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Christiansmith

February 10, 2012

Standing Seminar: Religion & Human Personhood, Culture, and Society

The practice of religion has been observed in some form in all societies since the beginning of history. If it is the case that historically “where two or three are gathered” religion will be manifest in the communal life of the people, how integral is religion to the formation and stability of human personhood, culture, and society? As part of its standing seminar series on “Religion as Integral to Human Experience,” the Religious Freedom Project explored this question with noted sociologists Christian Smith, author of What is a Person?, and Phil Zuckerman, author of Society without God.

Featuring

Christian Smith

Christian Smith

Christian Smith is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests focus on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture. He is the author or co-author of numerous books on the interplay between religion, cultural influences, and society, including Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults (Oxford, 2009), Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don’t Give Away More Money (Oxford, 2008), and Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture (Oxford, 2003). Currently he is working on several primary research projects on topics such as generosity in human life and society, personhood and human nature in the social sciences, and “multiple modernities” in moral and religious life around the world. Before coming to the University of Notre Dame, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Phil Zuckerman

Phil Zuckerman

Phil Zuckerman is professor of Sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. His research interests focus on secularity, atheism, apostasy, and Scandinavian culture from a sociological perspective. He is the author of Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions (forthcoming 2014), Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion (2011), Atheism and Secularity (2010), and Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment (2008), as well as of several op-ed pieces that have appeared in the Washington Post, Guardian, and the Huffington Post. His research has also been published in a number of journals. Zuckerman received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

Participants

Nancy Ammerman

Nancy Ammerman

Nancy Ammerman is a Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University’s School of Theology and the Chair of the Department of Sociology at the College of Arts and Sciences. For over a decade she has studied and written widely on American...
José Casanova

José Casanova

José Casanova is one of the world's top scholars in the sociology of religion. He is a professor at the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University, and heads the Berkley Center's Program on Globalization, Religion and the Secular. He has...
Hent de Vries

Hent de Vries

Hent de Vries is Professor of Philosophy, Chair in Humanities, and Director of the Center for Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on modern European thought, critique and theories of metaphysics, philosophies of religion,...
Jean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago from 1996 until her death in August 2013. She also had appointments at Chicago in political science and the Committee on...
Philip Gorski

Philip Gorski

Philip Gorski is Professor of Sociology at Yale University, where he is Director of Graduate Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Research. He is a comparative-historical sociologist especially interested in theory, methods, and...
William Inboden

William Inboden

William Inboden is associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and executive director of the Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft at the University of Texas-Austin. He is also a distinguished scholar at the Strauss...
Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson is the director of Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences there. Johnson is a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based...
Raymond Martin

Raymond Martin

Raymond Martin is Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair at Union College. His research has been primarily in the areas of theories of personal identity and philosophy of history. He has authored and edited numerous books including (with...
Margarita Mooney

Margarita Mooney

Margarita Mooney is Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Faculty Fellow in the university’s Carolina Population Center. Her areas of research interest are religion, immigration, theory, tourism, culture...
David Novak

David Novak

David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies as Professor of the Study of Religion and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto since 1997. He is a member of The Centre for Ethics, a part of the Joint...
Daniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott, a professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies and an associate scholar with the Berkley Center's Religious Freedom Project, specializes in the relationship between religion and...
Roger Trigg

Roger Trigg

Roger Trigg, of St Cross College, Oxford, is senior research fellow in the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford, and a member of Oxford's faculties of philosophy and of theology and religion. From 2007 to 2011, he served as principal...