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Religion and Secularism across the Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Forum

Date: Wed. May 6th, 2015, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm
Location: The Cleveland Room, Thwing Center, 11111 Euclid Avenue

A Baker-Nord Working Group Event



Over the past decade, numerous disciplines in the humanities and social sciences have spoken of a “religious turn.” This pattern is characterized by a resurgent interest in interdisciplinary scholarship that revaluates central questions about the relationship between religion and secularism in the academy and in our objects of study.


This roundtable discussion will feature five scholars from our region, and will consider the variety, the diversity, and the critical stakes involved in these debates. Short presentations related to each scholar’s current research will be followed by an extensive open discussion of the questions and claims raised by the panelists. The event will be sponsored by “The Religious, the Secular, and the New Humanities,” a research working group of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Light refreshments will be provided. Questions? Contact Ray Horton:



About the Panelists:


Joy Bostic is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and a program faculty member of the Women’s and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies programs at CWRU. Author of African American Female Mysticism: Nineteenth-Century Religious Activism, she studies African American religion and culture; religion, healing, and social justice; and womanist/feminist theory.


Christopher Callahan is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Oberlin College. A scholar of Japanese religions and Buddhism, he is interested in religious biographies and the role that they play in the life of religious communities.


Rodney Hessinger is Associate Dean of Humanities and Professor of History at John Carroll University. His current book project, Sex and Sectarian Conflict in America’s 2nd Great Awakening (Cornell), considers how religious and sexual conflicts amplified and informed each other in the early republic.


Justine Howe is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at CWRU. Her current research focuses on contemporary Islam, particularly Muslim identify formation in U.S. communities after 9/11.


Richard McCarty is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Mercyhurst University. Author of Sexual Virtue: An Approach to Contemporary Christian Ethics, his work sits at the intersection of religion, ethics, and sexuality.

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