Publication Reviews/May 11, 2015

The Holy Fools Symposium

The Holy Fools Symposium, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, September 11–12, 2015

Holy foolery is one of the most remarkable phenomena in the context of human religiosity. Our symposium will look at this phenomenon for the first time from an intercultural perspective, and thus contribute to its deeper understanding. The holy fool intentionally ignores social conventions and behaves provocatively in public, thus leading his fellow men to the true knowledge of God. An essential component of this behaviour is also a conscious self-abasement by living in poverty, on the streets, and often by nudity. The symposium aims at a comparative investigation of holy foolery in Europe, the Middle East and in non-European cultures, and its continued presence in the modern world.