Brauer Seminar

Established by friends of the Divinity School to encourage interdisciplinary teaching and research, the Brauer Seminar is cotaught periodically by two Divinity School faculty members. 


The topic changes according to the interest of the instructors. Up to ten students may participate with the consent of the instructors, and each student receives a stipend of $1,000 to support participation. A seminar budget supports the honorarium and travel expenses for the Brauer Fellow, a visiting scholar who represents a disciplinary perspective on the seminar topic that complements those of the instructors.  

The Jerald Brauer Seminar, Gender and Sexuality in the Study of Religion
Winter 2018 

The Jerald Brauer Seminar, an interdisciplinary seminar endowed by friends of the Divinity School, will be taught in Winter 2018 by Professors Sarah E. Fredericks, Sarah Hammerschlag, Angie Heo. This team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate level course will focus on gender and sexuality in the study of religion. Our aim is to provide theoretical concepts, tools and methods for students to analyze gender and sexuality across a variety of religious traditions, historical periods and literary genres. Divided into three parts - philosophy, anthropology and ethics, the course proceeds according to the areas of specialty offered by participating faculty members. Topics covered include the following: structuralist and poststructuralist approaches to sexual difference; political economy of sex; performativity theory; sexuality and postcolonial theory; law and secularism; and the relationship of gender and the environment. 

As a capstone to the course, we will hold a roundtable on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 to focus on gender and sexuality in France. Invited speakers include Amy Hollywood, a leading gender theorist and a scholar of continental philosophy and medieval mysticism (Harvard); Mayanthi Fernando, an anthropologist of law and Islam (Santa Cruz); and Béatrice de Gasquet, a sociologist of contemporary Judaism (Paris Diderot). Local faculty will give responses to segue into the open discussion portion of the event. Students in the seminar are expected to attend. 

Up to twelve students may participate with the consent of the instructors, and each student will receive a stipend of $1,000 to support participation. Interested students should submit an application for admission to the course to Professor Heo at . Applications should consist of 1) a two page, double-spaced description of the student’s interest in the course and how they will contribute to it, 2) a copy of their Divinity School transcript, and 3) their CV. Applications are due November 1, 2017 decisions will be made by December 1, 2017. 

AMRS, MDiv, MA, and PhD students are welcome to apply. As we evaluate applications, we will seek participants from across the Committees of the Divinity School and give priority to students whose program of study would most benefit from the course.


2015 Seminar: "Jewish and Christian Responses to Biblical Criticism"
Faculty: Jeffrey Stackert (Bible) and Paul Mendes-Flohr (History of Judaism)
Fellow: James L. Kugel (Harvard University; Bar Ilan University)

2014 Seminar:  "Intentionality and Belief"
Faculty: Daniel A. Arnold (Philosophy of Religions) and Ryan Coyne (Philosophy of Religions and Theology)

2013 Seminar: "Uncle Tom's Cabin: Lives and Afterlives"
Faculty: Catherine A. Brekus (History of Christianity and Religions in America) and Richard A. Rosengarten (Religion and Literature)
Fellow: David Reynolds (CUNY, Department of History)

2012 Seminar: "Translation"
Faculty: Wendy Doniger (History of Religions) and Jeffrey Stackert (Hebrew Bible)
Fellow: Stephen Mitchell

2011 Seminar: "The Case for Humanism" 
Faculty: Willemien Otten (Theology and the History of Christianity) and William Schweiker (Theological Ethics)

2008 Seminar: "The Buddha in Barcelona: Medieval Cosmopolitanism and the Transmission of Culture" 
Faculty: Matthew Kapstein (Philosophy of Religions and the History of Religions) and James T. Robinson (History of Judaism) 
Fellow: Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute, London)

2006 Seminar: "Religion and Violence in American Culture"
Faculty: W. Clark Gilpin and Martin E. Marty (History of Christianity)
Fellow: Harry Stout, Yale University)

2004 Seminar: "The Religious Quest for the Human: Jewish and Christian Reflections"
Faculty: Paul Mendes-Flohr (Modern Jewish Thought) and William Schweiker (Theological Ethics)

2003 Seminar: "The Western Legal Traditions and Religious Diversity"  
Faculty: Hans G. Kippenberg (History of Religions) and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan (Anthropology and Sociology of Religion) 
Fellow: Martha Minow (Harvard Law School)

2002 Seminar: "Biblical Theology"
Faculty: Tikva Frymer-Kensky (Hebrew Bible and the History of Judaism) and David Tracy (Theology and Philosophy of Religions)
Fellow: Stephen Geller (Jewish Theological Seminary, New York)

2001 Seminar: "Religion and Slavery: Theological and Historical Perspectives"
Faculty: Dwight N. Hopkins (Theology) and Catherine Brekus (History of Christianity)
Fellow: Willie Coleman (BT Forum)

2000 Seminar: "Sociology and the Study of Biblical Texts" 
Faculty: John J. Collins (Hebrew Bible) and Martin Riesebrodt (Sociology of Religion)
Fellow: Rainer Albertz (Theology, University of Münster).

1999 Seminar: "Strategies of Goodness: The New Testament and Ethics"
Faculty: William Schweiker (Theological Ethics) and Adela Yarbro Collins (New Testament)
Fellows: Wayne Meeks (New Testament, Yale University) and Lisa Cahill (Ethics, Boston College)

1998  Seminar: "Jewish and Christian Mysticism: Comparative Studies"
Faculty: Bernard McGinn (History of Christianity) and Michael Fishbane (History of Judaism)
Fellow: Louis Dupres (Philosophy, Yale University)

1997 Seminar: "Toward a Contemporary Jewish Theology"
Faculty: Michael Fishbane (History of Judaism) and Tikva Frymer-Kensky (Biblical Studies)
Fellow: A consultation of six international scholars

1996 Seminar: "Toward a History of Myth"
Faculty: Wendy Doniger (History of Religions) and Bruce Lincoln (History of Religions)
Fellow: Cristiano Grottanelli (History, University of Pisa)

1995 Seminar: "Religion and Families in America: Past and Present" 
Faculty: Don S. Browning (Ethics and the Social Sciences) and Martin E. Marty (History of Christianity)
Fellows: William Galston (Political Science, University of Maryland; Deputy Advisor on Domestic Policy, The White House) and John Witte (School of Law, Emory University)

1994 Seminar: "Experimental Lives in the American Renaissance" 
Faculty: David Tracy (Theology) and W. Clark Gilpin (History of Christianity) 
Fellow: David S. Reynolds (English and American Studies, City University of New York)

1993 Seminar: "Religion, Literature and Politics at Mid-Century" 
Faculty: Martin E. Marty (History of Christianity) and Mark L. Krupnick (Religion and Literature)
Fellow: David Hollinger (History, University of California at Berkeley)