Join us this Thursday October 5th from 12:30-2:00pm for Brenna Moore's talk, "'You are Friendship Itself, You are Love Itself': Intimacy and Catholicism After Secularism" at the GC in room 5307!
The Committee for the Study of Religion invites applications from recently tenured-faculty and from CUNY doctoral students to participate in a research seminar on the theme “Secularization and Modernity”.
2/11 and 2/18--Graduate Student Workshops: February 11th Graduate Student Workshop, featuring Kyle Francis and Jeffrey Culang with Anna Akasoy as respondent
“Civilizing Settlers: Catholic Missionaries and France’s ‘Other Civilizing Mission’ in Colonial Algeria,” Kyle Francis...
Jonathan Keller--The Almost Chosen People: the Civil War and the American Biblical Tradition
In American Zion: The Old Testament as a Political Text from the Revolution to the Civil War, Eran Shalev contends that, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the Old Testament’s influence on the American political imagination “had all but disappeared. It became clear that public language was losing its earlier characteristic explicit and robust references to, and articulation of..., the image of America as the New Israel…the accompanying identification with the biblical Israelites of old waned as years went by, never to regain their former vitality.” This paper will provide a counter-narrative to Shalev’s account, by demonstrating the continuing impact of Old Testament rhetoric through the persistence of three modes of Old Testament prophecy: pre-exilic, exilic, and post- exilic (originally composed before, during and after the Babylonian exile of 586 BCE) – in sermons by the most politically influential ministers during this era.
I begin with a discussion of the exegetical debate in nineteenth-century mainline Protestantism that led to the adoption of the “American Hermeneutic” – a commitment to biblical literalism shared by both Northern and Southern preachers prior to the Civil War. Next, I explain how the controversy over slavery radically disrupted the natural evolution of this hermeneutic, causing a crisis of interpretation that ultimately led to a crisis over the authority of the Bible itself. I then describe how slavery sent Northern and Southern ministers along very different exegetical trajectories. Ultimately, in the North the rhetoric progressed from pre-exilic, to exilic, to post-exilic. In the South, what began as a pre-exilic theology progressed to an exilic one during the Civil War – where it would remain long after the war ended, as Southern ministers became the leading spokesmen for the “Theology of the Lost Cause,” the permanent exile of a people within their own country.
Upcoming Event: Muslim religiosity in the city: From private reflection to public and political engagement
Wednesday, September 17
Room 5307, CUNY Graduate Center
MATTERING: Feminism, Science and Materialism