The workshop is the first part of series which examines the notion of texture with regard to its topicality for the research on the dynamics in the history of religions.
Signs, scriptures and texts provide both the material for Religious Studies as well as guiding metaphors which are used to describe general religious contexts. Therefore, the theme ‚signs, scriptures and texts‘ is not restricted to the so-called Religions of the Book. For analytical reasons we differentiate between three major elements that are in fact always closely connected in reality. Signs, scriptures and texts differ with regard to the degree of complexity respectively communicativity, scripture providing a texture of signs, texts providing a texture of scripts. The texture used as a guiding metaphor as well indicates the contact dimension within religions traditions.
A sign may be described analytically as the basic element (‚the letter‘) of a texture comprising linguistic and non-linguistic signs. It does not only include the symbol or the indication of something but also the praxis of indicating and assigning. Therefore, a sign cannot be understood as a representation or a mere carrier of information only, but has to be interpretated with regard to possible action: as a texture of information and praxis. In the workshop we take our pragmatic point of departure from a significant sign, i.e. the character (Schriftzeichen).
The main emphasis of the workshop lies on the common work on the concrete material which aims at the elaboration of a theoretical framework that might be used in the forecoming workshops on scripture and texts. There will be two inputs by Beate Hofmann (Bochum) on Egyptian hieroglyphs and Knut Martin Stünkel (Bochum) on the phenomenology of signs.