convenors: Alan Strathern (Oxford), Azfar Moin (Texas)

Contact Info: 

Amy Barnes
Oxford Centre for Global History
Faculty of History, University of Oxford
George Street
Oxford, OX1 2RL
United Kingdom

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