Religion and Culture Web Forum Archive 2013/2012

Update, May 2014: A new response to David Nirenberg's "To Every Prophet an Adversary": Jewish Enmity in Islam (October 2013) is now available from Fred M. Donner (University of Chicago).


December 2013

Encounters with a Homicidal Bath Demon: Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Gregory Thaumaturgus

by Allison L. Gray (University of Chicago)

Abstract: An exciting episode from the 4th century Life of Gregory Thaumaturgus affords readers the opportunity to examine key literary techniques employed by the author, Gregory of Nyssa.  What role does physicality play in the demonic encounter, and what does this indicate about Nyssen's view of virtue or spiritual power as "embodied" qualities, able to be observed and even captured in narrative?  How can characters and audiences within the text model or condition reader responses to such embodied power?

Read Encounters with a Homicidal Bath Demon: Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Gregory Thaumaturgus.

An invited response is forthcoming from:

Janet Spittler (Texas Christian University).






November 2013

Haunting Violence: Obeah and the Management of the Living and the Dead in Colonial Trinidad

by Alexander Rocklin (University of Chicago Divinity School; Martin Marty Center Jr. Fellow, 2012-13)

"This essay is an attempt to make sense of several scenes in the history of spirit worlds in Trinidad--the ways in which East Indians    and their descendants were haunted by, and came to haunt, the island. It takes up ghost stories: stories of violence, violence that  conjured ghosts, and violence that conjured histories of other violence, including histories of the transnational trade in unfree labor.  This essay also looks at struggles against the violence perpetrated against the living and the dead in a colonial plantation society." 

Read Haunting Violence: Obeah and the Management of the Living and the Dead in Colonial Trinidad.


Read the invited responses from:

Lindsey Harlan (Connecticut College);
Paul Johnson (University of Michigan); and 
Aisha Khan (New York University).

Image: National Museum, Trinidad



October 2013

"To Every Prophet an Adversary": Jewish Enmity in Islam

by David Nirenberg (University of Chicago)

In this study of the Qur'an and early Islamic tradition, David Nirenberg takes readers into "a world in which the claims of new revelation had to be justified and differentiated from those of the old."  Like Christian communities before them, Islamic communities "appropriated and adapted the texts and reading practices of their 'predecessors,' but also stigmatized some of those reading habits and their practitioners as damning or death-dealing, and this especially in the case of the Jews, considered as guardians of the founding scriptures."  Nirenberg makes the controversial claim that "the roles assigned to figures of Judaism in this process [of appropriation and stigmatization] were every bit as important in shaping Islamic ideas about how both scripture and cosmos should be interpreted, as they had been for the early Christians, from whom in this respect early Islam borrowed a great deal." (137-38)

Read "To Every Prophet an Adversary": Jewish Enmity in Islam.  

With invited responses by:

Fred M. Donner (University of Chicago);
Robert Gleave (University of Exeter); and
Angelika Neuwirth (Freie Universitaet Berlin).

"To Every Prophet an Adversary": Jewish Enmity in Islam is excerpted from Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg. Copyright © 2013 by David Nirenberg. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 



 September 2013

 Healing the Body, Healing the Umma: Sufi  Saints and God's Law in a Corporeal City of  Virtue 

 by Ellen Amster (University of Wisconsin,  Milwaukee)

 With invited responses by:

Shahzad Bashir (Stanford University); and
Neil Kodesh (University of Wisconsin, Madison).


"Healing the Body, Healing the Umma" is an excerpt from Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956 (Copyright © 2013, University of Texas Press). For more information visit



July-August 2013

How Does the Fixity of Print Become a Problem for Religious Identity? 
by Kathleen Lynch (Folger Shakespeare Library)

With invited responses by:

Lori Anne Ferrell (Claremont Graduate University);
David D. Hall (Harvard University); and
W. Clark Gilpin (University of Chicago).



 June 2013

 Spirituality and Healing 
 by Roger S. Gottlieb (Worcester Polytechnic  Institute)

 With invited responses by:

 Christopher Chapple (Loyola Marymount  University, Los Angeles); and
 Stephanie Kaza (University of Vermont).

"Spirituality and Healing" is Chapter 8 of Roger S. Gottlieb's book, Spirituality: What It Is and Why it Matters?, © Oxford University Press, 2012.  Oxford has kindly granted permission for the use of the chapter in this forum.



