SPRING 2017 Events


MAY 2017

A History of Difference: Piety and Space in Early Modern West Asia
May 4, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - May 5, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
This conference brings together scholars working broadly in Ottoman and Mughal pasts to converse, consult, and present what ways of thinking and doing difference are recoverable to us. This workshop will take as its objective a grounded history of difference narrated in diverse textual and visual cu...
Brokering Religion and Development: Ethnographic Approaches to NGOs
May 18, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
The past decade has witnessed a remarkable surge of interest among both policy makers and academics into the effects that religion has on international aid and development. Within this broad field ‘religious NGOs’ or ‘Faith-Based Organizations’ (FBOs) have garnered considerable scholarly and...

APRIL 2017

Surveillance and the Mosque
April 7, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Last year’s turbulent presidential campaign revealed implicit biases about the status and security of Muslims in America and elsewhere. A rhetoric that was invariably framed using terms like “surveillance,” “suspicion,” “Islamic terror,” and “jihadist” permeated media and public di...
Religion Department Graduate Student Conference – Imaginal Worlds: Religion in Speculative and Fan Fiction
April 7, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 7:00 pm
Contemporary popular culture is riddled with religious allusions and ideations. In science fiction and fantasy literature, comic books and graphic novels, fanfiction and cosplay adaptations, familiar storylines are recursively created through conceptions of the divine and demonic, the miraculous and...
A Pre-History of Post-Truth: Evangelical and Liberal Understandings of Worldview in the Cold War Era
April 11, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The starting point of much contemporary thinking about religion and politics is that we are confronted with irreducible disagreements between different ethical and religious worldviews. Some scholars have argued that the first step to reconciliation between worldviews might be to abandon absolute c...
Intimacies: Days I & II
April 13, 2017 @ 9:00 am - April 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Recent debates on gender and sexuality in Islam have centered on the shift in attitudes towards gender equity and sexual orientation within contemporary Muslim communities. This is due in large part to the range of policies and legal reforms that regulate and redefine gender relations for individual...
Religion and Public Life Series – Religion and the Digital Turn
April 13, 2017 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts of t...
Spirit & Sound Series – (Un)Covering Religion in India: Rare Spring Ragas on Sitar
April 20, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Featuring a Hindustani Classical Sitar Concert by: Pandit Kushal Das, Sitar Pandit Ramdas Palsule, Tabla And a conversation with students from Columbia Journalism School’s Covering Religion Seminar Join us! Pulitzer Hall, Brown Institute for Media Innovation (2950 Broadway) Register here: htt...
Religion II – Dynamics, Processes, and Change
April 21, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL) at Columbia University will host a one-day conference entitled Religion II: Dynamics, Processes, and Change on Friday, April 21, 2017. IRCPL will bring together visiting scholars and fellows to take up the theme of religion from various cr...

MARCH 2017

Evangelical Truth and Apocalyptic Politics
March 23, 2017 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series – Ruth Marshall The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, an...
Book Talk – Beyond the Secular West
March 24, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
What is the character of secularism in countries that were not pervaded by Christianity, such as China, India, and the nations of the Middle East? To what extent is the secular an imposition of colonial rule? How does secularism comport with local religious cultures in Africa, and how does it work w...
Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait
March 29, 2017 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
Everyday Conversions examines the widespread but little known phenomenon of migrant domestic workers’ Islamic conversions in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf region as a way to think more broadly about emergent transnational forms of gendered subjectivity, affinity, and belonging in our cont...
Tariq Ramadan – Muslims and/in the West: Past, Present, Future
March 30, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
With Brexit, the election of Trump in the US, and the rise of the far-right in Europe, Muslims are facing greater scrutiny than ever before.  Throughout Europe and the US they are increasingly considered a fifth column.  Globally, self-identified Muslims are often considered harbingers of regressi...
Religion and Public Life Series – Halal Tourism and the Spoils of War in the Middle East
March 30, 2017 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
The Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts ...
Spirit & Sound Series – Capoeira: The Music, Movements, and Ritual of the Spirit Circle
March 31, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Part of the Spirit & Sound Series, The Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life presents “Capoeira: The Music, Movements, and Ritual of the Spirit Circle.” The evening will begin with a capoeira demonstration after which there will be a panel discussion on the history, cultur...

