Center for Interdisziplinary Research

The guest in the modern age. Types and forms of narrated hospitality

Date: April 25 - 27, 2007

Organizers: Rolf Parr (Bielefeld), Peter Friedrich (Bielefeld), Alexander Honold (Basel)

In interdisciplinary dialogue the conferees picked out the polyvalent phenomenon of the 'guest' as the central theme: the 'guest' as a construct of law, the 'guest' as a social figure in historical contexts, as a literary motif and model of narration as well as the 'guest' as a fundamentally philosophical term. It became obvious that the semantics of 'guest', 'host' and 'hostelry' offered an intercultural and epoch-transcending pattern for reflecting critically upon the self-reference of societies, cultures and their concepts of legitimating the self, the nation, identity, home, race and so on. It was an important conclusion, that from the 'guest's point of view' you can find new questions, perspectives and explanations in connection with well-known (canonical) texts, traditional knowledge and philosophical, theological or juridical discourses.

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