May 2013

The Anti-Trinitarian Origins of Liberalism
by Michael Allen Gillespie (Duke University)

With invited responses by:

Bruce Gordon (Yale University);  
Evan Haefeli (Columbia University);
Graeme Murdock (Trinity College Dublin); and
Eugene Webb (University of Washington).

Read an answer to the respondents by Prof. Gillespie. 

Benjamin Kaplan (University College London) has provided a response to both Dr. Gillespie and the respondents.



April 2013

Adopting the Fetish: War Memory and Uncanny Kinship in Modern Japan
by Ellen Schattschneider  (Brandeis University)

With invited responses by:

Stephan Feuchtwang (London School of Economics);
Robert A. Paul (Emory University).

**Click here to see the images referred to in the paper.**



March 2013

The Macondoization of the World: Global Environmental Governance and Christian Ethics
by Noah Toly (Wheaton CollegeMartin Marty Center Senior Fellow)

With invited responses by:

Roger S. Gottlieb (Worcester Polytechnic Institute); and
Willis Jenkins (Yale University); and
Sallie McFague (Vancouver School of Theology).



February 2013

Under the Sign of the Cross in the Kingdom of Kongo: Religious Conversion and Visual Correlation in Early Modern Central Africa
by Cécile Fromont (University of Chicago)

With invited responses by:

John Thornton (Boston University); and
Robert Young (New York University).

The article by Cécile Fromont was previously published by Peabody Museum Press: Copyright © by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Originally printed in Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Issue 59/60, Spring/Autumn 2011 (pp. 109–123). All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without permission of the Peabody Museum Press.



January 2013

Medicalized Death as a Modus Vivendi 
by Michelle Harrington (University of Chicago; Martin Marty Center Fellow)

With invited responses by:

Lydia Dugdale (Yale University);
Autumn Alcott Ridenour (Boston College); and
Jeffrey Bishop (Saint Louis University).



December 2012 

"My Homosexuality Is Getting Worse Every Day": Norman Vincent Peale, Psychiatry, and the Liberal Protestant Response to Same-Sex Desires in Mid-Twentieth Century America
by Rebecca Davis (University of Delaware)

Read the essay (excerpt) and the related talk.

With invited responses by:

Amy DeRogatis (Michigan State);
Kathryn Lofton (Yale University); and  
Heather White (New College of Florida).

The excerpt is from "'My Homosexuality Is Getting Worse Every Day': Norman Vincent Peale, Psychiatry, and the Liberal Protestant Response to Same-Sex Desires in Mid-Twentieth Century America" by Rebecca L. Davis in AMERICAN CHRISTIANITIES: A HISTORY OF DOMINANCE AND DIVERSITY edited by Catherine A. Brekus and W. Clark Gilpin. Copyright © 2011 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher.  


November 2012
Pussy Riot, the Media, and Church-State Relations in Russia Today 
by Katja Richters (University of Erfurt)

With invited responses by:

Bryce E. Rich (University of Chicago); and
Catherine Wanner (Penn State University).



October 2012 
"Culture" and "Religion": Immigration, Islams and Race in 1970s Paris 
by Naomi Davidson (University of Ottawa)

With invited responses by:

M. Christian Green (Emory University);
M.J.M. (Marcel) Maussen (University of Amsterdam); and  
Tara Zahra (University of Chicago).

The chapter featured in this month's web forum is from Davidson's book, Only Muslim: Embodying Islam in Twentieth-Century France, copyrighted by Cornell University Press.  It may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without permission in writing from Cornell University Press.

The notes to the chapter are available here.



September 2012
Discursive Formation around "Shinto" in Colonial Korea
by Isomae Jun'ichi (International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto)

With invited responses by

Galen Amstutz (Institute of Buddhist Studies); 
Klaus Antoni (University of Tübingen);
Frederick R. Dickinson (University of Pennsylvania); 
Chul Kim (Yonsei University, Seoul); 
Naoki Sakai (Cornell University); and
Peichen Wu (National ChengChi University, Taiwan).



July 2012
"Give me back my children!" Traumatic Reenactment and Tenuous Democratic Public Spheres
by Mark Auslander (Central Washington University)

With invited responses by:

John Howell (University of Chicago); and
Edward Linenthal (Indiana University).



