basis voor
actuele kunst
The Return of Religion and Other Myths: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art

BAK Critical Reader Series

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst is pleased to announce the release of The Return of Religion and Other Myths: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, the latest publication in BAK’s Critical Reader Series, and the final part of a three-fold project organized by BAK under same title in 2008–2009. The reader is co-published by BAK and post editions, Rotterdam.

The Return of Religion reader engages with the popular assumption of the return of religion to the field of artistic practice and its discourses, the public sphere, contemporary politics, and media in the West as a constitutive “myth” of our current condition. Through a wide-ranging selection of texts, a remarkable group of artists, art historians and theorists, scholars of religion, and sociologists unpack the historical underpinnings of religion’s so-called “return,” art’s long-standing relationship with iconoclasm and connection to religious representation, the manipulation of certain religious imagery in the mass media, and contemporary art’s potential to complicate and problematize commonly held beliefs about the role and potential of the image in today’s world. The reader contains newly commissioned texts, a number of new translations, and adapted contributions from On Post-Secularism, a series of lectures and conversations that took place within the framework of The Return of Religion project in late 2008 and early 2009.
The Return of Religion and Other Myths critical reader is edited by Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK), Sven Lütticken (writer and curator, Utrecht), and Jill Winder (curator of publications, BAK). With contributions by: Jan Assmann (Egyptologist and cultural theorist, Heidelberg/ Konstanz), Christina von Braun (cultural theorist, Berlin), Paul Chan (artist, New York), Boris Groys (philosopher, New York/Cologne), Arnoud Holleman (artist, Amsterdam), Marc De Kesel (philosopher, Ghent/ Nijmegen), Kenan Malik (writer and researcher, London), Maria Pask (artist, Amsterdam), Dieter Roelstraete (writer and curator, Berlin/Antwerp), and Jorinde Seijdel (art historian and critic, Amsterdam).

The Return of Religion and Other Myths: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art
Edited by Maria Hlavajova, Sven Lütticken, and Jill Winder
Language: English
Pages: 214.
Published by: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and post editions, Rotterdam
Design: Kummer & Herrman, Utrecht
Price: € 23
ISBN: 978-94-6083-007-5

To order please send an e-mail to, or visit the website of post editions: For more information on the projectm, please click here.

Financial support for this publication was provided by the structural subsidies of BAK: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; City Council of Utrecht; and Province of Utrecht. For additional support we thank: VSBFoundation, Utrecht and Stichting Dioraphte, Den Bosch.
sign up for newsletter