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【The 20th Annual International Conference of Cultural Studies Association Speech Series】Paul Ballanfat
2019-03-09 - 2019-03-14
Speaker : Paul Ballanfat
Assistant Professor, Galatasaray University
Paul Ballanfat教授，土耳其伊斯坦堡著名的法語大學Galatasaray University文理學院哲學系教授，1995年獲得巴黎索邦大學東方語言與文明的哲學博士，曾任教於法國里昂第三大學、伊朗的法國研究院研究員、香港明華神學院特邀教授。主要研究專長為波斯（伊朗）語言與文明、土耳其鄂圖曼語言與文明、阿拉伯語言與文明、宗教思想（猶太教、西方與東方基督教、伊斯蘭）、中世紀與近代當代伊斯蘭宗教與社會；發表之論文在思想史方面主題包括法拉比、伊本阿拉比、魯米、笛卡兒；以比較宗教的背景涵蓋當代哲學的主題包括：尼采、海德格、惡、寬恕、款待陌異、犧牲、苦難、記憶等等；在當代政治評論的議題包括：阿拉伯的社會主義、中東地區的國族主義、西方的伊斯蘭恐厭症、歐洲的大學問題、法國的東方研究等。
Professor Paul Ballanfat is one of the world's leading philosophers and an acclaimed scholar of religious thoughts. Trained at Strasbourg, Lyon and Paris in France, Professor Ballanfat from University of Lyon 3 in France, used to teach philosophy at Galatasaray University in Istanbul, the world-famous French language institution, where his lectures on Heidegger are always over-subscribed. He is the author of several books, such as Najm al-din Kubra: The practice of Sufism, Najm al-din Kubra: The Eclosions of Beauty and the Perfumes of the Majesty; specifically, he has written several books on Ruzbehan Baqli Shirazi, a Sufi master of Iran. Recently published: Messianism and sainthood : Niyazi Misri, and Unity (2012) and Spirituality: The Melamis in the Ottoman Empire (2013). He has also published Poems in French as well as in Turkish.
Topic：Génocide and Modern Politics
Venue：HC Building III Room105, NCTU
*English speech, Mandarin simultaneous translation provided.
How difficult it is to reflect on such an emotional presentation about genocide, deportation, and moreover the erasing of a whole world and civilisation. I would need to open the topic from a personal perspective, and I would mean the sorrow out of which a self stands up and gains the right to speak out of its standing upright to address a strait saying. I have myself far Jewish origins as many of French people and by the play of hasard my former wife and my children are Jewish. This sounds as an odd confession. However this strange judeity which is nit a Jewishness is the sorrow inhabiting me at the same time it doesn’t allow me to speak for the dead as if they were my ancestors. I have thus no legacy from them, or a right inherited through and from them. However I am required from this painful sorrow to answer to it or steal the responsibility to speak for all the deeds of history that Walter Benjamin commenting on Klee’s painting had given the necessary witnessing. I would thus, form sorrow, give back history some rights in front of a testimony of inheritance.
Topic：“I would rather be a satyre than a saint”: Irony in the Edge of Globalized Comfort
Venue：HC Building II Room106A, NCTU
« The word of Nietzsche in Ecce Homo : “I am a disciple of Dionysos, I would rather be a satyre than a saint”»
As shows the roadmap of the course you’re intending to give, modern comities in globalisation are framed into a double, apparently dialectical, theme that can be summarise as fun against asceticism. As Sade shows it, as a brilliant commentator of Spinoza, both themes can be subdued to an ergonomic logic of activity. The modern human being, that might not be anymore called human by the way, has been redefined as a pure function that is in its mere essence pure activity, or will to be enpowered, rather than will to power. Being in activity is the way this modern man without quality finds itself when nothing anymore provides him neither a nature nor a goal. Fun as well as asceticism are activities in which human being needs to find itself so as to being able to recognise itself. Paradoxical recognition though, since activity is a movement of self-self-mutation and therefore doesn’t allow any recognition except in the process of activity that is open merely to a future. A messianisme without messiah and without a promise of a world to come. Sade had already seen this very carefully describing a pure world of immanence in which fun is achieved through the asceticism of action, of being submitted to exploitation. Being active has become what defines human being. The old understanding of sainthood was based on the opposition between asceticism, religious sainthood, the seriousness of the principle that governs our destiny, and the lack of seriousness of delusion and art. The fun of aesthetics has mixed with the seriousness of politics which was supposed to be the asceticisms to which metaphysics is at the same time submitted and through what it is achieved. The satyre, or the rions of poetics, or let’s say a reserve of irony, the satyre, has always been waiting under its self protecting assumption of lack of seriousness. Nevertheless it is the ressource left on the edge of the seriousness of globalised fun that allows us to follow a trace that disturbs the new totalitarianism that is imposed to us nolens volens.
Topic：The Challenge of Politisation in the Middle-East : Nation Building and Islamicism
Venue：Institue of Sociology 9F Room 901, Academia Sinica，
The hypothesis I shall first try to argue is that the Coran, as well as what the oldest sources show about the legacy of Muhammad and the fights that followed, never included a politics neither a political goal. Hence there were attempts since ninth century to try to create something of a politics in the Middle-East without a real consequence and achievement. The Ottoman Empire for instance just endorsed the garment of Byzantium empire without being able to create a real political realm out of it because of the huge resistance of what can be called the muslim subjects of the empire. This is why politization as modernisation took place essentially among the non-muslim subjects of the empire. My hypothesis is that there has never been a real process of politisation in the Middle-East and that this process is what is trying to happen in the twentieth century.
This process, that is still failing, like modern Turkey shows it specularly, has taken two shapes. Nation building and new-born islamizitation. Both of them are a result of western policy. The first one has been imitated mainly from French patterns, including its best and worst parts. The second one is the way America has decided to handle the Middle-East question since the eighties. Both of them are trying to create a political subject out of populations that have different affiliations that can not be shaped politically but rather are the way these populations resist to something that the legacy they inherited from Islam, as a culture rather than a cult, rejects at its very core.
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