Recent news and happenings

On the Passing of Peter L. Berger

By Arlene Brennan
July 3rd, 2017 in Professor News.

Click here for our notice on the passing of Peter. 

Call for Proposals for New CURA Colloquium

By Arlene Brennan
April 26th, 2017 in Events at CURA.

Call for Proposals for New CURA Colloquium
2017-18 Theme: “Religion and Social Engagement”

Boston University’s Institute for Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA) invites BU faculty and graduate students to apply to become fellows in a new interdisciplinary colloquium on religion and world affairs that we are launching in the fall in cooperation with the BU School of Theology. The CURA Colloquium will involve bimonthly meetings throughout the academic year to discuss working papers on a chosen theme. The papers will be prepared by both the BU fellows and invited scholars from outside BU. The colloquium sessions will be open to the general public, with the expectation that all attendees will read the papers in advance and that the sessions will focus on providing feedback and suggestions to the authors. At the end of the colloquium, we anticipate collecting the best papers into an edited volume or a themed edition of a relevant journal.

 

The theme for the 2017-2018 colloquium is “Religion and Social Engagement.” We encourage the submission of proposals from any discipline that explore the ways in which religious institutions engage with their states and societies, the impact of religious social engagement, the theological and moral ideas behind various forms of social engagement, and other topics related to this broad theme. We hope to build a working group that draws from diverse disciplines, methods, and regions of the world. A committee of faculty will select the proposals from among those submitted, with the idea of accepting approximately 8-10. Participants in the Colloquium will be asked to prepare a working paper of 5,000-8,000 words that will be scheduled for presentation next year.  The papers will be made available a week in advance of their scheduled discussion. Fellows will be expected to attend all sessions, read papers in advance, and provide feedback for other participants. Colloquium sessions will be held on Fridays, 1:00-2:30 (on weeks where STH does not have faculty meetings). Fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend for successful participation in the colloquium. 

 

The new CURA Colloquium builds on the Religion Fellows Program sponsored by the School of Theology annually since 2010, which has brought together faculty and graduate students from throughout BU to develop research papers on an important theme in the study of religion. STH remains a co-sponsor and active participant in the CURA Colloquium, and as cosponsors, STH and CURA welcome proposals are welcomed from scholars from any school or college at BU.

 

Founded in 1985, CURA is the first interdisciplinary research center in the United States focused on religion and global affairs. CURA seeks to build a community of scholars from BU and beyond with a shared interest in religion and world affairs. Under the leadership of Peter Berger and Bob Hefner, CURA has sponsored 140 research projects in over 40 countries, resulting in the publication of 145 books, and organized countless academic lectures and other events. CURA joined the Pardee School of Global Affairs in 2015 and continues to sponsor collaborative research projects, public lectures, and gatherings for faculty, graduate students, and others, and to support the Pardee School’s curriculum in religion and global affairs. For more information, please contact Arlene Brennan at 617-353-5241 or arleneb@bu.edu or Timothy Longman at 617-353-9751 or longman@bu.edu.

The submission should consist of a few paragraphs detailing your chosen subject, and your cv. Please help us spread the word, and submit your proposal to Arlene Brennan by the deadline of May 22, 2017.

Love Stories: Youth Aspirations & the New Ethics of Intimacy

By Arlene Brennan
February 7th, 2017 in Conference, Events at CURA, Professor News, Uncategorized.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! We are proud to announce a new collection of working papers supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. The papers are based on a conference that took place at CURA last semester, and focuses on Sex, Gender, and Contemporary Sexualities. 

Click here to read the papers.

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Titles

“Too Educated for Love? Women and the Marriage Market in Indonesia”

“The New Kazakhstani Woman: Balancing Dual Expectations of Family and Career”

“Where Does All that Cynacism Come From? Reasons behind the Pessimistic Attitudes toward Marriage among Emerging Adults in Urban Iran”

“Between the Mirage of Love & the Burden of Commitment: Courtship and Marriage among Iranian Youth in the US”

“Moroccan Romance 2.0: Upholding Traditional Religious and Gendered Norms in the Digital Era”

“‘A Strange Kind of a Relationship’: New Possibilities for Thinking about and Experienceing Love in Urban North India”

“Fantasy in the Sugar Bowl: Sugar Baby Narratives of Love, Money, and Agency”

“Virtual Love: Technology and the Struggle for Gay Romance in Contemporary Vietnam”

Homosexuality and Humanitarianism: The case of Rick Warren in Africa

By Arlene Brennan
December 7th, 2016 in Events at CURA, Uncategorized.

