Wei Zhu

Wei Zhu is a program associate for the SSRC program on Religion and the Public Sphere and an editorial associate for The Immanent Frame. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Economics and in International Relations. He tweets at @newyorkwei.

Posts by Wei Zhu:

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Materializing the Bible

The Immanent Frame contributor James S. Bielo and co-curator Amanda White have recently launched a new website called Materializing the Bible.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2015

5 questions (and answers) about religious exemptions for vaccines

The measles outbreak originating in Disneyland in California—which was finally declared over last month after 169 cases in the U.S.—thrust the issue of non-medical vaccination exemptions into the political spotlight again, and fueled the growing public controversy over their place in mandatory immunization policies. Personal exemptions for moral or philosophical reasons exist in some states, but religious exemptions, which are allowed in forty-eight states, are far more prevalent. Determined to cut down on the number of unvaccinated people, lawmakers across the U.S. have proposed restrictions and bans on religious exemptions, triggering heated (and ongoing) debates in California, Maine, and Vermont. The current backlash raises a series of important legal, political, and religious questions about these exemptions, beginning with the most basic one.

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Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Projecting religious futures

Earlier this month, Pew Research Center published its projections on what religious affiliations might look like in 2050.

Read the rest of Projecting religious futures.
Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Religion in Britain: Demography, identity, and the public sphere

Over at Public Spirit, to coincide with the publication of the second edition of Grace Davie’s Religion in Britain, Tariq Modood comments on on three significant changes with demography, identity, and the public sphere are going to characterize the next few decades and perhaps beyond.

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Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Norse pagan temple to be built in Iceland

Roughly a millennium after Christianity overtook Norse paganism, there will soon be a new temple devoted to Odin, Thor, and Frigg overlooking Reykjavík.

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Thursday, January 29th, 2015

CFP and fellowship opportunities

The Religion Network of the Social Science History Association has announced a call for papers, panels, and book sessions for the 40th annual meeting of the Social Science History Association, while two full-time Ph.D. research fellowship positions are also available at The Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo.

Read the rest of CFP and fellowship opportunities.
Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Church of England has its first female bishop

Following a July 2014 vote to allow female bishops, the Church of England has named the Reverend Libby Lane as its first female bishop.

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014

CFP: The Psychology of Religion/The Religion of Psychology

On Friday, March 6th, 2015, the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Martin Marty Center will host “The Psychology of Religion/The Religion of Psychology,” a conference exploring the relation between two problem children of modernity.

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Book launch for Queer Christianities

TONIGHT at 6PM, Eugene Lang College will host a book launch party for Queer Christianities: Lived Religion in Transgressive Forms, edited by Kathleen T. Talvacchia, Michael F. Pettinger, and Mark Larrimore.

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Friday, November 7th, 2014

David Gushee shifts on homosexuality

On November 8, David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor at Mercer University, leading evangelical ethicist, and TIF contributor, will give the keynote speech at The Reformation Project Conference (which “seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity”) and affirm his support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.

Read the rest of David Gushee shifts on homosexuality.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Pope Francis reaffirms belief in evolution

Addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 27, Pope Francis stated that not only are the Big Bang and evolution consistent with God and creation, but in fact require a divine presence.

Read the rest of Pope Francis reaffirms belief in evolution.
Friday, October 24th, 2014

CFP: Religion, Gender and Body Politics

The “Interdisciplinary Innovations in the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives” project has announced its final conference, initiated and coordinated by Anne-Marie Korte (Utrecht University) and Adriaan van Klinken (University of Leeds).

Read the rest of CFP: Religion, Gender and Body Politics.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Futures of the American Religious Past

On January 3, 2015, as part of the winter meeting of American Society for Church History, four interlocutors will speak on TIF contributor John Lardas Modern‘s book Secularism in Antebellum America, and Mark Noll’s book America’s God, with comments from both authors.

Read the rest of Futures of the American Religious Past.
Friday, October 17th, 2014

A “pastoral earthquake” in Rome?

On October 13th, the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, an assembly convened by Pope Francis, released a relatio post disceptationem—a snapshot of the discussion thus far—that has triggered much coverage and debate across the media landscape. The document seems to signal a softening stance on, among others things, divorce, homosexuality, and unmarried cohabitation.

Read the rest of A “pastoral earthquake” in Rome?.
Thursday, October 16th, 2014

A response to Borja Vilallonga

Over at his Academia.edu page, Thomas Pfau responds to Borja Vilallonga’s review of his book Minding the Modern.

Read the rest of A response to Borja Vilallonga.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Religious exemption in the National Football League

During last night’s victory over the New England Patriots, Kansas City safety Husain Abdullah, a practicing Muslim who once missed the entire 2012 season for the pilgrimage to Mecca, intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and returned it for a touchdown. After scoring, he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conductspecifically excessive celebration in the form of “going to the groundfor sliding to his knees and praying.

Read the rest of Religious exemption in the National Football League.
Friday, September 26th, 2014

Egypt’s uncertain future

Since the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egypt has experienced significant turmoil, from temporary rule by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to the military coup that led to the election of current president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Read the rest of Egypt’s uncertain future.
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

CFP: Religious and Political Values

On November 26-28, 2014, Adyan and the Lebanese American University will host a conference on “Religious and Political Values” in Byblos, Lebanon.

Read the rest of CFP: Religious and Political Values.
Friday, August 15th, 2014

On Religious-Secular Alliances

In the most recent issue of The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) Quarterly, TIF contributor Slavica Jakelić, in an excerpt from her book manuscript The Practice of Religious and Secular Humanisms, argues that in order to understand the moral foundation and democratic potential of religious-secular alliances, it is important to move beyond the discourse of power.

Read the rest of On Religious-Secular Alliances.
Thursday, May 15th, 2014

The complicated case of Narendra Modi’s visa

Monday, May 12th, marked the ninth and final phase of India’s general elections, and the results announced in coming hours will likely declare Narendra Modi as India’s prime minister. Modi, the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance, would then lead the world largest democracy—one with a staggering 814.5 million registered voters—but has been denied entry into ours: for almost a decade, the Department of State has banned Modi from entering the United States. Looking back at how this came to be highlights the uneven history of religious freedom as part of American foreign policy.

Read the rest of The complicated case of Narendra Modi’s visa.
Monday, April 21st, 2014

Christianity grows in China

Over at The Telegraph, Tom Phillips writes about the rapid growth of Christianity in China.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Charter of Quebec Values derailed

On April 7th the Quebec Liberal Party won a majority government in the 41st Quebec general election, with incumbent Parti Québécois, and its controversial Charter of Quebec Values, finishing second.

Read the rest of The Charter of Quebec Values derailed.
Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Four patriarchs and a Baptist preacher

A brief glance back at the history of Ukraine reveals a religiously diverse assortment of leaders.

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Varieties of Religious Establishment

In a recently published edited volume, Varieties of Religious Establishment, editors Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and Lori G. Beaman asks contributors to think about religion in public life by considering varieties of religious establishment, rather than of religious freedom.

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Monday, March 17th, 2014

Securing the Sacred: Religion, National Security, and the Western State

In his new book, Securing the Sacred, Robert M. Bosco examines how secular states attempt to understand and engage religious ideas and actors in the name of national security.

Read the rest of Securing the Sacred: Religion, National Security, and the Western State.
Monday, March 10th, 2014

Scientology as religion

As part of the discussion and workshop on “Beyond Critique,” Lorenzo Zucca, Reader in Jurisprudence at King’s College London, writes about the definition of religion as it relates to Scientology.

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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Are academics cloistered?

Recently, The New York Times published an article by Nicholas Kristof that lamented how academics, cloistered like medieval monks, have retreated from the public policy arena. Kristof cites a few institutional reasons for this phenomenon, including the decline in humanities funding, but also critiques academics for marginalizing themselves. The column has, unsurprisingly, triggered a debate among academics, policy-makers, and journalists about the merits of Kristof’s arguments, as well as potential causes and solutions.

Read the rest of Are academics cloistered?.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

CFP: Rethinking Political Catholicism

On May 22-23, 2014, John Cabot University, as part of its Summer Institute for Religion and Global Politics will host an international conference entitled “Rethinking Political Catholicism: Empirical and Normative Perspectives.”

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Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

The forgotten story of the Flushing Remonstrance

Walking down Bowne Street in Flushing, Queens, you may see a most interesting sign. “Bowne House; Built in 1661,” it reads, “A National Shrine to Religious Freedom.” Flushing is known for many things—the New York Mets, for example, or its Chinatown. It is not, however, known for being the location of one of the first debates over religious conscience and tolerance in the American colonies.

Read the rest of The forgotten story of the Flushing Remonstrance.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Secularism and secularity at the AAR

At the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, to be held November 23-26 in Baltimore, a new program unit on “Secularism and Secularity” will sponsor four sessions.

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Monday, November 18th, 2013

Buddhism in context

For Tricycle, an independent Buddhist publication, Linda Heuman interviews David McMahan, scholar of Buddhism and modernity, and author of The Making of Buddhist Modernism.

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Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Postdoctoral fellowship on religion and secularism

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced the theme for the 2014-2016 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

What is religion in China? A brief history

The complex and ever-changing relationship between the Chinese state and the nation’s religions stretches back thousands of years. While the state never struggled with religious leaders for power, it governed an embedded religiosity in the population, one best described as diffused, non-exclusive, and pluralistic. As a companion to The Immanent Frame’s newly launched series of essays on the state of religion in China, this piece embarks on a brief historical survey, outlining the wide variety of beliefs and practices that religion in China encapsulates, and paying particular attention to the events and philosophies that have shaped the policies of the atheist People’s Republic of China.

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Thursday, September 12th, 2013

CFP: Religion and the Liberal Order

The Transatlantic Academy is seeking candidates to serve as resident Fellows from September 2014-June 2015 to examine the research theme, Religion and the Liberal Order.

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Friday, September 6th, 2013

Opening at the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation seeks a Program Officer for its work on religion in the public sphere.

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Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Department of State launches Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives

Following on talk of earlier plans to create a new “office of religious engagement,” the Department of State has formally launched the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives.

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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Digital publishing and the academic study of religion

Over at The Huffington Post, Norris J. Chumley writes on the growing influence of online forums and journals in the academic world of religion.

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Monday, May 6th, 2013

CFP: Bridging Voices

The British Council has recently announced the launch of Bridging Voices, a grants program aimed at promoting improved understanding of the role religion plays in public life and international affairs through a series of transatlantic academic and policy dialogues and outreach activities.

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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Citizenship and minorities in Egypt

Over at Jadaliyya, Mona Oraby addresses the relationship between religious affiliation and national belonging in an article on citizenship debates in Egypt.

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Program assistant openings at the SSRC

The Social Science Research Council is currently seeking program assistants in two of its Africa programs.

Read the rest of Program assistant openings at the SSRC.
Friday, March 8th, 2013

Praying on Twitter

Over at Religion Dispatches, New Directions in the Study of Prayer Grantee Peter Manseau talks about the use of Twitter as a venue for prayer.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigns

In a surprising announcement, Pope Benedict XVI stated on Monday that would resign at the end of the month.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Conference: After Secularization

On March 1st and 2nd, 2013, the Social Science Research Council and the University of California Humanities Research Institute will co-sponsor a conference at the University of California, Irvine entitled “After Secularization.”

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Thursday, February 7th, 2013

The alienation of religion from the left

Noting that “nearly all of the white Americans who drifted away from organized religion in the last few decades were liberals,” Claude Fischer worries worries that this is problematic for both the left and the right.

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Friday, February 1st, 2013

Religious right in the United Kingdom?

Over at Theos, a British think tank working in the area of religion, politics and society, recently released a new report asking: “Is there a ‘Religious Right’ emerging in Britain?

Read the rest of Religious right in the United Kingdom?.
Monday, January 28th, 2013

Where are the “new evangelicals” going?

Writing in Religious Dispatches, Sarah Posner tackles TIF’s recent exchange on “The new evangelicals,” specifically the lead essay by Marcia Pally.

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Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Religion fellowships for journalists

This month, the International Reporting Project at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies announced two new religion fellowships for journalists.

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Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Postdoctoral Fellowship in International Humanities

Brown University’s Department of Religious Studies has just announced a new fellowship.

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Friday, January 4th, 2013

Faith, modernity and Holy Ignorance

At Foreign Affairs, Karen Barkey looks at Oliver Roy‘s book Holy Ignorance.

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Friday, December 14th, 2012

Morsi’s moves

On November 21st, a Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire between Israel and Hamas took effect, bringing an end to eight days of particularly fierce fighting between the two.

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