Advancing creative and critical scholarship on religion in the world


Dealing With Infinity: Art and the Transformation of the Symbolic Order

This is a multi-day, interdisciplinary workshop. Presentations on Friday, March 1st will run from 10:00am-4:30pm., and from 10:00am-2:00pm on Saturday, March 2nd. A genealogy of the historical forms of imagination or of attentiveness in literature and the other arts traces these forms back to epistemological realms that predate aesthetic experience: to the medieval formation of […]

The Invention of God

Who invented God? And what does “inventing” a god mean? This talk will trace the evolution of the deity of the great monotheisms―Yhwh, God, or Allah―by tracing Israelite beliefs and their context from the Bronze Age to the end of the Old Testament period in the third century BCE. We will draw on a long […]

How to Sing with Syriac Christians (and Why): Kinship, Politics, Liturgy, and Sound in the Dutch-Syriac Diaspora

To the extent that Middle Eastern Christians register in Euro-American public discourse at all, they are usually invoked either to justify military intervention in the Middle East for the sake of their “religious freedom,” or they are cited as potential exemptions to policies intended to restrict asylum-seekers from Muslim-majority countries. This binary frame rests on […]

The Prison Church: Historical, Theological, and Ethnographic Perspectives

The modern penitentiary has both religious and theological impulses that have contributed to its current shape. In historical accounts from inception to the present, the structure has been meant, in various ways, to provide both punishment and rehabilitation for crimes. While we know that many prisoners have religious experiences in prison, there has not been […]

God, Sex and Gender: a Conversation on Adrian Thatcher's Redeeming Gender

Thatcher’s recently-published Redeeming Gender draws on Laqueur’s Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud in an attempt to offer a distinctive Christian theology of gender. In this lunchtime conversation, Thatcher will provide a brief overview of his recent work before discussing its principle arguments with Laqueur. The conversation will then be opened […]

Religious Realignments in the Trump Era

The success of populist movements in Western Europe and the United States has created conditions for the formation of new coalitions between religious groups and political ideologies that once stood hostile to each other. We are now experiencing a convergence between the political views of conservative Evangelicals in the United States and so called traditionalists […]

How Does Theology Speak? A New Perspective on Martin Luther’s <em>Nova Lingua</em>

Against Sorbonne theologians, Luther claimed that theology has to speak a different language from philosophy, a nova lingua. What is the nature, and what are the conditions, of this lingua? Contemporary scholarship is divided into two positions, referring the specificity of theological language either to the semantics (and specifically to the analogy), or to the […]

Working On Early Qur'anic Manuscripts: Reading and Editing Their Texts

Reading early Qur’ānic manuscripts is a patient act of interpretation which involved scribes working to copy written exemplars and still involves editors reading manuscripts to produce editions. The editing work in reading Qur’ānic manuscripts does not have a long story, as it has only been cultivated in Europe since 1902. Two dynamics have influenced such […]