June 2012
Month without the Gods: Shinto and Authority in Early Modern Japan
by Yijiang Zhong (Asia Research Institute; National University of Singapore)

With invited responses by:

Isomae Jun'ichi (International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto);
Trent E. Maxey (Amherst College);
Cameron Penwell (University of Chicago); 
Mark Teeuwen (Oslo University); and 
Sarah Thal (University of Wisconsin-Madison).



May 2012
Up, Over, Through: Rethinking "Conversion" as a Category of Hindu-Christian Studies
by Reid B. Locklin (St. Michael's College, University of Toronto)

With invited responses by:

Chad Bauman (Butler University);
Roselle Gonsalves (University of Calgary);
Jeffery Long (Elizabethtown College);
Anantanand Rambachan (St. Olaf College). 



April 2012
Three Lights on the Queen’s Face: On Mixing, Muddle, and Mêlée
by Larisa Jasarevic (University of Chicago)

With invited responses by:

Azra Hromadzic (Syracuse University);
Ivana Maček (Uppsala University, Sweden);
Adeline Masquelier (Tulane University); and
Peter J. Pels (Leiden University). 



March 2012
"How Could Their Food Not Be Impure?" Jewish Food and the Definition of Christianity
by David M. Freidenreich (Colby College)

With invited responses by:

Anna Sapir Abulafia (Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge);
Alexandra Cuffel (Käte Hamburger Kolleg for Dynamics in the History of Relgions, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum);
Andrew Jacobs (Scripps College);
Sara Lipton (SUNY Stony Brook);
Daniel Sack (National Endowment for the Humanities); and
Erika Tritle (University of Chicago Divinity School).

*Notes to the chapter are available here.

**This excerpt from Foreigners and their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Law is presented with the kind permission of the University of California Press.



February 2012
Voices of Despair and Gestures of Grief in Rituals of Mourning and Italian Marian Laments in the late Middle Ages
by Emanuela Zanotti Carney (University of Illinois—Chicago)

With invited responses by:

Gail Holst-Warhaft (Cornell University, Comparative Literature);
Maggie Fritz-Morkin (University of Chicago, Romance Languages and Literatures); and
Laura Saetveit Miles (University of Michigan; English Literature). 



January 2012
Drought: Confronting Vulnerability
Jonathan Wyn Schofer (Harvard Divinity School, Comparative Ethics)

With invited responses by:

Julia Watts Belser (Missouri State University; Harvard Divinity School, Religious Studies and Jewish Studies);
Diana Cates (University of Iowa, Religious Ethics);
Julie Cooper (University of Chicago, Political Science); and
Thomas A. Lewis (Brown University, Religious Studies). 

**"Drought" is reprinted with permission from Confronting Vulnerability: The Body and the Divine in Rabbinic Ethics, by Jonathan Wyn Schofer, published by the University of Chicago Press. © 2011 University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.

December 2011
Whose Lion Is It, Anyway? Rescuing the Chronicles of Narnia from the Christian Academy
by Emanuelle Burton (University of Chicago; Martin Marty Center Dissertation Fellow)

With invited responses by:

Robert Boenig (Texas A&M University, English);
Wesley A. Kort (Duke University, Religion);
Thomas Schmidt (University of Chicago, Religion and Literature);
and Naomi Wood (Kansas State University, English).



November 2011
Freud's Theory of Jewishness: For Better and For Worse
by Eliza Slavet (University of California, San Diego; author of Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question)

With invited responses by:

Nadia Abu El-Haj (Columbia University, Anthropology); 
Jay Geller (Vanderbilt Divinity School, Jewish Studies);
Abigail Gillman (Boston University, Modern Languages and Comparative Literature); and
Lydia R. Kerr (Utah Valley University, English Literature). 

**The essay by Dr. Slavet is from The Jewish World of Sigmund Freud: Essays on Cultural Roots and the Problem of Religious Identity © 2010 Edited by Arnold D. Richards by permission of McFarland & Company, Inc., Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640.



October 2011
The Future of Muslim Family Law in Western Democracies
by John Witte Jr. (Emory University, Center for the Study of Law and Religion)

With an invited response co-authored by Ira C. Lupu and Robert W. Tuttle, both of George Washington University.



September 2011
Dancing in God: The Relevance of Ritual for Conceiving the Divine Today
by Curtis L. Thompson (Thiel College)

With invited responses by:

Steven Guthrie (Belmont University);
Todd E. Johnson (Fuller Theological Seminary);
and Marcia Mount Shoop (University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, NC). 



July 2011
Global Religious Education: Dalit Perspective
by Dr. James Massey (Director of the Centre for Dalit/Subaltern Studies, International Association of Black Religions and Spiritualities)

With an invited response by Joshua Daniel (University of Chicago, Martin Marty Center Jr. Fellow).



June 2011
Cultivating Trust: Vulnerability and Creativity in Moral Education
by Joshua Daniel (University of Chicago, Martin Marty Center Jr. Fellow)

With invited responses by:

Martin Marty (University of Chicago); and
Scott Paeth (DePaul University). 



May 2011
American Muslims and the Constitution

Featuring Reasons Public and Divine: Liberal Democracy, Shari‘a Fundamentalism, and the Epistemological Crisis of Islam by Vincent J. Cornell (Emory University). 

With invited responses by:

Sherman Jackson (University of Michigan);
John Kelsay (Florida State);
Brett T. Wilmot (Villanova University); and
Anthony Banout (University of Chicago; Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow). 

**The essay by Professor Cornell originally appeared in Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism, eds. Carl W. Ernst and Richard C. Martin. It is available here electronically with the kind permission of the University of South Carolina Press.



April 2011
On Tree Marriage, and Encountering the Rituals of Others
by Anne Mocko (University of Chicago; Martin Marty Center Jr. Fellow)

With invited responses by:

Wendy Doniger (University of Chicago);
Reid Locklin (University of Toronto); 
and Benjamin Schonthal (University of Chicago). 



March 2011
The Death of the Dharma: Buddhist Sutra Burials in Early Medieval Japan
by D. Max Moerman (Barnard College)

With invited responses by:

James W. Watts (Syracuse UniversityIconic Books Project);
Jeff Wilson (Renison University College, University of Waterloo);
and Vincent Wimbush (Claremont Graduate UniversityInstitute for Signifying Scriptures).

This article is reproduced electronically from The Death of Sacred Texts: Ritual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in World Religions, ed. Kristina Myrvold, and is presented here with permission of the publisher, Ashgate Press.



February 2011
"Too Dogmatic for Words"? Karl Barth's Comic Theology in Dialogue with the Comedy of Craig Ferguson
By Jessica N. DeCou (University of Chicago)

With invited responses by:

Daniel Boscaljon (University of Iowa);
and Ralph C. Wood (Baylor University).



January 2011
Exodus and Ethiopia
By Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp (University of North Carolina)

With invited responses by:

W. Clark Gilpin (University of Chicago);
Kathryn Lofton (Yale University);
and Josef Sorett (Columbia University). 

"Exodus and Ethiopia" digitally reproduced by permission of the publisher from Setting Down the Sacred Past: African-American Race Histories by Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, pp. 154-200, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. #

Questions? Please contact the web forum editor

December 2010

The Spirit of David: Negotiating Faith and Masculinity in Black Gospel Performance
by Melvin Butler (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by E. Patrick Johnson (Northwestern University) and Kyle Wagner (University of Chicago).



November 2010
When Religion is Not a Choice
by Slavica Jakelic (Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture)

With invited responses by Grace Davie (University of Exeter), Edin Hajdarpasic (Loyola University Chicago), and Kevin Schultz (University of Illinois--Chicago).



October 2010
The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought
by Sarah Hammerschlag (Williams College)
With an invited response by Jonathan Boyarin (University of North Carolina).



September 2010
Lonesome: The Spiritual Meanings of American Solitude
by Kevin Lewis (University of South Carolina)
With invited responses by Robert J. Higgs (East Tennessee State), Walter Jost (University of Virginia), Paul Kane (Vassar College), Roger Lundin (Wheaton College), and Henry Weinfield (University of Notre Dame).



July 2010
The Primacy of Rhetoric: Ernesto Grassi's Recovery of Humanism and the Possibilities for Philosophy and Religious Studies
by W. David Hall (Centre College)
With invited responses by Andrew W. Hass (University of Stirling), Jeffrey Jay (University of Chicago), Santiago Pinon (University of Chicago), Donald Phillip Verene (Emory University), and Glenn Whitehouse (Florida Gulf Coast University).



