Nov 172014
 November 17, 2014

cropped-394989_10102516289856830_1790556150_n1-2What can the past tell us about the present? This question, once the bedrock of historical enquiry, faded from the academic imagination after the post-structural turn. As utilitarian and deterministic understandings of the past came under attack for ossifying ‘traditions’, a new periodization took shape–now familiar to anthropologists and historians alike–of a post-colonial present separated from its ‘authentic’ past by the unbridgeable gulf of European imperialism and colonial modernity. The workshop aims to probe the limits of this approach by bringing together anthropologists and historians interested in exploring the manifold relationships various pasts have with the present day world. The workshop will focus on Muslim societies as the primary context to conceptualize the interplay between historical inquiry and analysis of emergent social forms.

Friedl 225, East Campus, Duke University

For call for papers, speakers, and schedule, visit the workshop website. The workshop is sponsored by Duke Cultural Anthropology, Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Franklin Humanities InstituteDuke Islamic Studies, Duke Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, and Duke History Department.

Oct 202014
 October 20, 2014  Tagged with:

Turkish-AccomTurkey has gone in the last century through radical transformations in its minority policies.  From the Ottoman Empire’s system, permitting non-Muslims a measure of cultural autonomy, to intensive nationalization and denial of minority rights under the militantly secular Republic to, presently, a moderate Muslim government that relaxes nationalist strictures and recovers a measure of imperial tolerance.  What are the implications of the Turkish experiment for contemporary European thinking of reasonable minority accommodations?

This symposium is sponsored by Duke Council for European StudiesDuke Islamic Studies Center, and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. For more information on the speakers and their presentations, visit the Council for European Studies event post.

Turkish Reasonable Accommodations: From Multiculturalism to Secular Nationalism and Back
240 John Hope Franklin Center

9:15-9:30am | Welcome & Introduction by Malachi Hacohen, Duke University
9:30-10:15am | Cemil Aydin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Impossibility of the Millet System in the Age of Active Publics: Ottoman Tanzimat, Imperial Citizenship, and Cosmopolitan Pluralism, 1839-1915
10:15-11:00am | Michael Reynolds, Princeton University | Global norms, geopolitics, and the evolution of minority policies in Turkey
11:00-11:15am | Coffee break
11:15am-12:00pm | Nora Fisher Onar, University of Oxford and German Marshall Fund | The Cosmo-Politics of Nostalgia: Istanbul, Identity, and Difference
12:00-1:15pm | Lunch

Oct 182014
 October 18, 2014

AbrahamicWhat do ancient religious traditions have to say about contemporary questions in bioethics? Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University, Aasim Padela of the University of Chicago, and Duke’s own Stanley Hauerwas will speak about the relationship between their work in bioethics and their religious traditions. These three esteemed scholars represent some of the most interesting and thoughtful scholarship produced at the intersections of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and bioethics.

Co-sponsored by Duke Chapel, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Islamic Studies Center, the Department of Religious Studies and Duke Divinity School’s Initiative in Theology, Medicine, and Culture.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
0016 Westbrook

Oct 062014
 October 6, 2014

BrethertonReligions and Public Life Co-Convenor Luke Bretherton (Divinity) will be leading the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies’ 7th annual AEHS Study Day. The event is open to both clergy and laity. Visit the AEHS website for cost and additional information.

Topics to be covered include:

  • A scriptural and theological framework for negotiating life in our “secular” age
  • Rethinking the “preferential option for the poor” and gaining greater understanding of the inter-relationship between poverty and privilege
  • Reflecting on faithful, hopeful, and loving practices of social, political, and economic engagement in the contemporary context

Monday, February 16
Duke Divinity School

Oct 012014
 October 1, 2014

Conv.HRIn December 2014, the U.S. practice of force-feeding came into public spotlight. The Senate declassified its report on the U.S. interrogation and torture programs, revealing graphic images of force-feedings of detainees held at CIA black sites after 9/11.  Also, the Obama Administration appealed a federal court decision that requires the Administration to release videos of its force-feeding practices at Guantanamo, where detainees have been on hunger strikes.  The issue had already been gaining attention: a month earlier the American Nursing Association petitioned the Department of Defense for leniency in its investigation of a Navy medical officer who has refused to participate in forced feeding practices.

Join us on February 5th for a timely panel discussion on the ethics and politics of hunger strikes and force-feeding at U.S. detention centers and abroad.  Panelists will include Professor Julie Norman (Political Science, McGill University), Dr. Sondra Crosby (Boston University School of Medicine), Professor Omid Safi (Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke), with Professor Kearsley Stewart (the Duke Global Health Institute) as moderator.

This discussion is part of an ongoing workshop series, Conversations in Human Rights, begun last year at the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. This series brings together panelists from other institutions and Duke faculty to engage with their research on hot-button international human rights issues.

