The Institute is pleased to congratulate Christina Simko on accepting the position of Assistant Professor of Sociology at Williams College. In her time at the Institute, Simko wrote and defended her dissertation, contributed to The Hedgehog Review, and researched for the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change. You can read more about what’s ahead for Simko at Williams College, here.
Institute Executive Director James Davison Hunter has presented and written various publications assessing the culture wars and how American religious communities engage in politics. After the recent Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage, the question of how should Christians approach political involvement remains pressing and debated. The Wall Street Journal article, “Now Isn’t the Time to Flee the Public Square,” puzzles over this question and cites Hunter as a voice to consider and wrestle with.
Learn more about Hunter’s research like the Pluralism Project.
New ways of understanding and treating the body are one strong expression of the relocation of the sacred that is bound up with our self-making projects. What we make of our bodies, in short, testifies to a great rupture. While previously considered a “natural thing or divine form,” the body is now viewed as a “de-naturalized human construct.” How does such a shift alter conceptions of the human person and the ends and purposes of human existence?
Inside Higher Ed published an essay today, June 29, by visiting faculty fellow Johann Neem. He spotlights the invaluable difference that humanities scholarship made in the Supreme Court deliberation process and concluding decision over the constitutionality of gay marriage. With this apt example, Neem presents a reason to invest and support humanities education and research. Read the full article, here.
Andrew Lynn is interested in the meaning of work in contemporary life and is writing his dissertation particularly on the demand for and production of the sector he calls the “purpose industry.” Recently accepted into the Bologna-Duke Summer School on Global Studies and Critical Theory, Lynn will travel to Italy to engage in theoretical discussions about the conditions of postindustrial work in modern late-capitalist economy.
Read more about the Institute’s scholars here.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation selected IASC faculty fellow John Owen for their Humboldt Research Award, inviting him abroad to collaborate with German scholars for over a year. Through the summer of 2016, Owen will cooperate on a long-term research project on Non-state Actors with colleagues at the Center for Transnational Studies, Foreign and Security Policy and the Global Governance research unit of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, including Dr. Thomas Risse who nominated Owen for the award. Learn more about Owen’s upcoming work in Berlin, here.
The Atlantic quotes faculty fellow John Inazu in article tackling religious responses to Caitlyn Jenner self-identifying as a transgender woman. He discusses how transgender issues cannot be tidily contained in conversations about principled disagreements. They pose “conceptual challenges” that complicate public policies that shape everyday life. John Inazu is author of forthcoming book, Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving through Deep Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2016), which argues that we can and must live together peaceably in spite of deep and sometimes irresolvable differences over politics, religion, sexuality, and other important matters.
Faculty Fellow John Owen wrote an article published on The Washington Post‘s blog Monkey Cage, which uses political science research to make sense of this circus called politics. Along these lines, Owen considers which democratic shape Islamic political movements could take in his article, “What history says about the prospects for Islamic democracy.” This article is part of a larger discussion facilitated by the Project on Middle East Political Science and the Transatlantic Academy. Read Owen’s article in full, here.
The Institute is thrilled to congratulate Institute fellows Philip Lorish, Megan Juelfs-Swanson, Greg Thompson, and Anna Kim, who earned their doctorates from the University of Virginia this academic year. Lorish’s dissertation considers the relationship between Christian ethics and the new eugenics; Juelf-Swanson’s focuses on parenting in American political culture; Thompson’s explores Martin Luther King Jr’s public theology of love; and Kim’s dissertation investigates aesthetics and ontologies of the icon. Congratulations Doctors!
Read more about the participants in the Institute’s fellows program here.
Washington Post quotes Inazu in an article considering the potential institutional, legal and financial impact of the impending decision about gay marriage. Ethical controversies, Inazu points out, like “whether religious student groups can be on public university campuses, whether religious colleges should be accredited, and whether local school systems should accept volunteer support from churches and ministries,” have opened up.
Hear more from John Inazu on “religious liberty and the American culture wars” by listening to the presentation he gave at the May 3-5 Conference on Religion, Politics & Public Life hosted by Ethics & Public Policy Center.