The Virginia Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Virginia invites applications for a weeklong residency workshop on “Public Theology” in Summer 2018. This workshop is part of the Project on “Religion and Its Publics,” which is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and is overseen by Project co-directors Dr. Paul Dafydd Jones and Dr. Charles Mathewes.
Applicants will have received their doctorate in religious studies, theology, or a related field in the last four years (i.e., from Spring 2014 onwards). The Project co-directors and selection committee will also consider applications from graduates who are clearly on track to complete their dissertations by the end of the academic year 2017-2018. Applicants should have research and teaching interests in public theology, broadly understood as disciplined reflection on idioms of inquiry, specific to a religious community (or communities), that connects with broader normative (social, cultural, economic, and/or political) concerns; they will also have interests in the ways in which various “publics”—religious and nonreligious—relate, overlap, and transform one another. We are seeking to gather a group of scholars whose interdisciplinary sensibility is matched with an abiding interest in the complex interface between religious commitment and public life.
The workshop format will be that of an intensive seminar, running from June 24-29, 2018. It will be held at the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Participants will undertake focused readings, share work, and plan collaborations on academic projects of mutual interest. They will also be invited to continue supporting the work of “Religion and its Publics” through publications of an academic and journalistic nature.
Ten emerging scholars will be selected from the applicants. The Project will cover the costs of room, board, and food for the entirety of their stay in Charlottesville. Each applicant will also receive an honorarium of $1,000.
To apply, send the following material to firstname.lastname@example.org, by January 15, 2018 5:00pm EST:
- A letter of application that includes a clear statement regarding your research agenda, publication record or plans, and your teaching responsibilities (or equivalent)
- An up-to-date vita
- A 1,000-word statement on “Public Theology” as it relates to your scholarship, and that indicates specific topics and issues that you believe merit attention during the Residency Workshop.
- The names and contact details for three recommenders, who can attest to your academic abilities and interests
Questions about the Workshop may also be directed to email@example.com.
The Luce Project on Religion and its Publics hosted a vibrant public discussion to reflect on the tragic and violent events over the weekend of August 11th and 12th that occurred in our home town of Charlottesville, VA. It was held in St. Paul’s Memorial Church – the venue where clergy and other peace activists gathered on the evening of the 11th as white nationalists marched outside. It focused on the role and responsibility of people of faith to tackle white supremacy theologically, intellectually, culturally – and how to continue to move forward with a new, invigorated religious-based activism.
The five-member panel included the Reverend Brenda Brown-Grooms, co-pastor of New Beginnings Christian Communities; Charlottesville Vice-Mayor, Dr. Wes Bellamy; the Reverend Seth Wispelwey, co-founder of Congregate Charlottesville; Dr. Larycia Hawkins, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Virginia; and Dr. Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. It was chaired by John Edwin Mason, Professor of History at UVA.
Willis Jenkins on fossil fuels, white nationalism, and evangelicals on our blog, For the Time Being.
The Reverend Dr Emilie Townes is a glass-ceiling shatterer. She was the first African American woman president of the American Academy of Religion and made that a double first when she became the dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School, where she is also the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. She’s also an ordained American Baptist clergywoman.
Here she talks with Jane Little about President Donald Trump, the difference between knowledge and truth, and why scholars – “even and especially theologians” – must also be activists.