Charles Gelman is a contributing editor of The Immanent Frame and an associate editor of Frequencies. A former program assistant at the Social Science Research Council, he is currently a doctoral student in comparative literature at New York University. He earned his B.A. from the Gallatin School, NYU, in 2009.
Posts by Charles Gelman:
“Of Miracles and Machines: A Symposium on Derrida and Religion” will take place Thursday, March 22, at Fordham University, New York, NY.Read the rest of Syposium on Derrida and religion.
In the New York Times opinion pages, Boston College political science professor Jonathan Laurence argues that it’s up to—and in the interest of—Europe’s governments to devise a coherent policy of integration for the continent’s growing Muslim population.Read the rest of A coherent integration policy for Europe.
On Friday-Saturday, Feb. 3-4, the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University will host Reworking Political Concepts II: A Lexicon in Formation, featuring presentations by Gil Anidjar, Susan Buck-Morss, Stathis Gourgouris, Jacques Lezra, and Uday Mehta, among others.Read the rest of Conference: Reworking Political Concepts.
Tomorrow evening, at Columbia University’s Rennert Hall, Kraft Center for Jewish Life, author Gary Shteyngart will engage in a conversation with McKenzie Wark, professor of media and cultural studies at The New School, as part of Rewiring the Real, a yearlong series of conversations with writers about the interplay of literature, technology and religion, organized by Columbia’s Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.Read the rest of Gary Shteyngart: Rewiring the Real, at Columbia University.
On November 5, 2011, there will be a closing ceremony for the Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings exhibition curated by Matilde Cassani, hosted by Storefront for Art and Architecture. The event will feature a panel discussion with Courtney Bender, Columbia University, Department of Religion; Maria Gonzales Pendas, GSAPP Columbia University; Patricia Bellucci, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture; along with representatives from religious communities and individuals who submitted to the project’s open call.Read the rest of Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings: closing ceremony and panel discussion.
In addition to an excerpt from the introduction to Denis Lacorne’s Religion in America, as well as Joseph Blankholm’s response to Lacorne’s recent presentation of the book at Columbia University, you can also read the book’s foreword by the late Tony Judt, available from Columbia University Press.Read the rest of Tony Judt on Religion in America.
At the Rethinking Religion blog of Columbia University’s Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Joseph Blankholm responds to Denis Lacorne’s recent presentation, at Columbia, of his latest book Religion in America (Columbia University Press, 2011), which explores the multiple and divergent narratives situating faith’s place in the foundation and ongoing life of the American republic. Lacorne also examines how the United States’ seemingly peculiar mixture of principled secularism and overt public religiosity has been understood, and misunderstood, by French philosophers and other observers of the American scene.Read the rest of America’s “faith-friendly secularism”.
At the Scoop, Maura Jane Farrelly rounds up some responses (and adds her own) to Bill Keller’s Times Magazine editorial appealing for closer scrutiny of presidential candidates’ religious backgrounds and beliefs.Read the rest of Questioning religion’s role in the presidential race.
The Center for American Progress has a new report out on the groups and individuals fomenting the rising tide of Islamophobia in the U.S.Read the rest of Fear, Inc.: a report on the roots of Islamophobia.
The latest issue of Dissent features an argument (sub. req.) by Austin Dacey and Colin Koproske against the prevailing understanding of religious freedom in recent U.S. jurisprudence and, more generally, against the accommodation of claims on the grounds that they derive from a specifically religious belief and not otherwise.Read the rest of Debating religious freedom in Dissent.
Spencer Ackerman, at Wired‘s Danger Room blog, reports on the recommended reading on Islam provided to incoming FBI agents, as well as other documents obtained by the ACLU and the Asian Law Caucus pursuant to a recent FOIA request.Read the rest of What federal agents are reading about Islam.
Earlier this year, Jonathan D. Fitzgerald, a former adjunct professor at King’s College, wrote an exposé for Killing the Buddha on the small Evangelical and—at least in the eyes of its authorities, if not in those of all of its students—politically conservative college housed in New York’s Empire State Building. Now, Andrew Marantz, of New York Magazine, takes a closer look at D’Souza’s tenure, the college’s sense of its vocation, and the student body being trained to become, in D’Souza’s words, “dangerous Christians.”Read the rest of The house that D’Souza built?.
