The Living Body

The Living Body

Presentation seminar at Copenhagen Business School

On 27. of May 2016 there was the launch of the Scandinavian interdisciplinary research project that resulted in the book The Living Body. This is a groundbreaking collaboration which shows the thought of  a divide in knowledge between the "two cultures" of C. P. Snow  - humanities and science - is outdated and that it stands in the way for today’s challenges. The book is a result of the Danish-Norwegian research cooperation, "Network for aesthetics, theology and science ", established in 2010, spanning such diverse disciplines as biology, aesthetics, philosophy, science and theology. Scholars and scientist form these subject areas went along with the intention to show possible connections between the body as seen from the humanities, natural science, an aesthetic and theology.

The book is written for readers across academic environments and interests. Each chapter represents current and relevant research in each specific field of study, be it biology, science, philosophy,literature, music, science, theater science or theology. The idea that it is possible and necessary to build a scientific approach across an outdated dualism comes not at least from cybernetics  and systems through a thinker like Gregory Bateson and his idea of ​​"The pattern that connects" and the American philosopher Charles Peirce's philosophical and interdisciplinary semiotics and its modern development to biosemiotics. The book can be seen in Briers office Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark, room no. 2Ø.042, as the department of International Business Communication (IBC on CBS) has supported one of the meetings.                

Professor emerita of literature Drude von There Fehr from Oslo University, who has organized many of the meetings over the years and edited the book, presented the project and chaired the conference. Book contributors professor emeritus KU Jesper Hoffmeyer and Professor MSO CBS Søren Brier told about their bio- and cybersemiotiske approach to the understanding of the experiencing body. Computers and robots cannot experience anything. The mystery is how the living body can? Kvalia and meaning are not in the brain or in culture in itself; but seems to arise through interaction between the biological nature and the cultural-linguistic aspects of reality. PhD Kim Skjoldager-Nielsen, Theater science, Department of culture and aesthetics, Stockholm University talked was named Back to the future: meaning creating bodies in nature and culture and Associate Professor Laura Luise Schultz: Theatre and Performance Studies, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, KU talked about knowledge as action-performative perspectives on the relationship between body and experience. Finally Professor Niels Henrik Gregersen, Div. of Systematic Theology, University of Copenhagen talked about Body, existence and sense of the sacred. He is internationally known for his work on theology and science, and had many words of praise for the very broad interdisciplinary profile of the project and that von der Fehr editorially had managed to make the book an integrated whole. Several of the Norwegian contributors to the book were present and there a lively discussion of the book's themes, not least due to good provocative questions by associate professor Steen Larsen Nepper (Aarhus University.). Nepper Larsen has been allowed to write a review of the book, meeting and project to the intellectual newspaper Information that will appear over summer.                                                                                                                                                                    

The project will continue in a new form with the title Meaning Making bodies rooted in Stockholm University’s theater Study Institute and Postdoctoral Kim Skjoldager’s work and has already received money for the first Nordic meetings, where we have seen Hotel Proforma’s play KOSMOS + in Uppsala, that is trying to mediate between the culturally influenced life-world and modern science view of the universe. .  The following day was used to present proposals for theoretical contexts for the further collaboration.