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2016

  Monday, December 5, 2016

The Religion Program presents:
Religion Program Information Session

Olin, Room 102  6:30 pm
Please join the Religion Program's faculty for a conversation on the study of religion at Bard, some exciting new curricular developments in the program, and future course offerings. We will gather at 6:30 pm immediately following the religion colloquium (at 5:30 pm).

Light refreshments will be provided.
All, especially students, are encouraged to attend.
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Tehseen Thaver  845-758-7207  tthaver@bard.edu
  Monday, December 5, 2016

Religion Colloquium
 

The Consolation of Christology?
Locating the Christological Language of Boethius within his Consolation of Philosophy and its Medieval Vernacular Translations

Olin, Room 102  5:30 pm
Alexander D'Alisera '15, M.A.
Religion candidate at Yale UniversityAll too often, Boethius the philosopher is read separately from, or even in contradiction to, Boethius the theologian.  Still, the late antique thinker – though indeed most renowned for his prosimetric Consolation of Philosophy – was eminently steeped in Christian doctrine, and possessed a theological understanding that rivaled many of the most learned churchmen of his era.  Like his contemporaries, Boethius’ theological agenda sought to defend catholic-orthodox doctrine against the prevailing forces of heresy and dissent.  Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, Boethius employed kataphatic discourse, grounded in an impeccable command of Greco-Roman philosophy, to discuss such potent topics as the Trinity and Christology in affirmative terminology.
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
  Monday, November 14, 2016

Religion Colloquium
"Is There a Bridge?  Race, Class, and Evangelicals."

Olin, Room 102  5:30 pm
The Colloquium on Religion is pleased to host a presentation by Myra Young Armstead, Lyford Paterson Edwards and Helen Gray Edwards Professor of Historical Studies, which addresses a concern that the recent election has raised:

"Is There a Bridge?  Race, Class, and Evangelicals."

Myra's work is associated with a project sponsored by the Louisville Institute, "Bridging the Hidden Class Divide," an inquiry into connections among socio-economic and religious issues. Those links are frequently overlooked in political discussion, and may provide insight into current divisions in American politics.
 
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Hermeneutics of "God-Talk":
The Case of Zoroastrianism

Dr. Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina
Yarshater Assistant Professor of Avestan and Pahlavi at the University of Toronto

Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  6:00 pm
This conversation, moderated by Shai Secunda (Religion), will probe the efforts of Zoroastrian theologians to make sense of their ancient Iranian tradition; the distinction between theology and critical scholarship in the study of Zoroastrianism; and the sociology of knowledge in a field where  Orientalism, minority identity, and related factors collide. 

Participants are strongly encouraged to read Dr. Vevaina's article “Theologies and Hermeneutics,” in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism (2015), 211-234, in advance.  

Contact Shai Secunda for a pdf of the article.  
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Program; Classical Studies Program; Medieval Studies Program; Religion Program; Theology Program
Contact: Shai Secunda  845-758-6822  ssecunda@bard.edu
Friday, November 4, 2016

Institute of Advanced Theology Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton

St. John, the Evangelist Church  12:30 pm
The Institute of Advanced Theology will host the 2016 Autumn Luncheon Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton at St. John, the Evangelist Church located at 1114 River Road, Barrytown, NY. The Lecture Series will begin on Friday, October 7 and will continue on October 14, 21, 28, and November 4th.

A brief description follows:

Herod the Great
Herod and his family defined Israel at the start of the Common Era. They shaped the political and cultural climate in which Jesus lived and the Gospels were written, extending the Temple of Jerusalem to the point that it became a pilgrimage site for Jewish *and* gentile tourists all over the world. They also inspired a reaction against their rule in the bedrock of Judeo-Christian philosophy, which warns against mixing politics and religion—from “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” to key teachings in the Mishnah, the foundational document of Rabbinic Judaism.

The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period. Lunch will begin at noon and consist of soup, bread, dessert, and a beverage. The lunch will cost $7.00.  Lunch reservations are required by emailing iatatbard@gmail.com or by calling 845-758-7279.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 845-758-7279. Thank you.
Sponsored by: Institute of Advanced Theology
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7279  iatatbard@gmail.com
Friday, October 28, 2016

Institute of Advanced Theology Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton

St. John, the Evangelist Church  12:30 pm
The Institute of Advanced Theology will host the 2016 Autumn Luncheon Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton at St. John, the Evangelist Church located at 1114 River Road, Barrytown, NY. The Lecture Series will begin on Friday, October 7 and will continue on October 14, 21, 28, and November 4th.

