Nov 292017
 November 29, 2017

Daniela R. P. Weiner, a Religions and Public Life Graduate Fellow and PhD student in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently published an article titled ‘Tendentious texts: Holocaust representations andnation-rebuilding in East German, Italian, and West German schoolbooks, 1949-1989′ in the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.



Nov 022017
 November 2, 2017

Duke University professor Mark Chaves (Sociology, Religious Studies & Divinity) has been spearheading the National Congregations Study since 1998, which gathers data on on the religious practices and preferences of Americans. Thus far, approximately 1200 religious leaders have been interviewed for the project.

To learn more about Professor Chaves’s study, please visit this DukeToday piece on the National Congregations Study.

Oct 112017
 October 11, 2017
The Religions and Public Life interdisciplinary graduate student working group brings together ten students representing seven departments, four graduate and professional schools, and two universities (Duke and UNC). Focused on the theme of Minorities and Diasporas, participants meet monthly to workshop individual research projects, discuss new scholarship, and craft short commentary pieces connecting their expertise to current affairs. During the year, members will also conduct field research and present their work at conferences with research support provided by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Center for Jewish Studies.
Participants’ research topics include:

  • How religiosity affects whether members of ethnoreligious diasporas will support foreign policy interventions on behalf of their ancestral home states
  • Exploring how social workers understand and navigate the relationship of their religious belief and practice with their professional activities of providing care
  • Examining the contemporary black church as a diasporic institution through the specific case of the AME church in Latin America.
Lead Fellow Lea Greenberg notes, “It is natural to spend a great deal of time sealed in our ‘disciplinary bubbles,’ but sharing work across disciplinary boundaries provides a shift in perspective that can impel us to think critically about our work in novel ways.”
Learn more here.
Oct 062017
 October 6, 2017

Imam Abdullah Antepli, the Duke Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs, provided the opening congressional prayer on Wednesday, October 4. Imam Antepli was invited by Congressman David E. Price (D-NC). According to Duke Today, Imam Antepli’s prayer focused on  interfaith dialogue and religious differences. This marked the second time that Imam Antepli has provided the congressional invocation.

C-Span broadcasted the prayer, and an online video feed is available on the Duke Today website.

Sep 272017
 September 27, 2017

Two Kenan Institute for Ethics faculty will be sharing their expertise with new audiences in October.

Faculty member Walter Sinnott Armstrong in the middle of Terry Road in Orange County wearing a straight jacket. Armstrong was photographed for the Good Scholar/Ethical Duke series for the Kenan Center for Ethics on Monday evening September 13, 2010.

On Oct. 5, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, the Chauncey Stillman Professor in Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, will lead a public discussion at Penn State University about the morality of artificial intelligence. During the conversation, Sinnott-Armstrong will explore building morality into computers and the ability of machines to make morally better decisions than humans. His talk is a part of the Moral Psychology Research Group Conference.


Luke Bretherton photographed in various locations around London, England for Kenan Ethics "Good Question" series.Just a few days later, Luke Bretherton, Senior Fellow at Kenan and an Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School, will present as part of the McGee Endowed Lecture at Baylor University. Held in conjunction with 7th and James Baptist Church’s Leuschner Lecture Series and the Honors Residential College’s Formation Series Lecture, Bretherton will offer one of campus three lectures, with his focusing on the theme of “People, Populism, and the Church in the Era of Trump.”

Aug 182017
 August 18, 2017

Along with many of his peers, Senior Fellow Luke Bretherton is a signatory on a statement to “unequivocally denounce racist speech and actions against people of any race, religion, or national origin.”

Posted to the website Daily Theology, the document entitled A Statement from Christian Ethicists Without Borders on White Supremacy and Racism has been signed by over 490 Christian theologians and ethicists.

Aug 062017
 August 6, 2017  Tagged with:

The conference will begin with a public forum on the notion of “sanctuary” itself, featuring both scholars and activists who will trace sanctuary from its medieval origins, its 19th century mobilization by the abolitionists, and its reemergence in the last 30 years. This will be followed by a daylong workshop on religious humanitarianism, urban activism, and environmentalism, which will think about the ways that sanctuary might help us to make sense of how different faith communities are mobilizing in ways that are not simply “policitcal.”

For more information, please click here.


Thursday, 8 February

“The Logic of Sanctuary: A Public Forum”

5-7 PM, Goodson Chapel, Duke University

Introduced and moderated by Elizabeth Bruenig (Washington Post)

Confirmed panelists: Thavolia Glymph (Duke, History); Diya Abdo (director of Guilford College’s Every Campus a Refuge project); Julie Peeples (Senior Pastor, Congregational UCC, Greensboro NC)

Friday, 9 February

Three panels, all held in the FHI Garage, Smith Warehouse, Duke University

9 AM: coffee and light breakfast

Panel 1, 9:30-11:30: Humanitarianism: Religion and the Body

Confirmed panelists: C. Julia Huang (Anthropology, Santa Cruz); Carla Hung (Anthropology, Duke); Emmanuel Schaueblin (Anthropology, Zurich)

Chaired by Luke Bretherton (Divinity, Duke).

11:30-12:30: lunch

Panel 2, 12:30-2:30: Civic Activism: Religion in Urban Spaces

Confirmed panelists: Beth Baron (History, Graduate Center/ CUNY); Lila Berman (History, Temple); J. Brooks Jessup (Anthro, Berkeley).

Chaired by Adam Mestyan (History, Duke).

2:30-3:00: Coffee break

Panel 3, 3:00-5:00: Environmentalism: Religion and the Land

Confirmed panelists: Catherine Flowers (FHI Practitioner in Residence); Ryan Juskus (Religious Studies, Duke); Aaron Wolf (Geography, Oregon State).

Chaired by Prasenjit Duara (History, Duke).

Closing remarks and discussion, 5:00-5:30

For more information, contact James Chappel at

Sponsored by History, African and African American Studies (AAAS), Asian Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), Center for Jewish Studies, Divinity School, Duke Chapel, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI), Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Nicholas School-Miscellaneous Events, and Religious Studies.