Religion and the Body Seminar

Religion and the Body Seminar

All seminars during the Fall 2013 semester occur on Wednesdays, 12.30-2pm in the Study of Religion Suite, Room 5307, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. The theme for this year’s seminars is Religion and the Body.


The full calendar including weekly themes and participants is below. More information or readings are available via email on request to

August 28th: Planning meeting

September 4th: [CUNY holiday]

September 11th: Professor Bryan Turner (CUNY): Reforming Axial Religions – it’s the body, stupid

September 18th: READING: three chapters from Handbook of Body Studies, ed. Bryan S. Turner (Routledge: 2012). Chapters available via email on request to

September 25th: Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

‘Muslims are the New Blacks’: Examining Young Muslims through Hip Hop Culture

October 2nd: Michael Silber (Hebrew University, Jerusalem; visiting professor, Yale)

In Your Face—A Provocative Incident in Amsterdam, 1778: Secularization, Acculturation and the Jewish Beard

October 9th: READING: Peter Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, chapters 1, 2, 7 and 8

October 16th: Sarah Covington (CUNY)

Religion and the Metaphors of the Body: Reading Wounds and Scars in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

October 23rd: Sam Heilman (CUNY)

Who Wants to be a Rebbe: Succession & Its Complications in Contemporary Hasidism

October 30th: Speakers roundtable: Studying Religion in NYC

The Mellon Committee for the Study of Religion will be holding a roundtable workshop, open to any scholars of religion within any discipline in the New York area, on October 30th, 12.30-2pm at the Graduate Center. To frame the discussion, we will read the recent report from Christian Smith et al: Roundtable on the Sociology of Religion: Twenty-Three Theses on the Status of Religion in American Sociology—A Mellon Working-Group Reflection. According to the abstract of this paper, “Despite religion being an important and distinctive kind of practice in human social life, both historically and in the world today, American sociologists often neglect religion or treat it reductionistically.” Is this the case, and why, and is it true of other disciplines in contemporary academia?

November 6th: Yuri Contreras-Vejar (Universidad Diego Portales)

Political Religions in the Making of Chile’s Democracy

November 13rd: Herman Selderhuis (Theological University Apeldoorn (the Netherlands) and director of Refo500).

Title TBA.

November 20th, WORKSHOP, 12-4pm, followed by a wine reception: Religion and the Body Details TBA.

November 27th: Trygve E Wyller (Oslo)

Heterotopic spaces from Foucault

December 4th: Gordon Dale

Kosher Music: Music and Spiritual Health in Haredi Jewish Culture

December 11th: Last seminar of the semester.

Details TBA.

Religion and the Body Seminar
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Time: 12:30 pm
Location: Committee for the Study of Religion