Previous Events

Islam in Europe & America: Day 1

May 04, 2011
12:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Room C198

Please note: The conference is open to all; registration is recommended via email to

Day 1: May 4th, 2011 – Conference Brochure

Opening remarks
Provost and Distinguished Professor of History
Chase Robinson and Bryan Turner, Director of the Religion Committee and Presidential Professor of
Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
Room C198

Jocelyne Cesari
(Government, Harvard University)
“Behaving, Belonging, Believing: Religiosity Among Muslims in Europe and America.”
Respondent: John Torpey (Sociology, CUNY)
Room C198

Afternoon tea and coffee

Danièle Hervieu-Léger
(Sociology, L’ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)
“The Rise of the Religious Subject: Some Reflections on the Historical Development of religious individualism.”
Room C198

Christian Joppke
(Political Science, American University of Paris)
“Can Muslims Live in a Liberal Society?”
Respondents: Sam Heilman (Sociology, CUNY) and John Wallach (Political Science, CUNY).
Proshansky Auditorium


Islam in Europe & America: Day 2

May 05, 2011
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Skylight Room

Day 2: May 5th, 2011 – Conference Brochure

Saba Mahmood
(Sociocultural Anthropology, UC-Berkeley)
Workshop: “Is Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech.”
Room 5307

Bryan Turner
(Presidential Professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center)
“Sharia, Religious Tribunals and Legal Pluralism.”
Skylight Room

Jose Casanova
(Sociology, Georgetown University)
“Muslim Immigrants and Islam across the Atlantic: Nativism, Secularism and Occidentalism.”
Skylight Room

Afternoon tea and coffee

Sherman Jackson
(Islamic Studies, University of Michigan)
“Islams and Muslims in America: The Wages of Religious Agnosia.”
Respondent: Mucahit Bilici (Sociology, CUNY).
Skylight Room

Saba Mahmood
(Sociocultural Anthropology, UC-Berkeley)
“Secularism, Sexual Difference and Religious Liberty.”
Skylight Room


Islam in Europe & America: Day 3

May 06, 2011
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Room 5307

Day 3: May 6th, 2011 – Conference Brochure


Danièle Hervieu- Léger (Sociology, L‟ecole des Hautes
Etudes en Sciences Sociales) Workshop: “Religion as a Chain of Memory.” Room 5307

MUSLIM ZION by Faisal Devji

MUSLIM ZION by Faisal Devji

September 27, 2011
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Martin E. Segal Theatre

Faisel Devji is interested in the political thought of modern Islam as well as in the transformation of liberal categories and democratic practice in South Asia. Devji’s broader concerns are with ethics and violence in a globalized world, particularly with the thought and practices of Mahatma Gandhi, who was among the earliest and perhaps most perceptive commentator on this predicament of our times.

Thomas Csordas: Hammering the Devil with Prayer

February 27, 2013
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Committee for the Study of Religion

Wednesday, 27th February brings Thomas Csordas to the Religion Committee, to speak on Hammering the Devil with Prayer: The Contemporary Resurgence of Exorcism. As usual, we will meet from 12.30-2pm in room 5307 of the Graduate Center, and coffee and cookies will be served.


May 03, 2013
11:00 am - 5:30 pm
Room 9206/9207

While the word ‘apocalypse’ points to the idea of a revelation (of Truth) leading to a new dispensation, and the idea of catastrophe in Greek drama referred to the turning point in the unfolding of a drama, the modern secular meaning of catastrophe is associated with the notion of total disaster from which no revelation is necessarily disclosed and from which no escape is envisioned. The colonization of North America involved a violent conflict with Native Americans resulting in both physical and cultural destruction. Our symposium will explore catastrophe in Native American history within the framework of land, dispossession, and imagination.

Religion and the Body Seminar

Religion and the Body Seminar

August 28, 2013
12:30 pm
Committee for the Study of Religion

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.