June 2010
The Literary Practice of Belief
by Amy Hungerford
With invited responses by Thomas J. Ferraro (Duke University), Amy Frykholm (The Christian Century), Constance Furey (Indiana University), Jeffrey J. Kripal (Rice University), Caleb J. D. Maskell (Princeton University), Edward Mendelson (Columbia University), Richard A. Rosengarten (University of Chicago Divinity School), and Glenn W. Shuck (Williams College).



May 2010
Vulnerability and the Possibility of Progress: Reflections on a Workshop
by David Newheiser (University of Chicago Divinity School)
With a reponse by Richard Land via a workshop presentation, "Christians, Public Policy, and Church and State Separation," and a response from Rick Elgendy (University of Chicago Divinity School).



April 2010
Devotion to Solipsism: Religious Thought and Practice in Jack Kerouac's Tristessa
by Spencer Dew (University of Chicago Divinity School)
With invited responses by Benedict Giamo (University of Notre Dame), Sarah Haynes (University of Western Illinois), Nancy Grace (College of Wooster), Amy Hungerford (Yale University), Omar Swartz (University of Colorado, Denver), Matt Theado (Gardner-Webb University) and Eric Ziolkowski (Lafayette College).



March 2010
Picturing Uncle Tom's Cabin from Harlem, 1938
by Laura A. Lindenberger Wellen
With invited responses by John Howell (University of Chicago Divinity School) and Jo-Ann Morgan(Western Illinois University).



February 2010
The Man in Black: Matisyahu, Identity, and Authenticity
by Sarah Imhoff (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by Melvin L. Butler (University of Chicago), Judah Cohen (Indiana University), Annalise E. Glauz-Todrank (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Nora Rubel (University of Rochester).



January 2010
The Uses and Misuses of Polytheism and Monotheism in Hinduism
by Wendy Doniger (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by Martin E. Marty (University of Chicago Divinity School), Willemien Otten (University of Chicago Divinity School), Katherine E. Ulrich (Brooklyn, NY), and Ananya Vajpeyi (University of Massachusetts, Boston).



December 2009
'Something Deeper than Reason': Violence and Nonviolence in the Plowshares Nuclear Disarmament Movement
by Kristen J. Tobey (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by Sharon Erickson Nepstad (University of New Mexico), Jon Pahl (Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia), and Scott Appleby (University of Notre Dame).



November 2009
Theorizing Theodicy in the Study of Religion
by Mark S. M. Scott
With invited responses by Kevin Taylor (Boston University), Sally Stamper (University of Chicago Divinity School), Charles Long (University of California, Santa Barbara, emeritus), and Bryan L. Wagoner (Harvard University).



October 2009
Recent Work in Pragmatism that Takes Religion Seriously: Making Room for Radical Impermanence and Existential Issues
by Andre C. Willis
With an invited response by Corey D. B. Walker (Brown University).



September 2009
Eating, Feeding, and Flesh: Food in Victorian Spiritualsim
by Marlene Tromp
With invited responses by Gail Turley Houston (University of New Mexico) and Daniel Sack (University of Chicago).



July 2009
Flowers in the Dark: African American Consciousness, Laughter, and Resistance in Toni Morrison's Beloved
by Jacqueline Bussie
With invited responses by John Howell (University of Chicago), Cooper Harriss (University of Chicago),Joseph Winters (Princeton University), and Zhange Ni (Virginia Tech).



June 2009
Sacred Property:  Searching for Value in the 9/11 Rubble
by Mateo Taussig-Rubbo
With invited responses by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan (University at Buffalo), Kathryn Lofton (Visiting Fellow, Princeton University), Kristen Tobey (PhD candidate, University of Chicago), and Jeremy Biles(School of the Art Institute of Chicago).



May 2009
Religion, Media, and Cultural Studies
by Richard Fox (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by Stewart Hoover (University of Colorado), Ghada Hashem Talhami (Lake Forest College), Mark Hobart (University of London), and Kathleen Moore (University of California, Santa Barbara).



April 2009
Oprah: Gospel of an Icon
by Kathryn Lofton (Yale University)
With invited responses by Daniel Sack (University of Chicago), Kerry Ferris (Northern Illinois University), Gary Laderman (Emory University), Aaron Jaffe (University of Louisville), and Jane Iwamura (University of Southern California). 



March 2009
Theological Cartography and the Arboreal Imagination in Israel-Palestine
by Alain Epp Weaver (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by David Blakewell Burrell, S.C.S. (Notre Dame University), Amahl Bishara(Tufts University), and Loren Lybarger (Ohio University).



February 2009
The Virtual Rebbe
by Jeffrey Shandler
With invited responses by Sarah Imhoff (University of Chicago), Ellen Koskoff (University of Rochester), and Faye Ginsburg (New York University).



January 2009
The Capability of Play
by Jeffrey Irving Israel
With invited responses by Sarah Hammerschlag (Williams College), Barbra Barnett (PhD candidate, University of Chicago Divinity School), and Jal Mehta (Harvard Graduate School of Education).



December 2008
The Reification of Evil and the Failure of Theodicy:  The Devil in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
by Stephen Meredith
With invited responses by Susan McReynolds Oddo (Northwestern University), Robert Bird (University of Chicago), and Ralph C Wood (Baylor University).



November 2008
Sketch of a Phenomenological Concept of Sacrifice
by Jean-Luc Marion (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by Slavoj Zizek (The European Graduate School), Jeremy Biles, and Christina Gschwandtner (University of Scranton).



October 2008
The Enchantments of Secular Belief
by Danilyn Rutherford
With invited responses by Malika Zeghal (University of Chicago), W. Clark Gilpin (University of Chicago), and Charles Hirschkind (University of California, Berkeley). 



September 2008
Secularism, Religious Renaissance, and Social Conflict in Asia
by Richard Madsen
With invited responses by Hong You (University of Chicago), Prasenjit Duara (National University of Singapore), and Robert Weller (Boston University).



June 2008
The Altar and the Screen: Filmmaking and Worldmaking
by S. Brent Plate
With invited responses by Crystal Downing (Messiah College), Jean Bethke Elshtain (University of Chicago), Robert Johnston (Fuller Theological Seminary), and William Paden (University of Vermont).



May 2008
More than a Mere Contract: Marriage as Contract and Covenant in Law and Theology
by John Witte, Jr. (Emory University)
With invited responses by Brian Bix (University of Minnesota), Don Browning (University of Chicago), Christine Hayes (Yale University), David Novak (University of Toronto), and Charles Reid, Jr. (University of St. Thomas).



April 2008
What Athens Has to Do with Jerusalem: Location and the Origin of Ethics
by William Schweiker (University of Chicago)
With invited responses by Douglas Anderson (Loyola University), William Burrows (Orbis Books), Terry Clark (University of Chicago), Arthur E. Farnsley II (IUPUI), and Rev. Laura Sumner Truax (LaSalle Street Church).



March 2008
The Last Prophet: Spinoza and the Political Theology of Moses Hess
by Jerome Copulsky (Goucher College)
With invited responses by Rabbi Shai Held (Jewish Theological Seminary of America), Leah Hochman (University of Florida), Jeffrey Israel (University of Chicago), and Ben Sax (University of Chicago).



February 2008
The Preacher in the Text: Zora Neale Hurston and the Homiletics of Literature
by M. Cooper Harriss (University of Chicago Divinity School)
With invited responses by Kimberly Connor (University of San Francisco), Dolan Hubbard (Morgan State University), Carolyn Medine (University of Georgia), and Teresa Stricklen (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary).



January 2008
Agape, Special Relations, and the Global Care Crisis: Challenging a “Two-Track” Understanding of the Obligations of Christian Love
by Sandra Sullivan Dunbar (University of Chicago Divinity School)
With formal responses by Gloria H. Albrecht (University of Detroit Mercy) and Peter Meilaender (Houghton College)



December 2007
The Gospel of Freedom, or Another Gospel? Augustinian Reflections on American Foreign Policy
by James K.A. Smith
With formal responses by Eric Gregory (Princeton University), D. C. Schindler (Villanova University), Paul Williams (Regent College).



November 2007
Religion and Museums on the National Mall
by Elizabeth McKeown (Georgetown University)
With formal responses by Michael Berenbaum (The Berenbaum Group), Alison Landsberg (George Mason University), and Ed Linenthal (Indiana University).



