Theology and the Public University
For the past two years, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, has convened a series of workshops and seminars concerning, broadly speaking, the place of theology in the university. From the outset, our goal was to challenge narrow conceptions of both secular learning and “theology,” in hopes of fostering robust conversation about the teaching of religion in the pluralist setting of the modern university.
On February 22-23, 2019, we will be holding the culminating conference for the project. Entitled “Theology and the Public University,” the conference will assemble at Berkeley a group of talented and creative thinkers who we believe are pioneering new ways of imagining theology, broadly construed.
For a complete schedule and list of lecture topics, please view the event schedule.
There are three major inquiry-areas for the conference:
Theology and the History of Learning: historical settings and genealogies of the interrelationship of theology and the modern landscape of university learning. Topics might include: formation of seminaries, theology faculties in historical relationship to other university faculties, religion in public and private universities, comparative historical dimensions, legal and political contexts, and so on.
Theology and Modern Secular Disciplines: with particular focus on the modern research university, an investigation of the particularity (or not) of theological learning in relationship to contemporary university disciplines, including but not limited to religious studies; comparative work on the varieties of theological learning in universities/seminaries/divini
The Limits and Possibilities of Theology in a Pluralist World: exploring how theology translates, or does not translate, across religious worlds; alternative vocabularies for the religious imagination; relationships between theology and other forms of religious knowledge and experience; theology in and beyond a Christian setting; provincializing theology; theology and inter-religious debate; what would theology have to be, to be in a public university?
Participants will include the following:
Kameron Carter, Associate Professor of Theology, English, and African American Studies, Duke University
Constance Furey, Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
Susannah Heschel, Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Munir Jiwa, Professor of Islamic Studies and Anthropology, Graduate Theological Union
Ethan Katz, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, UC Berkeley
Shaul Magid, Professor of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
*David Marno, Associate Professor, English, UC Berkeley
Charles Marsh, Commonwealth Professor of Religious Studies, Director of the Project on Lived Theology, University of Virginia
Tomoko Masuzawa, Professor of History & Comparative Literature, University of Michigan
Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame
Armando Salvatore, Professor of Global Religious Studies, McGill University
Thomas Schmidt, Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Goethe University Frankfurt
Jason Sexton, Visiting Fellow, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and Interim Dean, California State University Academic Programs
*Jonathan Sheehan, Professor of History, UC Berkeley
Yunus Dogan Telliel, Assistant Teaching Professor in Humanities and Arts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Gauri Viswanathan, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Andrea White, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Union Theological Seminary
*Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion
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The Berkeley Public Theology Program invites innovative thinkers and public figures to Berkeley to reflect on the past, present, and future of theological inquiry. Such lectures spark scholarly conversations on campus and place Berkeley at the center of global conversations on religion and public life.