What Comes After the Critique of Secularism?

Thu, April 13, 2017, 8:00 - 5:15pm
3335 Dwinelle, UC Berkeley

This workshop gathers scholars who are interested in the myriad recent critiques of secularism spanning a variety of academic fields: history, political science, anthropology, comparative literature, etc. Our aim is to discuss the various motives for these critiques, their implications, and what alternatives, if any, they put forward. What implications, for instance, does the critique of secularism have for the writing of history or the study of political theory, African American Studies or comparative literature? What comes after the critique of secularism?  The ultimate goal is not to defend or critique so-called secular studies. Rather, it is to discuss where this field might be heading.


8:00-8:15: Coffee

8:15-8:30: Introduction: Jonathan Sheehan

8:30-10:30: Islam and Emancipation after the Critique of Secularism

Moderator: Karen Barkey

Nadia Marzouki, “What is Critique if It’s Not Secular?”
Ussama Makdisi,  “History and the Limits of Anti-Secularist Critique”
Mohamed Amer-Meziane, “Marxian Specters After Secularism? Public Theologies and the Critique of the State”
Mona Oraby, “Rethinking the Public-Private Distinction in Secularism Studies”

Panel abstracts and bios

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-12:15: Rival Versions of Secularism in European Political Thought

Moderator: David Bates

Udi Greenberg, “Freedom of Religion, Protestantism, and Catholic Polemics”
James Chappel, “Varieties of Secularism in the Catholic Church: 1930-1960”
Carlo Invernezzi Accetti, “Beyond Secularism and Establishment: The Idea of Religious ‘Inspiration’ in Politics in the Intellectual Tradition of Christian Democracy”

Panel abstracts and bios

12:15-1:45: Lunch

1:45-3:15: Secularism, Christian Mission and the American Public Sphere

Moderator: Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

David Hollinger, “Protestant Foreign Missions and the Vindication of Secularization Theory”
Anna Su, “’What is a Church?’ Secularism and the Expanding Boundaries of Religion”
Vincent Lloyd, “Principled Post-Secularism: Left Right Convergences”

Panel abstracts and bios

3:15-3:30: Break

3:30-5:00: The Future of Secular Studies:

Moderator: David Marno

Joseph Blankholm, “Bridging the Gap in Secular Studies”
Joanna-Tice Jen, “Reclaiming Religion’s Body: Saba Mahmood’s Materialist Political Ethics”
Jerilyn Sambrooke, “A Dangerous Certainty: The Spectre of Religious Fanaticism in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead Trilogy”

Panel abstracts and bios

5:00-5:15: Concluding Remarks: Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins