Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Jonathan VanAntwerpen is program director for theology at the Henry Luce Foundation. Originally trained as a philosopher, he received his doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-editor of a series of books on secularism, religion, and public life, including Habermas and Religion (Polity, 2013), Rethinking Secularism (Oxford University Press, 2011), The Post-Secular in Question (NYU Press, 2012), The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere (Columbia University Press, 2011), and Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Harvard University Press, 2010). VanAntwerpen was the founding director of the SSRC's program on religion and the public sphere, and in 2007 he worked with others to launch The Immanent Frame, serving for several years as editor-in-chief.

Posts by Jonathan VanAntwerpen:

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

New report on religion and international relations

working group on “international relations and religion,” convened by Michael Desch and Daniel Philpott, recently released released a detailed report.

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Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Credulity: Enchantment and Modernity in the 19th-Century U.S.

The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University is co-sponsoring a conference later this week on “credulity.”

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Secularism and secularity

Our proposal for the creation of a new program unit on “Secularisms and Secularities” within the American Academy of Religion (AAR) seeks to promote and enable more sustained interdisciplinary engagement among scholars of secularism and secularity and those researchers whose work has focused on variously conceived forms of “non-religion.”

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Thursday, September 29th, 2011

The big bang

Peter Manseau reviews Robert Bellah’s Religion in Human Evolution.

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Monday, September 26th, 2011

Secularism in Antebellum America

Forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, a “pioneering account of religion and society in nineteenth-century America” by John Lardas Modern, contributing editor at The Immanent Frame and co-curator (with Kathryn Lofton) of the recently launched Frequencies.

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Monday, February 7th, 2011

Tariq Ramadan and Slavoj Žižek on the future of Egyptian politics

Tariq Ramadan and Slavoj Zizek on the future of Egyptian politics [video].

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Saturday, February 5th, 2011

The Egyptian Revolution

Mohammed Bamyeh: “Never has a revolution that seemed so lacking in prospects gathered momentum so quickly and so unexpectedly.”

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Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Will the Arab revolutions spread?

Marc Lynch responds to protests across the Arab world.

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Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Rhetoric and authority

At Notes from the Social Field, Ernesto Castañeda reflects on President Obama’s rhetorical performance in the aftermath of the shootings in Tucson.

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

All Things Shining

Susan Neiman reviews All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, by philosophers Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly.

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010


From the opening statement of the editorial collective of Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development:, published by University of Pennsylvania Press, and edited by Samuel Moyn and Nicolas Guilhot.

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Muffling the conflict

Stanley Fish on John Milbank’s contribution to “Shari’a in the West”.

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Friday, June 4th, 2010

God, science and philanthropy

Nathan Schneider profiles John Templeton and the Foundation he built, in The Nation.

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Friday, June 4th, 2010

American Katechon

Nicolas Guilhot on when political theology became international relations theory.

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Colloquium: secularism and its discontents

Event: Secularism and Its Discontents: The View from Jewish Studies. Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 16th Annual Gruss Colloquium, May 3-4, 2010. More details here.

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Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Theological arm wrestling

At The Daily Dish, Patrick Appel reviews a week-long debate over atheism and religion, and responds to the suggestion that “there really isn’t anything at all interesting to say anymore about atheism vs. religion, and hasn’t been since at least the 1950s, if not the 1850s.” Find his round-up of the week’s debate here.

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Monday, July 6th, 2009

A vast anti-narrative

Nathan Schneider on Robert Wright’s The Evolution of God.

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Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The evolution of God

Paul Bloom reviews Robert Wright’s new book in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Talal Asad on religion, belief and politics

In his December 2008 Foerster Lecture at UC-Berkeley, Talal Asad discusses “attempts by anthropologists and others to define religion, the shifting place of ‘belief’ in that endeavor, and some of its implications for politics.” Watch the related interview here.

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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Prison religion

Michael Warner blurbs a forthcoming book by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan.

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Friday, December 19th, 2008

Beyond a concept

Mark Juergensmeyer blurbs Religion Beyond a Concept.

