Religion and Language: Symposium & Roundtable


Religion and Language: Symposium & Roundtable

April 24, 2018 / 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm / Add to Google
3335 Dwinelle

The symposium focuses on the relationship between religion and language, from three perspectives. One perspective concerns the legitimacy and the limits of applying human language to the divine. How is it possible to speak about the divine? Would it be more advantageous to enlarge our understanding of “language” to embrace any code of meaning, such as rituals, music… (or even mathematics)? Another perspective concerns the status and definition of the “language” through which the divine reveals its existence. How can a language that is divine, and not human, be understood? What distinguishes divine revelation from other types of language (e.g. myth, poetry, song)? Finally, the topic of religion and language also covers the issue of inter-religious dialogue. How should we translate concepts of divinity from one religion (language) to another? What constitutes translatability in religion, and what the exploitation of an “other” language? What role does theology play in all these questions?

These questions will be addressed from a variety of philosophical, theological and religious points of view. We will begin by a series of general presentations, followed by round table discussion, and then open the floor to other contributions.


  • Lara Buchak, UC Berkeley
  • Naomi Seidman, Center for Jewish Studies, GTU
  • Purushottama Bilimoria, Center for Dharma Studies, GTU
  • Paolo Gamberini, University of San Francisco
  • Manuel Oliveira, UC Berkeley
  • Anselm Ramelow, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
  • Andrea Vestrucci, UC Berkeley and Academic Society of Geneva (Organizer)

For more information on this event, please contact