A brief description follows:

Herod the Great
Herod and his family defined Israel at the start of the Common Era. They shaped the political and cultural climate in which Jesus lived and the Gospels were written, extending the Temple of Jerusalem to the point that it became a pilgrimage site for Jewish *and* gentile tourists all over the world. They also inspired a reaction against their rule in the bedrock of Judeo-Christian philosophy, which warns against mixing politics and religion—from “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” to key teachings in the Mishnah, the foundational document of Rabbinic Judaism.

The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period. Lunch will begin at noon and consist of soup, bread, dessert, and a beverage. The lunch will cost $7.00.  Lunch reservations are required by emailing iatatbard@gmail.com or by calling 845-758-7279.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 845-758-7279. Thank you.
Sponsored by: Institute of Advanced Theology
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7279  iatatbard@gmail.com
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Big Beards on the Small Screen: Shtisel
(Israeli Television, 2013-2016)

Discussion & Snacks
Olin, Room 102  7:45 pm
Come watch Shtisel, an Israeli television drama series that follows the intersecting story-lines of a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish family living in the present-day Jerusalem, followed by comments from Yuval Elmelech (Sociology), Cecile Kuznitz (History), and Shai Secunda (Religion). Meet other Jewish Studies faculty and students, hear about spring courses, and enjoy a snack.  
Sponsored by: Hebrew; Historical Studies Program; Jewish Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program; Sociology Program
Contact: Shai Secunda  845-758-6822  ssecunda@bard.edu
Friday, October 21, 2016

Institute of Advanced Theology Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton

St. John, the Evangelist Church  12:30 pm
The Institute of Advanced Theology will host the 2016 Autumn Luncheon Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton at St. John, the Evangelist Church located at 1114 River Road, Barrytown, NY. The Lecture Series will begin on Friday, October 7 and will continue on October 14, 21, 28, and November 4th.

A brief description follows:

Herod the Great
Herod and his family defined Israel at the start of the Common Era. They shaped the political and cultural climate in which Jesus lived and the Gospels were written, extending the Temple of Jerusalem to the point that it became a pilgrimage site for Jewish *and* gentile tourists all over the world. They also inspired a reaction against their rule in the bedrock of Judeo-Christian philosophy, which warns against mixing politics and religion—from “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” to key teachings in the Mishnah, the foundational document of Rabbinic Judaism.

The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period. Lunch will begin at noon and consist of soup, bread, dessert, and a beverage. The lunch will cost $7.00.  Lunch reservations are required by emailing iatatbard@gmail.com or by calling 845-758-7279.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 845-758-7279. Thank you.
Sponsored by: Institute of Advanced Theology
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7279  iatatbard@gmail.com
  Monday, October 17, 2016

Religion Colloquium

Olin, Room 202  5:30 pm
Professor Mar Gómez Glez
"Teresa of Ávila’s Secrets"Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582) is one of the most influential figuress of European history, a Spanish mystic nun who lived during the religious turmoil of the sixteen century. Through the lenses of the secret, her texts can be read in a new light. During this talk I will try to show that Teresa of Avila’s uses of secrecy illuminate important questions of the interior self and our relationship with the other.
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
Friday, October 14, 2016

Institute of Advanced Theology Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton

St. John, the Evangelist Church  12:30 pm
The Institute of Advanced Theology will host the 2016 Autumn Luncheon Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton at St. John, the Evangelist Church located at 1114 River Road, Barrytown, NY. The Lecture Series will begin on Friday, October 7 and will continue on October 14, 21, 28, and November 4th.

A brief description follows:

Herod the Great
Herod and his family defined Israel at the start of the Common Era. They shaped the political and cultural climate in which Jesus lived and the Gospels were written, extending the Temple of Jerusalem to the point that it became a pilgrimage site for Jewish *and* gentile tourists all over the world. They also inspired a reaction against their rule in the bedrock of Judeo-Christian philosophy, which warns against mixing politics and religion—from “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” to key teachings in the Mishnah, the foundational document of Rabbinic Judaism.

The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period. Lunch will begin at noon and consist of soup, bread, dessert, and a beverage. The lunch will cost $7.00.  Lunch reservations are required by emailing iatatbard@gmail.com or by calling 845-758-7279.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 845-758-7279. Thank you.
Sponsored by: Institute of Advanced Theology
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7279  iatatbard@gmail.com
Friday, October 7, 2016

Institute of Advanced Theology Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton

St. John, the Evangelist Church  12:30 pm
The Institute of Advanced Theology will host the 2016 Autumn Luncheon Lecture Series with Bruce Chilton at St. John, the Evangelist Church located at 1114 River Road, Barrytown, NY. The Lecture Series will begin on Friday, October 7 and will continue on October 14, 21, 28, and November 4th.

