Paul Freston, Professor and Chair of Religion and Politics in the Global Context at Wilfred Laurier University, and one of the world’s leading authorities on Latin American religions, Christian
Pentecostal and Evangelical politics. On March 3 Freston spoke to a rapt audience on the impact of Pentecostals on Brazilian politics, suggesting that Pentecostal influence may well have peaked.
A renowned cultural psychologist, anthropologist of religion, and New York Times op-ed author, Tanya M. Luhrmann of Stanford University visited CURA on February 12 to present the third annual Peter L. Berger Lecture in the Sociology and Anthropology of Religion. The event is sponsored by the School of Theology, the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and Mission, and CURA. Luhrmann’s talk built on the topic of her best selling book, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God (Knopf 2012), examining the cultural and psychological logic of the American turn toward a deeply personalized and loving God. The presentation was followed by a lively question-and-answer period and reception.
On January 31, Bob Hefner, CURA Director, and Bernie Ardeney-Risakotta, CURA Visiting Scholar, traveled to Georgetown University to launch the first in a series of workshops and conferences to take place over the next three years on “Religion and Public Policy in Southeast Asia.” The program is funded by the Luce Foundation; the portion under the direction of Hefner and CURA represents the American wing of an eight-country project on religion and policy in the Southeast Asia Region. The larger project is being carried out under the auspices of the Institute on Culture and Religious Studies (ICRS) at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia Dr. Dicky Sofyan is the director of the larger project; Bernie Ardeney-Risakotta is the former director of the ICRS. Katherine Marshall of the Berkley Center at Georgetown University kindly hosted the Georgetown event. Other participants in this first-stage workshop included Peter Phan and Crystal Corman of Georgetown, Charles Keyes of the University of Washington Seattle, Juliane Schober of Arizona State University, and Vivienne Angeles of LaSalle University. The next conference, in Mach 2014, will take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and will bring together teams of researchers and policy analysts from across Southeast Asia to address the question of how governments and policy makers are, and are not, engaging the far-reaching changes taking place in Southeast Asian nations.
On January 30, Daniel Philpott, Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at Notre Dame University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, spoke to a packed seminar audience on “Reconciliation in Politics: How Religion is Reshaping the Global Conversation about Justice. “ The presentation was lively, touching on issues raised in Dan’s much-acclaimed 2012 book, Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation. Both the book and Dan’s talk compare the relative merits of secular and religious discourses in promoting reconciliation and a sustainable “operating consensus” in the aftermath of civil war, genocide, and political authoritarianism.
On December 14, 2013, Marthen Tahun, Zainal Abidin Bagir, and Bob Hefner presented a paper on Islam, Christianity, and Religious Freedom in Indonesia. The presentation was part of Georgetown University’s international conference on religious freedom, under the direction of Dr. Thomas Farr and Dr. Timothy S. Shah. Participants from the conference had the pleasure of a private audience with Pope Francis, who greeted the group with his trademark mix of warmth and wit.
On December 6 James Hoesterey, Assistant Professor in the department of religious studies at Emory University, visited CURA and gave a fascinating talk on ‘Shaming the State: Subjectivity and Islamic Ethics in Indonesia’s Playboy Debate’.
Carol Ferrara in front of the Mosquee de Paris, November 8, 2013. In cooperation with CURA and the Kroc Institute for International Peace at Notre Dame, Carol is conducting dissertation research on Muslim education and citizenship in France, with special attention to Muslim, Catholic, and laique perspectives on the refiguring of citizenship ideals and practice.
On October 17th and 18th Professor Peter Berger hosted a conference at CURA on Religious Puralism: Formulas of Peace. The conference brought together experts on religion and politics from North America and Europe to discuss examples of religious pluralism throughout history in the different regions of the world. Topics of talks included the Errors of Vatican II, the Varieties of Eurosecularism, Religious Clauses of the US Constitution, and the journey from Caste System to the Secular Republic.
On Wednesday, October 16, Professor Carrie Rosefsky Wickham, Department of Political Science, Emory University addressed a packed seminar room on the topic of her celebrated new book, The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement. Professor Rosefsky Wickham is one of the world’s leading experts on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
On Thursday, October 10 Professor Michael Lambek of the University of Toronto presented the first lecture in the CURA-Luce Lecture series on ‘Religion, Culture, and Ethics’. Professor Lambek spoke on the ‘Immanence of Ethics’.