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Religion and modernity

James Poulos continues an exchange with Andrew Sullivan.

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Sunday, December 14th, 2008

The Religious-Secular Divide: The US Case

A Social Research Conference at The New School, March 5th and 6th, 2009.

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Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Love, freedom, and public life

David Kim discusses his book Melancholic Freedom, with Tavis Smiley.

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Sunday, December 14th, 2008

An American icon

Kathryn Lofton discusses Oprah Winfrey.

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Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Author, meet blog

In an interview with Nathan Schneider, historian of ideas Mark Lilla explains how he ended up writing a book about political theology, what blogging on The Immanent Frame did for the book, and why he’s reading very selectively these days.

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Monday, December 8th, 2008

Cities and new wars: after Mumbai

Saskia Sassen at openDemocracy.

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Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Obama’s theologian

Monte Bute reviews Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History.

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Friday, November 21st, 2008

The Mormon coming out party

Michelle Goldberg, in a piece posted today at Religion Dispatches.

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Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Modernity, faith, and marriage

Andrew Sullivan responds to a post by Rod Dreher.

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Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Abundant history

In a recent post at The Immanent Frame, Jason Bivins wondered in closing whether our present moment might become what Robert Orsi has called an “abundant event,” “characterized by aspects of the human imagination that cannot be completely accounted for by social and cultural codes.” Randall J. Stephens reports on a recent forum on “abundant history” in Historically Speaking, and has posted Robert Orsi’s lead essay and Jane Shaw’s response here.

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Friday, November 14th, 2008

What is enchantment?

Earlier this week, Charles Taylor was presented with the Kyoto Prize, often referred to as the “Japanese Nobel.” Next week, Taylor will be at Columbia University to deliver two talks co-sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Committee on Global Thought and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Rushdie’s secular sermon

David Van Biema in Time.

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

The politics we deserve

Jason Bivins at Religion Dispatches. And read Bivins’s recent post at The Immanent Frame, “The cooling embers.”

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Rethinking secularism

From an article by Craig Calhoun in the fall 2008 issue of The Hedgehog Review.

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Uncritical exuberance?

Judith Butler on the election of Barack Obama…

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Post-election roundups & more

<br />In conjunction with recent post-election reflections at The Immanent Frame by Howard Adelman, Arjun Appadurai, John Esposito, Conrad Hackett, D. Michael Lindsay, Elizabeth Prodromou and John Schmalzbauer, Nicole Greenfield gathers a selection of articles that consider the role religion played in last Tuesday’s election (and the way it might figure politically in the months ahead), while Ruth Braunstein surveys news and analysis on “Voting in a year when ‘Muslim’ was a slur.” Find both of these roundups (and more) at here & there.

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Monday, November 10th, 2008

The possibility of transcendence

Peter E. Gordon reviews Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age.

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Soulgasms of the Christian Right

Dagmar Herzog’s Sex in Crisis…

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Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Body of knowledge

Gary Rosen reviews Russell Shorto’s Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason.

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Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Is critique secular?

In the latest issue of Public Culture, Stathis Gourgouris writes…

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Far out

Nathan Schneider in The Smart Set.

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Who will speak for Islam?

John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed in World Policy Journal.

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Rethinking secularism

Rethinking Secularism: Refining the Concepts of “Public Religions,” “Principled Distance” and the “Twin Tolerations”. A public roundtable at Columbia University, with Rajeev Bhargava, José Casanova and Alfred C. Stepan…

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Friday, October 17th, 2008

The monstrosity of Christ

Žižek and Milbank go head to head, in a forthcoming book from MIT Press.

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Friday, October 10th, 2008

Two kinds of fear

From an interview with Charles Taylor…

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Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Secularism’s home address

From yet another review of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age

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Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Obama territory

Nathan Schneider at Religion Dispatches.

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Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Religion and race

Martin E. Marty reviews Mark A. Noll’s new book.

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Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

The faith life of the party

Krista Tippett interviews Amy Sullivan.

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