09. 04. 2021


Music – Religion – Spirituality

International Symposium, 26-28 August 2021

Ljubljana, Slovenia




Religious and spiritual doctrines and their interpretations have significant impact on understandings of boundaries between musical and non-musical phenomena, and between acceptable and unacceptable music and dance practices in various spatial and temporal contexts. Religion and spirituality affect and are reflected in traditional, art, and popular music domains. We are interested in the complex connections concerning music, religion, and spirituality in precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial contexts, and in the environments hostile to any or to at least different (minority) religious worldviews. Their impact on a war-peace continuum sometimes results in migrations, refugee and immigrant experiences. They are key components of ritualistic practices essential for the identity maintenance, but also for new ecumenic syncretisms.

In March 2020, a group of scholars from different parts of the world proposed to the ICTM Executive Board a request for recognition of a new Study-Group-in-the-making with focus on music, religion, and spirituality and was granted permission to continue the process in concordance with the respective Guidelines. This is an important focus, not explicitly present in the activities of any of the existing ICTM Study Groups, and it will be approached in an open, inclusive, and unbiased manner.

Here, we wish to announce the required scholarly meeting and to invite you to be a part of this new exciting beginning. The symposium was supposed to take place last year, but was cancelled because of the pandemic. It will be held in 2021, hosted by the Department of Musicology at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, along with a number of respected co-organizers: Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Cultural and Ethnomusicological Society Folk Slovenia, City Museum of Ljubljana, and the Imago Sloveniae Foundation. The scholarly event will be a part of the thematic street festival Nights in the Old Ljubljana Town, and will feature individual paper presentations, organized panels, roundtables, and films.

Please make sure to send your 150-word proposal for any of the four mentioned formats by 15 May 2021 to the address svanibor.pettan@ff.uni-lj.si. The Local Arrangements Committee and the Program Committee will maximally adjust to the circumstances caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. If possible, the symposium will take place onsite, if not, we will host an online event via zoom. In case of an onsite gathering, we will be flexible about accepting online presenters.

Hoping to see you in Ljubljana in August, with best wishes on behalf of the co-organizers,

Prof. Dr. Svanibor Pettan




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