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Sistine Chapel Ceiling Quincentenary Display
McCormick Place West – Skyline Ballroom (375A)

In November 2012, Michelangelo’s celebrated frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel mark their 500th anniversary. Over the past five centuries, these multiple panels, either individually or as a group, have been studied by church historians, art historians, religion scholars, theologians, and specialists in popular culture, film, media, and visual culture. At this year’s Annual Meetings, with the permission of the Vatican Museum and the technical expertise of PRG Audiovisual, the AAR is featuring an innovative exhibition featuring a screen-printed 1/3 scale model of these frescoes rigged above Skyline Ballroom (375A) in McCormick Place West. Attendees can experience this magnificent work without traveling all the way to Rome! In addition, throughout the room will be displayed a variety of copies, parodies, and interpretations of the frescoes that have permeated contemporary society.

Other AAR programming is also focused on the Sistine Chapel ceiling quincentenary. On Friday evening at 8:00 pm, there will be a special viewing of the now classic film about the making of the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes, The Agony and the Ecstasy (A16–403). On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm, a special AAR panel of experts will focus their attention on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, both to offer new ways of considering a classic masterpiece and to present multiple methodological models operative in the umbrella of religious studies (A17–401).

Peacebuilding through Arts and Religion: Music, Murals, and Dance

Saturday, 1:00 PM–3:30 PM
McCormick Place West – 471B

This panel addresses several critical questions related to peacebuilding through the arts, including can art be the making of peace, and can the making of peace be an art? This panel brings together four presentations that critically address these questions by discussing the use of the arts for peacebuilding in "religious conflicts" or by "religious agents." Case studies from Chicago, Ireland, and Korea highlight artists and religious agents working with music, murals, dance, and "minjung" art, and explore how these offer conceptual and practical resources for peacebuilding. Illustrated presentations, filmed dance, and live musical performance will enrich the discussions.

How the Bible Went Underground: Art and Spirituality in the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago

Sunday, 2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue

This illustrated lecture by Frank Burch Brown, Christian Theological Seminary, will be presented in the Film Screening Room of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located directly across from the art museum (112 South Michigan Avenue, MacLean 1307). The lecture will be followed by self-conducted tours of the museum (entrance fee to be paid individually) with printed guides. Cosponsored by the Arts, Literature, and Religion Section of the AAR and the history, theory, and criticism department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible

Sunday, 8:00 PM–10:00 PM
Hilton Chicago – Williford C

Sponsored by the Arts, Literature, and Religion Section; Body and Religion Group; Queer Studies in Religion Group; Religion, Media, and Culture Group; Religion and Popular Culture Group; SBL Bible and Cultural Studies Group; SBL Bible and Popular Culture Group; SBL Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible Group; SBL LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics Group; and SBL Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible Group.

This hybrid performance and panel session will provide scholars from a range of specializations and interests the opportunity to take in a recent piece by theatrical performance artist/activist Peterson Toscano and then to engage in a unique, cross-disciplinary, and cross-association scholarly conversation about the work’s aspects and impacts. What is compelling and special about such a session is not only the combination of performance and panel it provides (exposing scholars to both the content and the distinctive mode of delivery of the piece), but also its immediate shift into a discussion and analysis of what this work performs, produces, and provokes as it relates to biblical and religious studies in a variety of ways. Thus, the aims for this special session are two-fold: 1) To provide a forum for scholars to view and respond critically, creatively, and constructively to the performance piece; and 2) To spark academic reflection upon and assessment of the work, and work like it, as well as modes of dissemination for and engagement with scholarly and popular knowledge about biblical concepts and related religious practices.


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