Fall 2016 Events

Fall 2016

Fall Welcome Back Party! 
Join Religious Studies for great food and conversation, as we kick off the start of the new academic year! 

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016
Shirley Miller House | 59 George Street 



Birth of the Modern Introspectice Self in Early Modern Catholicism with Moshe Sluhovsky, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Friday, Sept. 16, 2016
Smith-Buonanno, Rm 106

Both the German Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner and the French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that 16th and 17th-century Catholic spiritual exercises of introspection and meditation marked the beginning of modernity.  Sluhovsky will use the writings of Rahner and Foucault to revisit the question of the relations between subjecthood and modernity in the early modern period, arguing that Catholic exercises of self formation and introspection were just as important as Protestant self reflection to the rise of modern subjectivity.

Moshe Sluhovsky is Professor of Modern History and Chair of the Department of History at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He is author of Believe Not Every Spirit - Possession, Mysticism, and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism and Patroness of Paris: Rituals and Devotion in Early Modern France.  A third book - Becoming a New Self: Practices of Belief in Early Modern Europe - is forthcoming in 2017.

Sponsored by the Brown Contemplative Studies Initiative and the Department of Religious Studies.   

Religion, Politics and the Election a teach-in with Professors Mark Cladis, Nancy Khalek, and Daniel Vaca

Monday, Sept. 26, 2016
Petteruti Lounge | Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center 



"Priestly Families in Ancient Israel and the Second Temple Period" with Dr. Cana Werman, Ben Gurion University
Open to all RAM faculty and students. 

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016
Judaic Studies | 163 George Street

"The Pharisees: A New Light on an Old Problem" with Dr. Cana Werman, Ben Gurion University
Public Lecture

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016
Salomon 292

"Revisiting Japanese Zen Master Hakuin: His Paintings on Social and Political Critiques" a lecture by Dr. Masaki Matsubara. 

Friday, Oct. 14, 2016
Smith-Buonanno, Rm 106

Masaki Matsubara received his Ph.D. in Asian Religions at Cornell University.  His dissertation focused on the dynamics of tradition formation, (re) invention, and maintenance, and the role of cultural memory.  It considered eighteenth century Japanese Zen master Hakuin Ekaku's neglected role as a social critic and reformer.  Matsubara has published articles on Hakuin (2004) and on Yasukuni Shrine and cultural memory (2007). He is presently engaged in translating Hakuin's political treatise Hebiichigo (banned soon after its publication in 1754), comparing the four extant versions (three autographed manuscripts and one published version of an autographed manuscript) with one another.  He is an ordained priest in the Rinzai tradition and Abbot of the Butsumoji Temple in Chiba, Japan. 

*This event is co-sponsored by the Brown Contemplative Studies Initiative and the Department of Religious Studies.  This lecture is made possible by the generous support of the Hershey Family Foundation and other donors.  

"My Judgment Makes Me Political: David Walker's Transformative Appeal" a lecture by Melvin Rogers, Scott Waugh Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences and Associate Professor of American Studies and Political Science, UCLA

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016
85 Waterman St., Rm 015

David Walker's famous 1829 Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World expresses a puzzle at the very outset.  What are we to make of the use of "Citizens" in the title given to the denial of political rights to African Americans?  The lecture argues that the pamphlet relies on the cultural and linguistic norms associated with the term appeal in order to call into existence the political standing of black people.  Walker's use of citizen does not need to rely on a recognitive legal relationship precisely because it is the practice of judging that illuminates one's political, indeed, citizenly standing.  Properly understood, the Appeal aspires to transform blacks and whites, and when it informs the prophetic dimension of the text, it tilts the entire pamphlet in a democratic direction.  This is the political power of the pamphlet; it exemplifies the call-and-response logic of democratic self-governance.  

Melvin Rogers is the Scott Waugh Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences, and Associate Professor of American Studies and Political Science at UCLA.  He is the author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy, and the editor of John Dewey: The Public and Its Problems.  He is currently at work on another book, The Darkened Light of Faith: Race, Democracy and Freedom in African American Political Thought.  

"Anti-Semitism and Its Uses" with Shaul Magid, Indiana University

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Barus & Holley 168

There has been much scholarly and popular work done on the continued existence of anti-Semitism, its origins, meaning, and consequences.  In this talk, Professor Magid will look at this troubling phenomenon from a slightly different angle by engaging the way anti-Semitism is conceived in the American Jewish imagination and the way it is used, particularly in the struggle to come to terms with the contemporary critique of Israel.  While anti-Semitism remains a real and troubling phenomenon, the use of and relationship to anti-Semitism among contemporary American Jews both as part of and distinct from the Israel question has received little attention.  This talk will begin to address this question.

Shaul Magid is a professor of Religious Studies and the Jay and Jeannie Schottentstein Chair of Jewish Studies in Modern Judaism at Indiana University and the author of many books.  His teaching focuses primarily on Kabbala, Hasidism, Judaism and gender, Israel/Palestine, and American Jewish thought and culture.  Areas of interest and research include sixteenth century Kabbala, Hasidism, American Judaism, and contemporary conceptions of Jewish religiousity.

Sponsored by the Theodore and Shirley Libby Fund, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Dean of the Colleege.  Free and open to the public.

"Charisma as a Democratic Virtue" with Vincent Lloyd, Villanova University

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016
4-5:30pm | 85 Waterman, Rm 015





"Meditation in Context: From Ancient Buddhist Monastery to Modern Psychologists Office" with David McMahan Franklin & Marshall College

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Location TBA