2007 PEN debate: Religion and Literature Archive
Friday 23 November 2007 - 20.00 > 21.30
deBuren, Leopoldstraat 6, 1000 Brussels
Since 2006 PEN Flanders, in association with PEN Netherlands, has organised an annual writers' debate on a topical subject. This year the theme is religion and literature. The authors Désanne van Brederode, Marjoleine de Vos, Ludo Abicht and Fouad Laroui will participate in a discussion headed by Prof. Rik Pinxten.
Both Christian and Islamic literature have seemingly all but disappeared. Jewish literature still exists but it does not take a religious angle. In Rik Pinxten's view we could safely say that world literature is less and less inspired by any of the three book-based religions compared to a century ago, or perhaps even more recently, to the eras of Tolstoy, Claudel or Eliot. Nor could the somewhat eccentric and conservative references we find in Reve be seen as dominating Dutch literature either.
The question is whether it is true that religions no longer provide us with a foundation for life's questions, as they so clearly do in world literature. Why is this? What will secular literature be like in the future? The biennial PEN Award, which this time goes to Rodaan, the Iraqi author who writes in Dutch and who was formerly known as Al Galidi, will be presented at this debate.
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