Check out our latest paper in the ongoing Luce Foundation funded series, “Working Papers on Key Issues in Religion and World Affairs” We have a paper from Melani McAlister, Associate Professor of American Studies & International Affairs, George Washington University. Its called Homosexuality and Humanitarianism: The case of Rick Warren in Africa, and follows a talk she gave at CURA in September. Click here to find her paper.

Normativity and Social Criticism in the Study of Religion

By Arlene Brennan
November 8th, 2016 in Uncategorized.

The working papers are flooding in as we finish up our grant with the Henry R. Luce Foundation. Our latest is from Richard B. Miller, scholar of religion and ethics, of the University of Chicago. You can read his paper entitled “Normativity and Social Criticism in the Study of Religion” here.


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Working Paper: How Morality Looks from a God’s Eye Point of View

By Arlene Brennan
October 28th, 2016 in Events at CURA.

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Check out our latest paper in the ongoing Luce Foundation funded series, “Working Papers on Key Issues in Religion and World Affairs” Last week we had a talk and paper from Webb Keane, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. You can read his paper, entitled “How Morality Looks from a God’s-Eye Point of View” by clicking here.

Hefner Named to Indonesia-U.S. Council on Religion and Pluralism

By Arlene Brennan
August 22nd, 2016 in Professor News, research abroad.

Bob Hefner has been named to the executive board of the newly-formed Indonesia-US Council on Religion and Pluralism. Click here for more info.

Interview: Santoso’s Death and the Future of ISIS in Indonesia

By Arlene Brennan
July 26th, 2016 in Professor News.

CURA Director Robert W. Hefner was interviewed on July 19th on live television on Singapore’s Channel News Asia. The program, called “First Look Asia”, focused on the killing of Santoso (real name Abu Wardah), the most-wanted terrorist in Indonesia, who died in an anti-terrorist raid. Hefner addressed questions around whether Santoso’s death represents a turning point in the fight against terrorism and ISIS in Indonesia. Hefner suggests the event was a testimony to the skill and professionalism of the Indonesian police and anti-terror units, but said that, unfortunately, the war against ISIS still had a very long way to go.

Find out more about this story.

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51108923

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51108923

Catholics, Muslims and secularists in Quebec: Citizenships in tension in the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution

By Arlene Brennan
July 19th, 2016 in Blog, research abroad.

A two year project between the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and CURA has resulted in a series of blog post articles on topics of “Global Migration and the New Cosmopolitanisms: Religion, Public Ethics, and Citizenship in Plural Societies”.

Find researcher Azeddine Hmimssa’s article on “Catholics, Muslims and secularists in Quebec: Citizenships in tension in the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution” on the University of Notre Dame’s blog Contending Modernities.

Here’s an excerpt from Azeddine’s article:

The introduction of a proposed “Charter of Quebec values” ​​by the Government of Quebec on September 10, 2013 was as a major event which can be considered part of a long process of secularization in Quebecois society, dating back to the so-called “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s, which achieved its last success in the late 1990s by denominating schools based on languages (French versus English) rather than religion (Catholic versus Protestant). Throughout its history, Quebecois society has been strongly tied to the Catholic Church, which historically maintained a powerful presence in education, healthcare, and even political parties. In the wake of the “Quiet Revolution”, French Canadians, who represent the majority of the province’s Catholics, have become less religiously observant. At the same time, the Quebecois national movement that had its birth within a Catholic movement—“Action sociale catholique,” which was active between 1905 and 1962—has itself become increasingly secular.”

The un-Dutchable challenge of pluralism

By Arlene Brennan
July 13th, 2016 in Blog, research abroad.

A two year project between the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and CURA has resulted in a series of blog post articles on topics of “Global Migration and the New Cosmopolitanisms: Religion, Public Ethics, and Citizenship in Plural Societies”.

Find researcher Ahmet Yukleyen’s article on “The Un-Dutchable challenge of pluralism” on the University of Notre Dame’s blog Contending Modernities.

Here’s an excerpt from Ahmet’s article:

“Every year on December 5th, tens of thousands of Dutch people paint their faces black, dress up in antique costume, and assume the persona of Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”) to help Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) distribute candy and presents to children throughout the Netherlands. In recent years, Dutch citizens of Caribbean ancestry have spoken out against the portrayal of Black Pete as a racist caricature. In early October of 2013, Quinsy Gario, a Curaçao-born Dutch performance artist, argued on TV that Black Pete perpetuates a stereotype of African people as second-class citizens in Dutch society. The following week, the mayor of Amsterdam met with residents who asked that Black Pete be removed from the city’s Sinterklaas parade. Most white Dutch reacted angrily to accusations that the Black Pete tradition is racist, and the character continues to be popular in society. According to a 2013 survey, 92% of the Dutch public do not perceive Black Pete as racist or associate him with slavery, and 91% are opposed to altering the character’s appearance.”