Secularism and Nonreligion, the “world’s first journal dedicated to the study of the nonreligious and the secular,” recently announced its launch and is now accepting submissions.Read the rest of New journal: Secularism and Nonreligion.
On July 29—one week from today—the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom will host The Interplay between Religious Freedom, Extremism, and Security: Implications for U.S. Policy, which will feature a panel discussion among Ziya Meral, Daniel Philpott, Timothy Samuel Shah, and Monica Duffy Toft.Read the rest of Event: The Interplay between Religious Freedom, Extremism, and Security.
Meghan O’Gieblyn, writing for Guernica, forays into the history of CCM, or Christian contemporary music, which also happens to be that of her own adolescence, tracing the gradual displacement of the more overtly gospel elements of Christian pop, rock, and rap, as the Christian music industry, in its growing drive for “relevance,” felt the squeeze of secular music, especially under the pincers the more profitable and marketing-savvy MTV. More than the fate of explicitly Christian popular music, this course, O’Gieblyn suggests, reflects the simultaneous devolution of a distinctly evangelical way of being in the world, which, stuck as it is between oppositional self-cloistering and secularizing dissipation, seems to O’Gieblyn to have tended toward to the latter.Read the rest of The rise and fall of Christian rock.
On October 13-15, the Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig, will hold its second annual conference, Multiple Secularities and Global Interconnectedness.Read the rest of Conference: Multiple Secularities and Global Interconnectedness.
From Fortress Press, an interview with Mark Lewis Taylor, author of The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World (Fortress, 2011).Read the rest of The Theological and the Political.
In the Frankfurter Rundschau, Hartmut Rosa hears the echoes of Pink Floyd in the work of Charles Taylor.Read the rest of Is there anybody out there? (Pink Floyd and Charles Taylor).
Kevin Drum, of Mother Jones, reports on a study conducted by the esteemed researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that purports to demonstrate the positive, long-term personal and social effects of psilocybin mushrooms, including greater awareness of, and openness to, the spiritual and the sacred.Read the rest of War on drugs may be interfering with Americans’ spiritual awakening.
Der Spiegel reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel is under fire for her allegedly unduly celebratory comments about the assassination of Osama bin Laden.Read the rest of Angela Merkel chided for unchristlike comments.
The Guardian reports that some Islamic scholars and clerics are claiming that Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea was in violation of shari’a law and may provoke calls for retaliation against the United States.Read the rest of Sea burial of Osama bin Laden prompts criticism from scholars, clerics.
David Kyuman Kim’s conversation with Jean Comaroff for the “Rites and Responsibilities” dialogue series, which originally appeared on this website last January, has been republished in the May 2011 issue of the journal Cultural Anthropology.Read the rest of TIF interview with Jean Comaroff republished in Cultural Anthropology.
The CBC Radio program Ideas recently ran a five-part series on the life and work of Charles Taylor, “The Malaise of Modernity: Charles Taylor in Conversation,” which is now available to stream or to download as a podcast.
Listen here.Read the rest of “The Malaise of Modernity”: a radio series on the work of Charles Taylor.
“Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists broke matzo with Jewish Israelis in a Tel Aviv basketball court before this year’s Passover began. The “Out of Egypt” seder, a thousand-strong gathering in a seedy park near the central bus station, was four days early; many of the guests—African refugees and Asian migrant workers—are busy cleaning Israeli homes during Passover proper. The Sudanese and Eritrean guests have literal Out-of-Egypt stories to tell: Most lived in Cairo for months or years before crossing the Sinai by foot to get to Israel. But there’s no Moses in their exodus stories. There are Bedouin smugglers who charge thousands of dollars to lead them through the desert. There are Egyptian border guards who shoot. There are barbed-wire fences to run and jump—if they make it, into another people’s Zion.”Read the rest of From exodus to immigration.
A new grants program for journalists, sponsored by the Knight Program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism:
Knight Grants for Reporting on Religion and American Public Life, sponsored by the Knight Program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, provides funding for projects that explore how religion — morals, values, spirituality and the search for meaning — shapes responses to social issues, including housing, health care, poverty, sexuality, immigration, economic equity, and civil rights in the US.Read the rest of CFP: Knight Grants for Reporting on Religion and American Public Life.
