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.

Jun 222017
 
 June 22, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, in collaboration with the Duke University Center for Jewish Studies, invites applications for graduate scholars for the academic year 2017-2018. The call is open to graduate and professional students, as well as postdocs, at Duke University wishing to take part in interdisciplinary student-led seminars, focusing on Religions and Public Life, with a special thematic focus on Minorities and Diasporas.

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that make up the public sphere. A joint endeavor with Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and Duke Divinity School, it is an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement.

The graduate scholars will have the opportunity to develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship. Members take active part in the events of Religions and Public Life and commit to attending monthly meetings throughout the academic year. Graduate scholars also commit to writing a think-piece or blog post relating their research to contemporary issues, to be published on the Religions and Public Life website at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Graduate scholars will receive funding of up to $1,500 in reimbursements for research expenses.

To apply, please submit the materials listed below to Dr. Amber Pearson (amber.diaz@duke.edu) by July 14, 2017, with subject line: “Religions & Public Life graduate scholars.” Awards will be announced in mid-July. An application should include:

  • A curriculum vita.
  • A one-page abstract for a research project, describing how it connects to Religions and Public Life and the Minorities and Diasporas theme. Please include the topic, objectives of your project, and relevance to the discipline or field of study as well as your academic trajectory. Additionally, please include how your project may contribute to the scholarly community.
  • A research budget. Scholars may be asked to share their research and findings by participating in colloquia or panel discussions during the year of their fellowship or the following year.
Jun 202017
 
 June 20, 2017

The Kenan Institute for Ethics has opened a new library space as a resource for the Duke community.

Found in 102 West Duke Building, the library features more than 900 works of fiction and non-fiction, including published selections from all faculty affiliated with Kenan, selections from staff Ethics Books Clubs from across campus, as well as other scholars and writers. The library is named in honor of Robert and Sara Pickus, the parents of Noah Pickus, who served as Kenan’s director from 2007 to 2017.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to come by the Institute and visit the library. Beginning in the fall semester, books can be checked out by Duke community members. A searchable list of books can be found on the library’s webpage.

Along with books written by faculty, the library also includes a collection of books published as the capstone project for Kenan’s Ethics Certificate Program. The most recent release, “Gross! Ethical Issues Surrounding Disgust,” included chapters written by nine students and co-edited by Professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and recent graduate Sophie Katz. Previous Ethics Certificate publications explored drugs and addiction, crime and punishment, war and terrorism, and moral and political disagreement.

Have an ethics-focused non-fiction or fiction book you’d like to recommend for the library? Email kie@duke.edu.

 

 

Jun 052017
 
 June 5, 2017

As part of a series of commentaries on the book, “Friends and Other Strangers: Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture,” Senior Fellow Luke Bretherton was selected to write a response to a chapter on issues related to religion and public policy.

Posted to the University of Chicago’s Religion & Culture forum, Bretherton provides analysis of a portion of the latest book by Richard B. Miller, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Bretherton’s primary teaching interests include theological ethics, Christian political thought, and practices of social, political and economic witness.

In his post, Bretherton discusses themes of civic empathy, including the idea of whether people should consider religious literacy as part of civic engagement.

“Liberalism is just as much a comprehensive doctrine as Communism or Christianity, yet, in Miller’s account, it is assumed to be neutral and the kind of anthropology it presupposes (namely, the self-reflexive, autonomous subject) and values it requires conformity to (namely, equality, autonomy, and reciprocity) are never subject to critique and so never problematized or interrogated,” he writes.

Read Bretherton’s full response: A Political Ethic of Alterity: Liberalism or Agonistic Democratic Politics?

 

May 292017
 
 May 29, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Undergraduate and graduate students invited to apply. Rolling application deadline during Spring 2017.

The Religions and Pubic Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, in collaboration with the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, is pleased to announce a summer short course, July 12-17, on religious exchange and historical collaboration among the three Abrahamic Religions at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. A competitive fellowship to attend is available, funded by the Center for Jewish Studies.

Download the syllabus and find application instructions here.

For any questions, contact Amber Díaz Pearson.

Apr 182017
 
 April 18, 2017  Tagged with:

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and African and African American Studies, Joseph Winters, was recently interviewed for Princeton Alumni Weekly. Winters

In it, Winters discusses his recent book, Hope Draped in Black:

The American way of thinking can be quite optimistic. We tend to embrace the idea that the future will always be better, and hope is seen as the opposite of the melancholic and the tragic. But it seems to me that the melancholic can actually make us aware of the suffering that has been — and continues to be — part of our world. It ensures that we don’t forget. So our hope for a better world really becomes dependent on the idea that we can continue to acknowledge suffering and violence and tragedy, in our past and in our present.

Read the interview here.

Apr 172017
 
 April 17, 2017  Tagged with:

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, recently co-wrote an article for ABC Religion and Ethics, “A Sanctuary Politics: Being the Church in the Time of Trump

In these fear inducing times, Christians can find sanctuary in the body of Christ as the politics through which God gives God’s people everything they need to be faithful. Christians can lean into the church as the impetus for political action, and the church as itself political action, by way of an account of history that inscribes the church as sanctuary for the oppressed wherever and however they are oppressed.

Read the article here.