Oct 072017
 October 7, 2017  Tagged with:

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics will host on March 5, 2018 a talk with Udi Greenberg, Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College. During his presentation, Dr. Greenberg will discuss critiques of religious freedom.

Udi Greenberg isa historian of Modern European thought, especially Europe’s engagement with the wider world.  His studies and teachings have concentrated on modern European history, political institution building, and religious thought.

Udi Greenberg’s first book, The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2014), uncovers the intellectual, political, and institutional forces that shaped Germany’s reconstruction after World War II and the broader ideological genesis of the Cold War. By tracing the careers of influential German émigrés of diverse theoretical and political backgrounds, it claims that political ideas from Weimar Germany (1918-1933) were fundamental in molding the postwar order in Europe and the construction of American global hegemony. It was awarded the Council of European Studies’ 2016 Book Prize (for best first book in European studies published in 2014-2015). Greenberg is currently working on a second book-length project, tentatively titled From “Enemies of the Cross” to “Brethren in Faith”: Global Politics and the End of Europe’s Protestant-Catholic War, 1885-1965.

For more information, please contact Amber Diaz Pearson at amber.diaz@duke.edu

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 james.chappel@duke.edu.

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.

Jul 062017
 July 6, 2017  Tagged with:

Religions and Public Life Visiting Scholar Dr. Erhard Busek will visit the Duke University campus Tuesday, January 16 through the morning of Friday, January 19th. During his visit, Dr. Busek will present a public talk and meet with faculty and graduate students.

Dr. Erhard Busek has served as Vice-Chancellor of the Republic of Austria,  Minister for Science and Research, Minister for Education,  Special Representative of the Austrian Government for the Enlargement of the European Union and  Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe.

Now, among other positions, he serves as  Chairman of the Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe in Vienna,  Coordinator of the “Southeast European Cooperative Initiative,” President of the Vienna Economic Forum and as Jean Monnet Professor ad personam.

For more information, please e-mail Deirdre White at deirdre.white@duke.edu

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 102017
 June 10, 2017  Tagged with:

The Religions and Public Life Initiative at KIE co-sponsors a seminar on Sunday, December 10, at 5:00pm, with the Triangle Intellectual History Seminar. Charly Coleman (Columbia University), will give a talk, “The Economy of the Mysteries: Penance, the Eucharist, and the Proliferation of Sacramental Wealth in Early Modern France.”

Abstract: My paper takes as its point of departure the seventeenth-century resurgence in the adoration of the Eucharist and its singularly productive elements, not only in theological and philosophical treatises, but also among lay confraternities, members of which were authorized to receive specific spiritual advantages, including plenary and partial indulgences. The Cartesian position, advanced by the Oratorian Jean Terrasson among others, reinforced Eucharistic associations with boundlessness, by characterizing the metamorphoses it implied as representative of the infinite power of God. An economic logic, I argue, underpinned such practices, which furnished the believer a means of cancelling the debt occasioned by sin through the inexhaustible font of grace accumulated by the labor of saints and administered by the Church. This Catholic ethic, pace Weber’s account of its Protestant counterpart, privileged the marvelous over the mundane, consumption over production, the pleasures of enjoyment over the rigors of delayed gratification.

Charly Coleman is an assistant professor of history at Columbia University, where he teaches courses on early modern and modern Europe, as well as in the Core Curriculum. He received his Ph.D. in history at Stanford University. Before coming to Columbia, he taught at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis. Coleman specializes in the history of eighteenth-century France, with a particular emphasis on the intersections between religion and Enlightenment thought. His first book, The Virtues of Abandon (Stanford University Press, 2014; awarded the 2016 Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies), fundamentally recasts the French Enlightenment as a protracted struggle to fix the self’s relationship to property in its myriad forms. In so doing, it uncovers a wide-ranging, coherent, and influential culture of dispossession, the partisans of which fought to strip the self of its property, its personality, and even its very existence as an individual. Coleman has further elaborated the stakes of this anti-individualist history of the period in a series of articles and book chapters, including pieces for Modern Intellectual History, The Journal of Modern History, and The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment. His most recent research has turned to the crucial role played by economic theology during the long eighteenth century in France, with an eye to revealing a distinctly Catholic ethic that animated the spirit of capitalism at its inception.

Sunday, December 11
National Humanities Center in RTP

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.