Religion Program Events

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2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Make it New": New Possibilities for Classical Jewish Texts in Scholarship and Culture

Yellow Room in the campus center and RKC 103  1:15 pm – 7:30 pm
I. New Connections: The Talmud and the Contemporary Humanities - a Workshop
Location: The Yellow Room in the Campus Center (1:15-4:45pm)

Featuring leading scholars of Jewish studies in dialogue with Bard students and faculty.

II. "Make it New": Classical Jewish Texts and Artistic Imagination
Location: RKC 103 (4:45-6:15pm)

Nicole Krass: Novelist, author of The History of Love (2005) and Great House (2010)
Adam Kirsh: Poet and critic
Galit-Hasan-Rokem: Scholar, poet, and translator.

III. Jewish Studies and the Liberal Arts: Institutional Possibilities
Location: RKC 103 (6:30-7:30pm)

Featuring President Leon Botstein, Bruce Chilton, and Alan Avery-Peck.
Sponsored by: Anthropology Program; Bard Theater Program; Hebrew and Theater program with the generous support of the World Union of Jewish Studies; Historical Studies Program; Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program
Contact: Shai Secunda  845-758-6822  ssecunda@bard.edu
Friday, April 21, 2017

Impermanence: Sand Mandala

Closing Ceremony and Procession to waterfall:
Friday, April 21 at 10:00 a.m.

RKC Lobby  10:00 am
The Venerable Lama Tenzin Yignen, Tibetan Buddhist monk from the Dalai Lama's home monastery Namgyal and Professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will install a sand mandala, a "cosmic diagram that represents the dwelling place or "celestial mansion" of the Buddha of Compassion, over the course of five days. Just when it is complete, the mandala will be ritually cut, swept together, and taken in procession down to the river in this performed lesson on impermanence.
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Program; Religion Program; Warren Mills Hutcheson Memorial Fund
Contact: Richard Davis  845-758-7364  rdavis@bard.edu
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Yoga in America: The State of Play

Hegeman 102  4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Panel discussion on the past, present, and future
of yoga in the United States.  Featuring Barbara Boris and Sondra Loring, longtime practitioners and teachers of yoga.Moderated by Richard Davis
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Richard Davis  845-758-7364  rdavis@bard.edu
  Thursday, March 30, 2017

God Behind Bars: The Rise of Faith-Based Prison Ministries in an Age of Mass Incarceration

Campus Center, Weis Cinema  6:00 pm
Tanya Erzen
Associate Professor, University of Puget Sound
Director, Freedom Education Project Puget Sound
In prisons throughout the United States, punitive incarceration and religious revitalization are occurring simultaneously. Faith-based prison ministries operate under the logic that religious conversion and redemption will transform prisoners into new human beings. Why are Christian prison ministries on the rise amidst an increasingly punitive system of mass incarceration? How do people in prison practice religion in a space of coercion and discipline? What are theimplications of the state's promotion of Christianity over other religious traditions in some prisons? And, why have conservative Christians, particularly, embraced criminal justice reform?
Sponsored by: American Studies Program; Anthropology Program; Bard Prison Initiative; Religion Program
Contact: Laura Kunreuther  845-758-6822  kunreuth@bard.edu
  Monday, March 13, 2017

"Nonconceptual Awareness and Buddhist Meditation"

Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  4:00 pm
John Spackman
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Middlebury College
In some parts of the Buddhist tradition, meditation and other Buddhist practices are viewed as leading to a state of non-conceptual awareness (nirvikalpajñāna) that is different from our ordinary conceptual mode of awareness. In this presentation I seek to understand the nature of this non-conceptual awareness, draw on several different models of it, and consider several challenges faced by these models. I propose an alternative model of non-conceptual awareness that locates it in a form of non-dual awareness.
Sponsored by: Philosophy Program; Religion Program
Contact: Kritika Yegnashankaran  845-758-7393  kyegnash@bard.edu
Monday, March 6, 2017

Sikhism in America

Olin, Room 102  5:30 pm
Gurinder Singh Mann
Emeritus Professor of Sikh Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
 One of the world’s foremost authorities on the Sikh tradition, Gurinder Singh Mann is a historian and former professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published widely on Sikh history, scripture, and literature. His books include Sikhism, The Making of Sikh Scripture, and Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs in America.
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Program; Religion Program
Contact: Richard Davis  845-758-7364  rdavis@bard.edu
Monday, February 27, 2017

Iberian Conversion and the Liberal Arts

Olin, Room 102  5:30 pm
Seth Kimmel
Assistant Professor of Latin and Iberian Cultures
Columbia University
 Diverse groups of lawyers, linguists, historians, and economists, among other communities of intellectuals, offered their opinions on the legitimacy and legacy of the early modern history of forced conversion to Christianity in the Iberian world. As I have argued in my recent book, Parables of Coercion (Chicago 2015), to participate in these debates about religious coercion and New Christian discipline was also to re-imagine the relationship among the scholarly disciplines themselves. Linking my book project to new research, my talk examines the late sixteenth-century taxonomies of knowledge that emerged from this particularly Iberian intellectual history and, more generally, the rhetoric of universality that characterizes the liberal arts in the early as well as the late modern periods.
Sponsored by: Religion Program, Division of Languages and Literature, LAIS Program, Middle Eastern Studies Program
Contact: Tehseen Thaver  845-758-7207  tthaver@bard.edu
  Monday, February 20, 2017

"Divinely Created: Judaism through a transgender lens"

Olin Language Center, Room 115  7:30 pm
Sponsored by: Chaplaincy; Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; JSO; Jewish Studies Program; Religion Program
Contact: David Nelson  845-758-7438  nelson@bard.edu
  Monday, February 20, 2017

Conversion, Memory, and the Limits of Early Islamic History

Olin, Room 102  5:30 pm
Travis Zadeh
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Yale University

This talk explores the cultural, linguistic, and mythological dimensions shaping religious conversion among Persians in the wake of the seventh-century Arab conquests. It further interrogates what this process of conversion reveals for the memory of early Islamic history and the spread of Islam along the eastern frontiers.
Sponsored by: Religion Program, Division of Languages and Literature, Historical Studies Program, Middle Eastern Studies Program
Contact: Tehseen Thaver  845-758-7207  tthaver@bard.edu
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Running from the Literary Past: The Case of Hebrew Literature

A conversation with Israeli-American novelist, Ruby Namdar, and Professor of Hebrew Literature, Haim Weiss.
Olin Language Center, Room 115  4:45 pm

This conversation with Ruby Namdar ("The Ruined House," Winner of 2015 Sapir Prize, English translation due out in 2017) and Haim Weiss (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) will explore universal literary themes of canon and breach, and consider the challenges of writing a contemporary novel in an "anxiety producing" language like Hebrew. We will also look at examples of Namdar's "translation" of ancient sources into a modern literary imaginary, and English translations of Namdar's work.

Moderated by Shai Secunda (Bard, Religion and Jewish Studies)
Sponsored by: Hebrew; Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Religion Program; Written Arts Program
Contact: Shai Secunda  845-758-6822  ssecundda@bard.edu
  Monday, February 6, 2017

"Cultivating a Field of Merit: Pedagogy and Performance in a Buddhist Curriculum of Study"

Dominique Townsend
Assistant Professor of Religion
Bard College

Olin, Room 102  5:30 pm
Sponsored by: Religion Program
Contact: Bruce Chilton  845-758-7335  chilton@bard.edu