Aboagora is a symposium that promotes dialogue between the arts, humanities and sciences, establishes new kinds of discussion forums for artists and academics and makes this collaboration available for the benefit of a larger audience. Aboagora, which refers to both Turku (in Latin Aboa), and agora, is an open forum for thinking and aims at challenging and breaking boundaries between arts and the scholarly world.
Aboagora is a joint effort by the Turku Music Festival, the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku and the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, Åbo Akademi University. In August 2012, at the time of the Turku Music Festival, Aboagora brings current scholarly debates to Turku and creates encounters between arts and sciences. The programme of the music festival offers a unique framework for this dialogue. Aboagora invites artists to the venue, and both scholars and the audience can experience the power of music in the concerts.
Aboagora is conducted every August, at the time of the Turku Music Festival, and its theme varies each year. Aboagora consists of public keynote lectures and dialogues, smaller roundtable workshops as well as artistic programmes. Agora lectures are documented. After its inaugural year 2011, Aboagora will continue under new thematic strands as a permanent forum for reassessing and challenging the relations between arts and sciences.
The Power of the Sacred and the Secular
The theme for 2012 focuses on a process that is fundamental to Western culture, that of separation between sacral and secular culture. This opens a fruitful perspective on the dialogue between the arts and the academia, since the concept of the secular is vigorously debated in both fields. In 2012 Aboagora seeks to turn critical attention to such questions as the role of religion in contemporary society, teaching of morality and ethics in a secular education system, the return of mysticism and spirituality to public discussion and the so-called post-secular.
Aboagora 2012 is supported by the Turku 2011 Foundation, the Kone Foundation, Svenska Kulturfonden, Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi, The Donner Institut and University of Turku. This project is a continuation of the 2011 European Capital of Culture year in Turku.