A discussion-focused series drawing together the social sciences, humanities, law, policy and global health, these workshops are open to faculty, graduate students and postdocs. A reception will follow each workshop.

RSVP to Wendi Jiang by Monday, February 2.

The Ethics and Politics of Hunger Strikes and Force Feeding at Guantanamo and Abroad
Thursday, February 5th, 4:00-6:00pm
West Duke, 101
Reception to Follow

Aug 252014
 August 25, 2014  Tagged with:

headerThursday, November 20, 8:45 am – 1:30 pm, 240 John Hope Franklin Center. Full schedule and additional information may be found at the Reasonable Accomodations website.

Reasonable Accommodations and Minority Religious Freedom in the United States & Canada

This colloquium will begin with an historical perspective on religious tolerance during the colonial period of the two nations and trace the evolution and institutionalization of religious freedoms in the 18th and 19th centuries. After establishing the constitutional status of religion in Canada and the United States, panelists will consider the legal challenges by minority religious groups. The morning session will conclude by exploring the “Bouchard-Taylor Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences in Québec.” The final session will focus on the role of religious freedom and minority religious rights in Canadian and U.S. foreign policy.

This event is open to the public. Lunch will be served and parking passes distributed for those that register.

Registration is required.

This colloquium is part of a series, Reasonable Accommodations: Minorities in Globalized Nation States, exploring religious diversity and minority religious freedoms in different regions of the world. It is directed by the Duke Council for European Studies in collaboration with the Council for North American Studies, the Duke Islamic Studies Center, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Center for Jewish Studies at Duke University, and funded by the Mellon Foundation and the Provost’s Office at Duke University, with additional support from the Canadian Studies Endowment and the Duke Women’s Center.

Aug 182014
 August 18, 2014

Charles_TaylorOn Tuesday, November 18, a public event for the Duke and Durham communities will focus on “The Sacredness of the Secular and the Secularity of the Sacred: Re-imagining the Role of Religions in Public Life – an interview with Charles Taylor.” The event will feature KIE Senior Fellow Luke Bretherton in conversation with Charles Taylor, eminent scholar and public intellectual. This event is sponsored by the Religions and Public Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, as part of Charles Taylor’s week-long visit to Duke co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Gerst Program, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Council for North American Studies.

Charles Taylor is a leading contemporary philosopher and public intellectual whose work analyzes the historical formation and conceptual underpinnings of the modern world. Particular foci of his more recent work include the origins of contemporary notions of “the self,” identity politics and responses to moral and cultural diversity, and the nature of the secular and the role of religious belief and practice in public life. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Previously he was the Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College. Having been supervised by Isaiah Berlin and G. E. M. Anscombe, he received his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1961. His early work focused on Hegel’s philosophy and the philosophy of science and social science. His awards include the Kyoto prize (2008) and the Templeton prize (2007) and being made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1986. His work in the public sphere include serving in 2007 with Gérard Bouchard on the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on Reasonable Accommodation with regard to cultural differences in the province of Quebec. He is a practicing Roman Catholic.

Tuesday November 18 
Goodson Chapel, Westbrook Building, Duke Divinity School
Free and Open to the Public

Jul 202014
 July 20, 2014
Jewish Tradition ThumbnailSusannah Heschel (Dartmouth College) discusses her father’s (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel) legacy as a human rights activist and his archives, which have recently opened here at Duke in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, and the history of anti-Semitism. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award and Germany’s Geiger Prize, and The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press). She is the author of over seventy articles and has edited several books, including Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays of Abraham Joshua Heschel; Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (with Robert P. Ericksen); Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism(with David Biale and Michael Galchinsky).
This series is hosted by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies and co-sponsored by Religions and Public Life at KIE, Jewish Life at Duke, and the DHRC at the Franklin Humanities Institute.
Monday, October 20, 5:30pm
Westbrook 0016 – Duke Divinity School
Jul 162014
 July 16, 2014

BanzhafGeorgia State University Professor of Economics H. Spencer Banzhaf is the featured speaker for the Department of Economics’ upcoming Allen Starling Johnson, Jr. Distinguished Lecturer Series. His talk, “Environmental Economics and Christian Ethics,” will discuss the intersections between the ethics of environmental conservation, Christian thought, and economics. Banzhaf graduated from Duke University with his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in economics. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Economics, the Center for the History of Political Economy, the Nicholas School of the Environment, and the Center for Christianity and Scholarship.

Field Auditorium in Environment Hall
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public

For more information, see the Department of Economics announcement.

Jul 162014
 July 16, 2014

RPL-mandala4-400The Sacred Object: A Colloquium of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Shannon Gayk and Robyn Malo, editors of this special issue of the journal, will lead a discussion of the volume, which explores the many continuities between medieval and early modern ideas about the sacred object. The issue will be so hot off the press that it will mail out the week after this event, but Duke Press has made the issue available in advance to read for free for three months at

Friday, October 3, 4:00pm
Flowers 201, West Campus