A brief description follows:

Herod the Great
Herod and his family defined Israel at the start of the Common Era. They shaped the political and cultural climate in which Jesus lived and the Gospels were written, extending the Temple of Jerusalem to the point that it became a pilgrimage site for Jewish *and* gentile tourists all over the world. They also inspired a reaction against their rule in the bedrock of Judeo-Christian philosophy, which warns against mixing politics and religion—from “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” to key teachings in the Mishnah, the foundational document of Rabbinic Judaism.

The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period. Lunch will begin at noon and consist of soup, bread, dessert, and a beverage. The lunch will cost $7.00.  Lunch reservations are required by emailing iatatbard@gmail.com or by calling 845-758-7279.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 845-758-7279. Thank you.
Sponsored by: Institute of Advanced Theology
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7279  iatatbard@gmail.com
  Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Understanding Extremism in South Asia

Shehriar Fazli 
Olin, Room 201  5:30 pm
While extremism in South Asia has been a major focus of debate since the 9/11 attacks, in media, academic, and policymaking circles, there remain common misdiagnoses and weak or incomplete explanations about the key drivers of recruitment, radicalization, and violence. This has in turn yielded inadequate policy responses. Fazli will draw from his experiences covering extremism and politics in South Asia for over a decade, to discuss causes and trends of extremist violence in the region, and examine the successes and failures of both state and civil society efforts to address it.

Shehryar Fazli is a Pakistan-based political analyst and author. He is Senior Analyst and Regional Editor, South Asia at The International Crisis Group, and the author of the novel Invitation (2011), which was the runner-up for the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival's first book award.
Sponsored by: Global and International Studies Program; Human Rights Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program
Contact: Tehseen Thaver  845-758-6822  tthaver@bard.edu
  Monday, September 12, 2016

Religion Colloquium: "Religious Change: A Systems Approach"
Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion

Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  5:30 pm
Whether from the perspective of insider or outsider, religions are often described as static phenomena. Yet features regarded as traditional have often emerged quickly, and disruptively; obvious examples include Fundamentalism and the doctrine of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. The purpose of the presentation is to apply an analysis of systems to the issue of religious change.
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
Sunday, May 15, 2016

Misah Ivrit: A Hebrew Mass and the Intersection of Worlds

Olin Hall  8:00 pm
World premiere of Noach Lundgren's Misah Ivrit. An unprecedented approach to the Mass, yet one deeply rooted in it's origins, Misah Ivrit presents a full setting of the Mass text in Biblical and Modern Hebrew, along with supplemental texts taken from Jewish liturgy.

Conducted by
Noach Lundgren

Performed by
Students of Bard College and Conservatory, Bard alumni, and members of the area community

Preceded by new solo music performed by the composer and a guest appearance by local trio Waterdove.

 
Contact: Noach Lundgren  mail@noachlundgren.com
  Monday, May 9, 2016

"Study, Stemma, and Society: Rabbinic Scholasticism, the Family, and the Making of Judaism in Sasanian Iran"

Olin, Room 202  6:00 pm
Shai Secunda
The Martin Buber Society of Fellows
Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
Monday, May 2, 2016

The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination

Olin, Room 102  6:30 pm
D. Max Moerman
Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures
Barnard College
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program; Religion Program; The Japanese Program; Theology Program
Contact: Luke Thompson  845-758-7384  lthompso@bard.edu
Monday, April 18, 2016

Religion, witchcraft, magic and kinship in former colonies of Great Britain and Portugal

Peter Fry



Olin, Room 201  5:00 pm
Peter is a scholar, social commentator and public intellectual with an unusual range of research experience. Born in England and educated at Cambridge University, his career has taken him to Southern Africa and to Brazil, where he has lived and taught for forty years. He is one of Brazil’s most distinguished anthropologists, a former Vice-President of the Brazilian Association of Anthropologists, and editor of the leading anthropological journal Vibrant.
Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; Anthropology Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program; Global and International Studies Program; Religion Program
Contact: Drew Thompson  845-758-4600  dthompso@bard.edu
Monday, April 4, 2016

World as (Arabic) Text:
An Introduction to Islamic Neopythagoreanism

Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  6:00 pm
 Matthew Melvin-Koushki (PhD Yale)
Assistant Professor of History at the University of
South Carolina
 Western—i.e., Islamo-Christian—understandings of nature have long been logocentric: the world as text. For medieval and early modern thinkers, this logocentricity was mandated by the common neopythagorean doctrine that the uncreated, all-creative divine Word is expressed in twin Books—revealed scripture on the one hand (the Bible or the Quran) and the book of nature on the other. The commensurability of the two Books encouraged, in turn, the application of the hermeneutical methodologies that scripture elicits to the physical and metaphysical worlds, giving rise in Europe to Newtonian “scientific modernity” in its drive to mathematize the cosmos.

