Conversations at the Center

Conversations at the Center is a colloquium series that fosters in-depth exploration of theoretical, methodological and regional issues in the study of religion and conflict among faculty, graduate students, and the community.

Recent Conversations

Pandemic Re-attunements: Thinking and Acting with Planetary Times

Whitney Bauman on the intersection of religion, science, and ecology as he examines how ideas of progress govern orientations toward time, which, in turn, shape human relationships with the natural world.

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COVID-19, Religion, & Humanity: Dispatches from the Frontlines

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the U.S. economy, put millions of Americans out of work, overwhelmed hospitals in many cities, and taken the lives of nearly 200,000 people worldwide. While most news coverage has focused on the medical, social, economic, and political repercussions of the pandemic, the religious dimensions of COVID-19 are also momentous.

The pandemic—surging during Lent, peaking over Passover and Easter, and still spreading as Ramadan begins—has become an occasion for millions of people, whether religious or secular, to reflect on their beliefs and commitments. Learn more as we discuss how COVID-19 is affecting different communities around the world with with Fr. Patrick Gilger, S.J., contributing editor for America magazine, who is joining from Milan, Italy, and Anand Gopal, award-winning journalist and assistant research professor with the Center, who is joining from New York City.

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Complete Archive

Date Event Speaker(s) Links
APR 2021 What Good is Theory? Religion, Critique, and Truth Vincent Lloyd
Mayanthi L. Fernando
Andrew Prevot
Inese Radzins
Jason Josephson Storm
APR 2021 Laid Bare: Surveillance, Eugenics, and Personhood Sylvester Johnson
Charles McCrary
APR 2021 Science, Religion, and Society: Lessons from the U.S. Case Andrew Jewett Video
MAR 2021 “Opening a Star Gate to the Dark Gods”: Psychic Espionage, Satanic “Cults,” & Occult Nazis on the Dark Web Jason Josephson Storm
FEB 2021 Religion, Violence, and Digital Culture: Understanding QAnon Candace Rondeaux
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz
Adam Darrah
James Edmonds
JAN 2021 Laid Bare: Sacred Earth Mary Evelyn Tucker Video
OCT 2020 Pandemic Re-attunements: Thinking and Acting with Planetary Times Whitney Bauman Video
OCT 2020 Fragile Earth and the Sacred: From Rachel Carson to Earth 2.0 Lisa Sideris Video
JUN 2020 Laid Bare: Contagion & Community Arnold Eisen
Lauren Gilger
Ben Hurlbut
APR 2020 COVID-19, Religion, & Humanity: Dispatches from the Frontlines Patrick Gilger
Anand Gopal
MAR 2020 Science, Secularization, and American Democracy Noah Efron
JAN 2020 A "Judeo-Christian" America? Competing Visions of a Nation in Turmoil K. Healan Gaston
OCT 2019 Political Power and Religious Authority in Indian Islamic Thought: A Perspective from the 18th Century Muhammad Qasim Zaman
OCT 2019 Apocalyptic Visions: Telling the Story of Our Climate Future Earl Swift
Steven Beschloss
Tracy Fessenden
OCT 2019 Black Dignity: The Political Theology of #BlackLivesMatter Vincent Lloyd
OCT 2019 Rediscovering the Jews of Białowieża through Oral History
OCT 2019 India’s Future in Crisis? Kashmir, Assam, and the Fate of Democracy Ather Zia
Suvir Kaul
Yasmin Saikia
Daniel Rothenberg
James Rush
APR 2019 Religion, Media, and Climate Change: What's the Story? Ben Ehrenreich
Tulasi Srinivas
Jeffrey Cohen
APR 2019 Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs Karin Attiah Video
FEB 2019 The Invention of Humanity: Equality and Cultural Difference in World History Siep Stuurman
OCT 2019 Sufi, Salafi, Shi'i: Sectarian Discourses in Nigeria Sani Umar
SEP 2018 Religious and Social Change in the Middle East Anand Gopal
Edith Szanto
Rozina Ali
APR 2018 Language Emancipation of Slavic Microlanguages: A Comparative Case Study Motoki Nomachi
APR 2018 The Kosovan Gorani Ethnolect: A Borderland Enclave in Search of Linguistic Identity Motoki Nomachi
APR 2018 War in a Warming World Mark Douglas Video
MAR 2018 Manbij: Understanding the Syrian Civil War from the Experience of a Single Town Anand Gopal
FEB 2018 Luther and the Legacy of Anti-Semitism Volker Benkert
Gary McCluskey
NOV 2017 America’s War Against ISIS: The Ground View Anand Gopal
MAR 2017 Religion, Civilization, Cooperation and Conflict Edward Slingerland
MAR 2017 Making Sense of the Trump Revolt: Where Do the Two Parties Go from Here? Joshua Mitchell
MAR 2017 At the Center of the Storm: Syria, ISIS, and the Refugee Crisis Anand Gopal
NOV 2016 What is Specific About the Drama of Athletic Events? Towards a Phenomenology of Stadium Crowds Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
OCT 2016 Takin' it to the Streets and the Seats: Promoting Social Justice through Communication Activism Research and Teaching Lawrence R. Frey
SEP 2016 Understanding the (Surprisingly Religious) History of American Secularism Jacques Berlinerblau
SEP 2016 Religion, Conflict and Terrorism in the Public Consciousness John Carlson
Anand Gopal
Daniel Rothenberg
Delia Saenz
APR 2016 Islam and Democracy During Global Transitions Daisy Khan
APR 2016 Interactions and Interchanges: Has the Animal Question Displaced the Woman (of Color) Question?: Diffracting Posthumanities with Intersectionality Rachel Lee
APR 2016 Human Rights and Humanitarianism: Distinctions With or Without a Difference? Michael Barnett
FEB 2016 Interactions and Interchanges: Undocumented Literature Robert McKee Irwin
JAN 2016 By the Grace of God: Religiosity, Religious Self-Regulation, and Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence Claire M. Renzetti
NOV 2015 Sacred Battles: Violence in Southern Sport and Culture Eric Bain-Selbo
NOV 2015 A Conversation with Anand Gopal Anand Gopal
NOV 2015 Feminist Writing from Pakistan: Remembrance of Being Kanza Javed
SEP 2015 Violence and Vulnerable Communities Kamran Ali
Miriam Cooke
William Hart
SEP 2015 Choreographing the Trauma of the Syrian Revolution Miriam Cooke
APR 2015 Bargaining for Women’s Rights: Activism in an Aspiring Muslim Democracy Alice Kang
APR 2015 The Catholic Church and the Mexican Revolution Phil Stover
APR 2015 Radioactive Ghosts: Precarious Lives in the Aftermath of Nuclear Contamination Gabriele M. Schwab
APR 2015 Interactions and Interchanges: Beyond the Hijab: Pakistani Women’s Perspectives Kanza Javed
Tehreem Aurakzai
Mawhish Khan
Zahra Hamdani Aisha Usman
MAR 2015 Global Dynamics of Violent Extremism Chad Haines
Abdullahi Gallab
Ibrahim Hassan
Raza Rumi
FEB 2015 Interactions and Interchanges: Ledfeather, A Reading and Discussion Stephen Graham Jones
JAN 2015 Faith, Death, and Freedom on the Arizona Frontier Luis Cabrera
DEC 2014 Apocalyptic Violence: The Desire for Universal Destruction and Its Historical Origins Matthias Riedl
NOV 2014 Talking to the Enemy: The Making and Unmaking of Terrorists Scott Atran
NOV 2014 Measuring Religion: Sacred Values in Human Conflict Scott Atran
NOV 2014 Measuring Religion: Political and Economic Influences on Religious NGOs Evelyn Bush
OCT 2014 Interactions and Interchanges: Why Human Rights Depend on the Humanities Sophia McClennen
OCT 2014 A Conversation with Andrew Bacevich Andrew J. Bacevich
OCT 2014 Interactions and Interchanges: Chicana/o Studies and Transnationalism: Constructing Paradigms of Future Critique from Foundational Studies of the Past Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue
APR 2014 Soft Power and Web 2.0: Public Diplomacy as Anti-Terrorism Valentina Bartolucci
APR 2014 Safety, Soldier, Scapegoat: Pat Tillman and American Civil Religion Jonathan Ebel
MAR 2014 The Transhumanist Imagination: Technological Singularity: A Crucial Event in God's Self-Actualization? Michael Zimmerman
MAR 2014 The Choosing People: The Puzzles of American Jewish Voting Ken Wald
JAN 2014 Fuzzy Sovereignty Alessandro Monsutti
NOV 2013 "Closing" Guantánamo John Carlson
NOV 2013 War Against Evil: The Religious Foundations of US Foreign Policy Ira Chernus
NOV 2013 The American Way of Religion and Violence? John Carlson
NOV 2013 Religion, Politics and American Democracy Linell Cady
NOV 2013 The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible James H. Charlesworth
SEP 2013 The Decline of Religiosity? Laurence R. Iannaccone
APR 2013 The Bad, the Ugly-but Maybe Some Good?- of Religion and Intergroup Relations Steven Neuberg
APR 2013 The Transhumanist Imagination: Governance, Progress and Converging Technologies Brice Laurent
MAR 2013 The Politics of Native American Religious Freedom Suzan Harjo
MAR 2013 The Sacralization of Democratic Politics in Europe and Beyond Anna Grzymala-Busse
FEB 2013 The Transhumanist Imagination: Vannevar Bush, the Endless Frontier, and Human Enhancement Gregg Zachary
FEB 2013 Politics and Religion Linell Cady
Bruce Meyerson
Rev. William Burrill
Robert McWhirter
Jeffery Ventrella
FEB 2013 The Arab Spring: Between Hopes and Challenges Jonathan Fine
JAN 2013 Ministries of Presence: Chaplains as Priests of the Secular Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
NOV 2012 What is the "Turkish Model"?: Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond Neslihan Cevik
NOV 2012 Religion and International Affairs: Religion and Strategic Targeting in World War II Ron E. Hassner
OCT 2012 Guantanamo: Ethics & Law, Religion & Politics Tyler Cabot
Howard R. Cabotn
Adrew S. Gordon
John Carlson
Daniel Rothenberg
OCT 2012 The Legal Response to Hate Speech: Should the U.S. be more like Europe? Jeremy Waldron
James Weinstein
OCT 2012 Islam and Pluralism Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
SEP 2012 Religion in Conflict: Modern East Asia Huaiyu Chen, Zhange Ni
MAY 2012 Violence and New Religious Movements James R. Lewis
APR 2012 Waiting, Tolerating, and Cooperating: Modern Religious Belief as a Restraint Device Mike McCullough
MAR 2012 Beyond the Arab Spring: Back to Islamism? Asef Bayat
MAR 2012 The Global Diffusion of Law: Gender, Transnational Crime and the Case of Human Trafficking Beth Simmons
FEB 2012 New Approaches to the Study of Science and Religion Wesley Wildman
OCT 2011 Un/Forgiving Memory & Counter/Redemptive Hope: Film Screening and Discussion Martin Beck Matuštík
OCT 2011 Notes on the Study of African Religion in the Diaspora Jualynne E. Dodson
SEP 2011 Religion and Ethnic Conflict: Observations from the Shatter Zones of Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus John O’Loughlin
SEP 2011 The Difference a Decade Makes: Religion, Politics and Public Life
MAR 2011 Revolution 2.0 in Egypt and Beyond Merlyna Lim
MAR 2011 Gender, Religion, and Human Rights: Afghanistan's Changes and Challenges Marzia Basel
MAR 2011 Is There a Secular Body? Charles Hirschkind
MAR 2011 Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Possible? Obstacles and Opportunities Gershon Baskin
DEC 2010 God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics Daniel Philpott
DEC 2010 Law, Religion, and the Politics of International Human Rights Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
NOV 2010 Rethinking Public Diplomacy: Religion Discourse in the Middle East Evelyn A. Early
NOV 2010 Afghanistan: States of Indeterminacy Chad Haines
APR 2010 Human Sacrifice: Religion and Statecraft William Hart
FEB 2010 There's a Spirit that Transcends the Border: Religious Activists for Immigrant Rights Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo
OCT 2009 Moral Judgment and the Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur Mathias Thaler
APR 2009 Becoming Modern: The Social Gospel and Gender Ideals for a New Era Susan Curtis
MAR 2009 'What Would Walter Want?': Walter Rauschenbusch and the Future of Religious Progressivism Christopher Evans
MAR 2009 Society as the Subject of Redemption: The Social Gospel, Walter Rauschenbusch, and the Politics of Economic and Racial Justice Gary Dorrien
OCT 2008 Heresy and Healing: Conversations on the Soul, Social Justice, and Mental Illness in the Practice of Islam Stefania Pandolfo