In Foreign Policy, Elizabeth McAlister—a member of the SSRC Working Group on Spirituality, Political Engagement, and Public Life—writes on recent electoral victory of Haitian pop star Michel Martelly and how music shapes politics in Haiti.Read the rest of Translating music into politics in Haiti.
Matt Yglesias parses Newt Gingrich’s (only) ostensibly contradictory statement, that “if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists . . . .”Read the rest of Newt Gingrich’s secular, Islamic America.
Michael Slackman has a fairly extensive article in The New York Times on the Muslim Brotherhood’s apparent consolidation of power in post-revolutionary Egypt, where, he writes, “religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.”Read the rest of New tensions in Egypt.
Our Values is a new blog published by the Michigan Institute for Social Research and featuring the writing of sociologist Wayne Baker. Its purpose is “to show that civil discussion is possible about the values and ethics that shape our lives—even when stark conflicts arise over core issues.” Each week, Baker discusses a different theme in-depth, with a special emphasis placed on reader feedback.Read the rest of Our Values.
David Remnick, in The New Yorker, profiles Amos Schocken, the prickly but principled (albeit ideologically nonconformist) publisher of Haaretz, which, though long seen—by its own staff as much as its readers—as the conscience of Israeli society, shares with the state itself an increasingly uncertain future.Read the rest of The future of Haaretz (and of Israel).
Abraham Rubin reviews Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age at the blog of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Cardozo School of Law.Read the rest of A review of Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age.
J. Caleb Clanton reviews Paul Cliteur’s The Secular Outlook, which aims “to show how religious believers and unbelievers can live peacefully together and what principles the state should try to stimulate in its citizenry to achieve social harmony and social cohesion.”Read the rest of A review of Paul Cliteur’s The Secular Outlook.
At Patheos, philosopher Roger Gottlieb discusses why “spirituality” is a necessary supplement to democracy.Read the rest of When democracy alone is not enough.
In the SSRC’s Transformations of the Public Sphere essay forum, Seyla Benhabib considers the recent and ongoing uprisings in the Arab world as a novel hybridization of Muslim and modern politics, suggesting that it “is altogether possible that these young revolutionaries who stunned the world with their ingenuity, discipline, tenaciousness and courage will also teach us some new lessons about religion and the public square, democracy and faith . . . .”Read the rest of Religion and the emerging transnational Arab public.
This Friday, February 25, at 6:00 PM, there will be a panel discussion of the resurgence of the Iranian Green Movement in relation to the recent uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East. The panel will feature Hamid Dabashi, Ervand Abrahamian, Nader Hashemi, Golbarg Bashi, and Danny Postel—all contributors to The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future (Melville House, 2011), edited by Hashemi and Postel.For more information, see here.Read the rest of Panel discussion on Iran’s Green Movement and the upheaval in the Middle East.
James K.A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, is currently teaching an undergraduate seminar on Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, and he and his students will be blogging about the book as the semester progresses.Read the rest of Teaching and blogging A Secular Age.
Political scientists Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz argue, in an article for Project Syndicate, that a democratic transition following the reportedly imminent resignation of Hosni Mubarak would be best served by the institution of a parliamentary system, rather than a new presidential election.Read the rest of “Does Egypt Need a Pharaoh?”.
Amid the ongoing upheaval in Egypt, Clifford Bob discusses the U.S. Government perspective on Egypt’s future and the possibly—or, rather, probably—significant role to be played by religious associations and political parties in the event of a post-Mubarak transitionRead the rest of Religion, elections, and civil society in Egypt.
Kile Jones, a Ph.D. student at the Claremont School of Theology, has a review of William Connolly’s Why I Am Not a Secularist up at State of Formation, in which he “argue[s] why some of [Connolly’s] key positions are admirable, but that some of the conclusions he draws from them are not.”Read the rest of Secularism despite itself.
On January 28-29, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia will host a conference on “Secularism in the Late Modern Age: Between New Atheisms and Religious Fundamentalisms.” Speakers include: Manuela Achilles, Rajeev Bhargava, José Casanova, Jocelyn Cesari, Daniel Doneson, Silvio Ferrari, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Slavica Jakelić, Adam Lipszyc, Ekaterina Makarova, Neeti Nair, Christopher Nichols , Abdulaziz Sachedina, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Kevin Shultz, William Schweiker, George Thomas, Carl Trindle, Stephen White, and Wesley Wildman.Read the rest of Conference: “Secularism in the Late Modern Age”.