October 2007
Beleaguered Success: How Korean Evangelicalism Fared In The 1990s
by Timothy S. Lee
With formal responses by Daniel Bays, Kelly H. Chong, Hyojae Lee, Paul C. H. Lim, and Elizabeth Underwood.



September 2007
In Search of the Common Good: The Catholic Roots Of American Liberalism
by Lew Daly 
With formal responses by Joseph Bottum, Richard W. Garnett, and Thomas Zebrowski.



June 2007
Christian Responses to Vietnam: The Organization of Dissent
by Mark G. Toulouse
With formal responses by Mark Hulsether and Eugene McCarraher.



May 2007
The Desire to Acquire: Or, Why Shopping Malls Are Sites of Religious Violence 
by Jon Pahl
With formal responses by Peter Childs, James Farrell, Vincent Miller, and James Wellman.



April 2007
From Altered States to Altered Categories (and Back Again): Academic Method and the Human Potential Movement
by Jeffrey J. Kripal
With formal responses by Stephen Fredman and Robert Fuller.



March 2007
Secularism: Religious, Irreligious, and Areligious
by W. Clark Gilpin (University of Chicago Divinity School)
With formal responses by John Schmalzbauer (Missouri State University) and Kristen Tobey (University of Chicago).



February 2007
The Earth Charter as a New Covenant for Democracy
by J. Ronald Engel
With formal responses by Klaus Bosselmann, Lois Livezey, Paul Heltne, Stephen Rowe, and Laura Westra.



January 2007
From Artaxerxes to Abu Ghraib: On Religion and the Pornography of Imperial Violence
by Bruce Lincoln
With a formal response by Amy Kaplan.



December 2006
War as Worship, Worship as War
by Michael Sells
With formal responses by Ahmed M. Rehab.



November 2006
Justification and Truth, Relativism and Pragmatism: Reflections on Indian Philosophy and its Lessons for Religious Studies
by Daniel A. Arnold
With formal responses by Michael Kremer and Ronney Mourad.



October 2006
Improvisation and Ethics: Improvising Music, Improvising Ethics
by Daniel Groll, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Carl Joakim Gagnon, Eric Lewis, Brian Soucek, and John G. Stackhouse, Jr.



September 2006
Learning Religion at the Vineyard: Prayer, Discernment and Participation in the Divine
by Tanya Luhrmann, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Heather Curtis, Joel Robbins, Richard A. Rosengarten, and Angela Tarango.



June 2006
Religious Identities of Latin American Immigrants in Chicago: Preliminary Findings from Field Research
by Andrea Althoff, Senior Fellow, Martin Marty Center
With formal responses by Martin Marty, Peter Versteeg, and R. Stephen Warner.



May 2006
How Biblical is the Christian Right?
by Margaret M. Mitchell, University of Chicago
With a formal response by Randall Balmer.



April 2006
Human Rights and Cross-Cultural Dialogue
by Joseph Prabhu, Senior Fellow, The Martin Marty Center
With formal responses by Richard Shweder and Martin E. Marty.



March 2006
Trading Faces: A Case Study in the Science of Identity, Aesthetics, Ethics

Selected essays from a roundtable discussion on tissue transplantation by Naomi Beck, Brian Soucek, and William Schweiker.

With formal responses by Jeremy Biles and Geoffrey Rees.



February 2006
Many Gods, Many Paths: Hinduism and Religious Diversity
by Wendy Doniger
With formal responses by Gurcharan Das and Damodar Prabhu.



January 2006
The Widening Gap: Economic Inequality as a Religious Issue
by Franklin I. Gamwell
With a formal response by Bruce Rittenhouse.

Questions? Please contact the web forum editor


November/December 2005
Eagle of Power, Raven of Guilt: Conversations with Langdon Gilkey
by Jeff B. Pool (Berea College)
With a formal response by Kyle Pasewark.



September/October 2005
Intelligent Design and Evolution in Conflict

With essays by Darren M. Henson, Richard A. Rosengarten, and Walter H. Mees, Jr.



May 2005
Red Medicine, Blue Medicine: Pluralism and the Future of Healthcare
by Farr A. Curlin (University of Chicago) and Daniel E. Hall (Duke University, University of Pittsburgh)
With formal responses by Jean Bethke Elshtain and W. Clark Gilpin.



