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Providential Modernity Seminar with John Martin
November 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
The next Providential Modernity seminar will meet at 1:00PM on Thursday, November 21, in Classroom Building 229. Professor John Martin (History) will discuss his new work, “Visions of the End and the Making of Modernity.”
A vegetarian lunch will be served. Email Amber Díaz Pearson to receive a copy of the paper (available November 15).
The Providential Modernity seminar brings together faculty and graduate students from several area universities on a monthly basis to discuss work in the areas of history, political theology, and comparative sociology from Antiquity to the present. A key goal of the seminar is to place scholars of religion into conversation with one another and address scholarly challenges emerging from the post-secular age. “Providential modernity” encompasses a variety of social and political hopes, as well as anxieties, about the promise of history, sometimes expressed in millenarianism and apocalypticism, at other times in peaceful theodicies. In modern times, secular surrogates for providentialism found expression in revolution, social change, and the transformation of knowledge — ideas that have been conceptualized from Hegel to Fukuyama in discussions of the End of History. Many put their “faith” in “providential modernity,” while others, in despair, denied that history had any meaning at all. At the core of our deliberations will be an effort to deepen our grasp of the ways in which religions, Western and Eastern, both converge and differ in their understanding of providentialism, and how scholars may respond to the powerful working of religion in the postmodern age.