FEBRUARY 2017

Religion and Public Life Series – Religion and Politics Beyond Freedom and Violence
February 2, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts of t...
Religion and Public Life Series – A Liberal Saint: The Genealogy of a Public Ethics in India
February 9, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts of t...
Book Talk – Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment
February 10, 2017 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
The institutional structures of white supremacy—slavery, Jim Crow laws, convict leasing, and mass incarceration—require a commonsense belief that black people lack the moral and intellectual capacities of white people. It is through this lens of belief that racial exclusions have been justified ...
Religion and Public Life Series – History and Presence
February 13, 2017 @ 4:10 pm - 6:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts of t...
Religion and Public Life Series – Expertly Secular
February 16, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts of t...
Religion and Public Life Series – Divine Text, Mundane Language: Debating the Qur’an in Jakarta
February 20, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Religion and Public Life Series The Religion and Public Life lecture series presents public conversations that expand on current theories and spur debate about religion and secularism, considering the range of secularisms and institutionalizations of religion in Europe, the US, and other parts of t...
Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics
February 23, 2017 @ 6:15 pm - 7:30 pm
New Books in the Arts and Sciences – panel discussions celebrating recent work by the Columbia Faculty Josef Sorett, Associate Professor of Religion and African-American Studies and Director of the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice (CARSS), has just rel...

January 2017

The Religion of Karl Ove Knausgaard (Closed Workshop)
January 13, 2017 @ 9:00 am - January 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
The year by year translation into English of now the first four of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s virtuosic six-volume novel, Min Kamp (My Struggle), has become something of a slow-gathering storm. Ambiguously figured as “autobiographical” by some, the volumes present an absorbing, even gripping, fir...
Religion and Sexuality Series – Spectral Queerness in South Asian Muslim Orthodoxy
January 23, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Ali Altaf Mian is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Seattle University.  His research interests include Islam in South Asia, Islamic law and ethics, gender and sexuality, feminist theory and practice, Sufism and comparative mysticism, continental philosophy, comparative religion, and theor...
Tunisia and the Question of Secularism
January 24, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
A conversation on secularism in post-revolution Tunisia between Yadh Ben Achour, former President of the High Authority of the Revolution in Tunisia, Katherine Ewing, Professor of Religion and Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, and Safwan Masri, Executive Vice Presiden...
Human Rights in Tunisia
January 25, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
A discussion between Yadh Ben Achour, former President of the High Authority of the Revolution in Tunisia, Yasmine Ergas, Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and Alfred Stepan, Wallace Sayre Professor of Government (SIPA), on human rights in post-revolution ...
Religion and Sexuality Series – Yannik Thiem
January 25, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Yannik Thiem is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Villanova University, and Director of the Doctoral Studies Program in Philosophy.  Thiem’s research interests include Critical Theory, Social and Political Philosophy, 19th- and 20th-Century German Philosophy, Feminist Th...
World Leaders Forum – The Historical Compromise between Civil State and Religion in the Tunisian Post-Revolution
January 26, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
This World Leaders Forum program features a discussion on the historical compromise between the civil state and religion in Tunisia (Le Compromis Historique entre Etat Civil et Religion dans l’Après-Révolution Tunisienne) with the former President of the High Authority of the Revolution and ...
Religion and Sexuality Series – Christians and Monsters in the History of Sexuality
January 30, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Christians and Monsters in the History of Sexuality Benjamin Dunning is Professor in the Department of Theology at Fordham University.  He teaches primarily in the areas of Christianity in Antiquity, critical theory, and gender and sexuality studies. He is also an affiliated faculty member of Ford...