April 2005
Seeking a Prophet: How Religion Mediates the Relationship between Black America and the U.S. Presidents
by Melissa Harris Lacewell, University of Chicago
With invited responses by John Brehm and Omar McRoberts



March 2005
Martin Buber's Land of Two Peoples
by Paul Mendes-Flohr, University of Chicago



February 2005
Notes From the Field: Retrieving the Dead
by Kristin Bloomer, University of Chicago



January 2005
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! The Monster Trucks’ Black Sabbath
by Jeremy Biles, University of Chicago
With a formal response by Joseph L. Price



December 2004
The Mythology of Self-Imitation in Passing: Race, Gender, and Politics
by Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Celia Brickman, Martha Selby, and Catharine Stimpson



November 2004
The Mother in Heaven and Eve: Models of Femaleness in Early Mormonism
by Susanna Morrill, Lewis & Clark College
With a formal response by Catherine Brekus.



October 2004
The Theology of George W. Bush
by Bruce Lincoln, University of Chicago
With a formal response by Hugh Urban.



September 2004
Conjuring Curses and Supplicating Spirits: Baseball's Culture of Superstitions
by Joseph L. Price, Whittier College
With formal responses by Jerry Davich, D. Gregory Sapp, Krista Tippett, and Mark G. Toulouse.



June 2004
A 'Monkish Virtue' outside the Monastery: On the Social and Civic Value of Humility
by Mary M. Keys, University of Notre Dame
With formal responses by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Michael Foley, and Jennifer Herdt.



May 2004
Undoing the Mahdiyya: British Colonialism as Religious Reform in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898-1914 
by Noah Salomon, University of Chicago Divinity School
With formal responses by Cassie Adcock and Jeremy Walton.



April 2004
Science in Medieval Jewish Commentaries on the Bible
by James T. Robinson, University of Chicago Divinity School



March 2004
Complicity and Moral Memory
by M. Cathleen Kaveny, University of Notre Dame
With a formal response by Father James Keenan.



February 2004
'A place to go to connect with yourself': A Historical Perspective on Journaling
by Catherine A. Brekus, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Leigh Schmidt and Kathryn Lofton.



January 2004
Black Theology: The Notion of Culture Revisited
by Dwight N. Hopkins, University of Chicago
With a formal response by James A. Noel.



December 2003

'Religion': Just Another Modern Western Construction?
by Martin Riesebrodt, University of Chicago
With formal responses by José Casanova, Prasenjit Duara, and Stephen Sharot.



November 2003
The Catholic Sophocles: Violence and Vision in Flannery O'Connor's 'Revelation'
by Richard A. Rosengarten, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Robert Barron, Brian Britt, and Terrence W. Tilley.



October 2003
Humanity Before God: Theological Humanism from a Christian Perspective
by William Schweiker, University of Chicago
With formal responses by David E. Klemm, Terence J. Martin, and Lisa Cahill.



September 2003
Religion and the Constitution Confounded: Treating the First Amendment as a Theological Statement
by Thomas J. Curry, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
With formal responses by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and W. Clark Gilpin.



July 2003
The Iconization of Elián Gonzalez: The Making of National History by Family Melodrama
by Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Campbell McGrath and Stephan Palmié.



June 2003
Critical Familism, Civil Society, and the Law
by Don Browning, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Amy Laura Hall and Rebekah Miles.



May 2003
Thinking about War and Justice
by Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chicago Divinity School
With formal responses by Richard B. Miller and Charles T. Mathewes.



April 2003
Masquerading as One's Self: A Revealing Study of Self-Impersonation in Literature
by Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago



March 2003
Capabilities and Disabilities: Justice for Mentally Disabled Citizens
by Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago Divinity School
With a formal response by John Deigh.


February 2003
The Desert Within and Social Renewal: Martin Buber's Vision of Utopia
by Paul Mendes-Flohr, University of Chicago Divinity School
With a formal response by Gregory Kaplan.



January 2003
The Letter from Prison in Christian History and Theology
by W. Clark Gilpin, University of Chicago Divinity School
With a formal response by Peter Iver Kaufman.



December 2002
Mr. Atta's Meditations, Sept. 10, 2001: A Close Reading of the Text
by Bruce Lincoln, University of Chicago
With formal responses by Mark Juergensmeyer and Bruce B. Lawrence.

2012-2013 issues of the Religion and Culture Web Forum were edited by Vince Evener.