May 012017
 May 1, 2017

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics will host on Nov. 1 at 1:30p.m. a seminar with Daniel Jenkins, Presidential Visiting Fellow at Yale University. Dr. Jenkins’ talk, “Anti-Protestantism and Its Contemporary Legacy,” argues that many of today’s critiques of secularism, human rights, religious freedom, etc. assume an understanding of Protestantism that is difficult to square with its actual history.

A full abstract and the speaker’s bio is provided below.

For more information on the event, contact Deirdre White at

1:30-3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 1
Friedl 225
(East Campus)

Abstract: This paper provides an alternative way to examine the legacy of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It does so by showing how contemporary leading intellectual historians, anthropologists and political theorists trace all that is wrong with current age back to the Protestant Reformation and its unintended consequences. In putting forward this argument it makes three observations: 1) The attack against the Protestant Reformation today is inseparable from a critique of liberalism that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union; 2) Recent critiques of Protestantism are, in fact, reviving a long tradition of Catholic anti-Protestantism with deep roots in the nineteenth Century; 3) There is a strange political convergence between Left and Right over their mutual disdain of Protestantism, and specifically its connection to human rights, religious freedom and international law.

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins is a historian of Modern Western European Political and Intellectual History with a specific focus on 20th century France and Germany. He primarily concentrates on such topics as conservatism, nationalism, secularism, and religion and politics.  He is currently working on a manuscript for Columbia University Press titled, Raymond Aron and Postwar American Political Ideologies. He is the former managing editor of the Immanent Frame, which is the Social Science Research Council’s website devoted to questions of religion, secularism and the public sphere. His public commentary has appeared in The Nation, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Times Literary Supplement, Dissent Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2016-2017 he was the post-doctoral fellow in Public Theology for UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Religion. At Yale he will be offering religion and politics courses in the Department of Religious Studies.