Foucault & Religion

What consequences has Michel Foucault’s thought had for the study of religion?

March 10-11, 2017  | Swift Common Room and Lecture Hall

This two-day conference will bring scholars from a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences into a conversation about Foucault and religion. 

How has Foucault’s thought contributed to the formation of “religion” as an object of inquiry in different fields? What are the points of contact between practices of the self (spiritual exercises) and the anthropology of ethics?

How do empirical studies of religious and spiritual practices provoke us to rethink Foucault’s corpus?

In what ways do genealogies of the secular trade on Foucault’s analysis of power-knowledge and his use of the concept of critique?

What productive tensions are generated by interdisciplinary appropriations of Foucauldian concepts and critical-genealogical methodologies? 

The “and” in the conference’s title intends to evoke a number of possible conjunctures between the two stated themes: the significance of religion within Foucault’s conceptual architecture, as well as the ways in which Foucault’s work has recast anthropological, sociological, and historical discourses on religion as an object of knowledge.

For more information, contact conference organizers Daniel Schultz ( ) or Maureen Kelly ( ).









Banner image: Tom Fecht: Kaltes Quadrat (cold square) – Bonn – Installation in the entrance of the Federal art and exhibition hall in Bonn – paving stone in memory of Michel Foucault


Sponsored by the Martin Marty Center at the Divinity School, the Lichtstern Foundation, the France Chicago Center, the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, the Philosophy of Religions Workshop, the Graduate Council, and the Divinity Students Association.