This early modern neopythagorean turn is exemplified by the emergence of Christian kabbalah in Renaissance Italy; yet the Arabic science of letters ('ilm al-huruf), or lettrism—the primary expression of Islamic neopythagoreanism—, was even more widespread and intellectually mainstream throughout the contemporary Islamicate world than its Hebrew cognate was in Europe.  Due to persistent scholarly positivism and occultophobia, however, this basic problematic has been wholly elided in the literature to date.  I therefore introduce lettrism as a primary methodology for mathematizing the cosmos, with a focus on thinkers in 15th- and 16th-century Iran, and propose it as an essential node for comparative early modern Islamo-Christian history of philosophy-science.


 
Sponsored by: Middle Eastern Studies, Medieval Studies, Mathematics and Religion Programs
Contact: Tehseen Thaver  845-758-7207  tthaver@bard.edu
  Thursday, March 3, 2016

"From Apostle to Apostate & Rabbi to Rebel: Jewish Perspectives on Paul"

Hegeman 204  5:30 pm
Allan Nadler
Professor of Religion
Drew University
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
  Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Law, Ethics and Social Sciences in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Olin, Room 102  6:00 pm
Alexandre Caiero
Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
Hamad Bin Khalifa University
 Since the turn of the millennium, state and non-state actors in the Middle East have energetically sought to regulate and reform Islamic authority in order to counter the fragmentation induced by mass literacy, new media technologies and global jihad. Various proposals have been formulated targeting state institutions, religious scholars, and wider publics. The call to incorporate social scientific knowledge into Islamic normative deliberation, notably through what is known as the jurisprudence or understanding of reality (fiqh al-wāqi'), and the emphasis on ethics rather than law have emerged as increasingly popular solutions. In this talk I ask what social scientific insights and conceptions of ethics are invoked in these debates, and how they relate to the modes of reasoning that characterize traditional Islamic law. I argue that the debates prompted by these proposals can be best understood as attempts to move beyond the jurists' methodological individualism in order to account for the impersonal powers of modern institutions. 

Alexandre Caeiro is Research Assistant Professor at the Center for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies located at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. He studied sociology and Islamic studies in France (Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales) and the Netherlands (ISIM). He has taught in the Netherlands, Germany, Egypt and Qatar and is currently working on two book projects. The first deals with jurisprudence of minorities and the integration of Islam in Europe. The second examines debates about the chaos of fatwas in the Arab World.
Sponsored by: Religion, Middle Eastern Studies, Historical Studies and Global and International Studies programs
Contact: Tehseen Thaver  845-758-7207  tthaver@bard.edu
  Thursday, February 18, 2016

"Judaism and Christianity through the Lens of the Other: Martin Buber on Jesus and the Baal Shem Tov"

Hegeman 204  5:30 pm
Shaul Magid
Professor of Religious Studies,
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu
  Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Heidegger and the Kabbalah: Hidden Gnosis and the Path of Poiesis"

Olin, Room 203  5:30 pm
Elliott R. Wolfson
Distinguished Professor of Religion
University of California, Santa BarbaraMartin Heidegger (1889-1976) powerfully transformed the philosophical landscape in the twentieth century and exercised an inordinate influence on a wide variety of other disciplines. His personal shortcomings and ethical transgressions attested in his explicit complicity with National Socialism are well known and cannot be easily justified or dismissed as miscalculations based on inadequate knowledge or lack of savvy. In spite of Heidegger’s explicit anti-Judaism and his deplorable political judgment vis-à-vis Jews, there are themes in Heidegger’s oeuvre that bear a striking affinity to and can be utilized philosophically to elucidate the phenomenological aspects of kabbalistic esotericism and hermeneutics. My lecture will explore three Heideggerian themes that can be profitably compared and contrasted with some rudimentary tenets of the kabbalah: the depiction of truth as the unconcealedness of the concealment; the construal of language as the house of being within which all beings are disclosed in the nothingness of their being; and the understanding of the origin of timespace arising from an inceptual act that is, concomitantly, a contraction and an expansion, a withholding of the boundless ground that results in the self-extending delineation of boundary. The comparative analysis of Heidegger and kabbalah is justified hermeneutically by the principle that things belong together precisely because of the unbridgeable chasm that keeps them separate: what is the same is the same in virtue of being different.
 
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu