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Maxim Kantor – The Future of Humanity
13 February 2020

Maxim Kantor – The Future of Humanity

Call for Papers for the International Conference on Maxim Kantor, October 1-3, 2020, LSRS

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, either in English or in French, as well as a bio-bibliographic notice (100-150 words), should be sent to kantor2020 by June 20, 2020.

The authors will receive a notification of acceptance before July 15.

Call for Papers

Maxim Kantor is an internationally acclaimed painter and author whose paintings can be found in museums in Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the USA, but also in the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Genscher Room in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, the Church of Saint-Merri in Paris, and in the Cathedral of Brussels, to name only a few. Since 1995, he has developed a special relationship with Luxembourg. Several exhibitions were held (e.g., Kantor 2016), and the National Museum of History and Art owns some of his works. Among his writings, only his “livres d’artiste” and his latest novel, Red Light (Kantor 2015; 2018b), are available in other languages than Russian. His “livres d’artiste” drawings give imaginary life to Kleist’s Herrmannschlacht, the Ballades of Robin Hood, Goethe’s Faust, and to a novel he wrote himself, Hazard (Kantor 2019). His political, philosophical, and aesthetic writings have still to be made available to readers who are not fluent in Russian.

During the academic year 2019-2020 Kantor has accepted to be the artist in residence at the LSRS. During this time, not only has he given several lectures, but he has also worked on a major project, a triptych for the chapel of the Centre Jean XXIII. Built in 1970 in the middle of a green, calm space, yet close to the European institutions, this small building inspired Kantor as it brings together an openness to nature, a strong spirituality, a place of intellectual work, and a connection to Europe. On the first day of the conference, this work shall be unveiled to the public.

The International Conference that goes together with this major event wants to explore Kantor’s artistic work, his painting and writings, as a contribution he makes for the future of humanity. Kantor has been known as a Russian dissident and a fierce critic of the political development in the former Soviet Union, and his view of the current social, political, and spiritual situation of Europe is not less sharp. Many of his works reveal a continent that runs into its doom; neither politicians nor intellectuals are able to save humankind from its self-destruction. At the same time, Kantor explores more recently the rich spiritual and artistic heritage of the Renaissance and Christianity, recreating them in order to stimulate a new life, to lead to a transformation or conversion of mind and soul to a new humanism. Kantor believes in a certain redemptive power of art.

In 2019, Luxembourg’s Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art bought his Last Judgement. Together with the museum and the University of Luxembourg, the LSRS organized the first international conference focusing on this specific work, that was on exhibit together with Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgement triptych at the Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna (Kantor 2018a). The aim of the 2020 Conference is to embrace the whole work of Kantor, asking how it contributes to the future of humanity. What is Kantor’s vision of humanity? What are the means he puts in place to develop it, to save his vision, and humanity? How do these means work at the reception? These are major questions that the conference will try to answer from various approaches in order to discover, understand, and appreciate his art with its aesthetic, political, philosophical, and theological aspects.

  • First, one can analyze the development of Kantor’s work, from his period as a dissident artist up to his recent period, both as a writer and a painter. How did he develop his personal style? Is there a personal myth? How does the topic of the conference appear and develop over time?
  • Second, there is the analysis of specific works in their cultural, artistic, or political context. How far can they make a contribution to understand Kantor’s vision of the future of humanity (and of civilization) better?
  • Third, a comparative approach analyzes the creative reception Kantor makes of painters, writers and philosophers, as well as of the Bible.
  • Fourth, how does Kantor address the future of humanity in his philosophical work? How does it combine with his artwork?

The scientific committee considers a strong analysis or a close reading of Kantor’s works as a major criterium in selecting the papers. As many writings are only available in Russian, the scientific committee strongly encourages scholars who are fluent in Russian to submit proposals that integrate these texts and make them available to a larger public.

30-minute presentations, followed by a discussion.


  • Prof. Jean Ehret, Ph.D., coordinator, Luxembourg School of Religion & Society
  • Prof. Gianluca Cuozzo, Ph.D., Department of Excellence in Philosophy and Education Sciences, University of Turin
  • Prof. Georg Mein, Ph.D., Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, University of Luxembourg

Scientific Committee

  • Prof. Alberto F. Ambrosio, Ph.D., Luxembourg School of Religion & Society
  • Prof. Gianluca Cuozzo, Ph.D., University of Turin
  • Prof. Jean Ehret, Ph.D., Luxembourg School of Religion & Society
  • Prof. Vittorio Hösle, Ph.D., Notre Dame University
  • Prof. Christian Illies, Ph.D., University of Bamberg
  • Prof. Georg Mein, Ph.D., University of Luxembourg
  • Diana Mistreanu, Ph.D., Luxembourg School of Religion & Society

With the support of Luxembourg’s National Museum of History and Art.


International Conference from October 1-3, 2020
Luxembourg School of Religion & Society
Centre Jean XXIII

52, rue Jules Wilhelm
L-2728 Luxembourg


Kantor, Maxim. 2015. Feu rouge: roman cathédrale. Translated by Yves Gauthier. Paris: Louison Éditions.
–. 2016. Maxim Kantor: das neue Bestiarium: Gemälde, Graphik, Skulpturen und Puppen = Maxim Kantor, le nouveau bestiaire ; peintures, gravures, sculptures et marionnettes. Edited by Cristina Barbano and Guy de Muyser. Köln: Wienand.
–. 2018a. “Das Jüngste Gericht.” In Bosch & Kantor. Maxim Kantor: Das Jüngste Gericht, edited by Julia M. Nauhaus, 45–57. Wien: Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien.
–. 2018b. Rotes Licht: Roman. Translated by Juri Elperin, Sebastian Gutnik, Olʹga Pavlovna Korneeva, and Claudia Korneev. Wien: Paul Zsolnay.
–. 2019. Hazard. Mit Illustrationen vom Autor. Livre d’artiste. N° 12/25. Translated by Sergej Gladkich. 25 ex.

Maxim Kantor – The Future of Humanity / Call for Papers – update
PDF 310 kb, 28 February 2020
LSRS – Centre Jean XXIII
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