Socialist Aspirations: Religion, Atheism and Ethical Life

January 6-7, 2019 |  Swift Common Room

What does socialism look like? How does socialism circulate as an aspiration and as a lived reality? This conference convenes a group of twelve scholars from a variety of disciplines (history, anthropology, geography, theology and philosophy) to examine the ethical and moral dimensions of socialism across domains of ideology, institutional organization, and aesthetic expression. We will compare different moral vocabularies of socialism in religion, atheism and politics. Advancing an international perspective toward socialism, the participants will engage socialism's global trajectories including the cultural and racial legacies of Marxism, postcolonial conundrums of sovereignty, and the geopolitics of feminist and working-class movements.



Angie Heo
Vincent Lloyd


Jeffrey Ahlman, History, Smith College

Sharad Chari, Geography, University of California, Berkeley

Robeson Taj Frazier, Communication, University of Southern California

Angie Heo, Anthropology and Sociology of Religion, The University of Chicago Divinity School

Morgan Liu, Anthropology, The Ohio State University

Vincent Lloyd, Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University

Eduardo Mendieta, Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University

Özge Serin, Politics, Whitman College

Victoria Smolkin, History, Wesleyan University

Linn Tonstad, Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School

Zhivka Valiavicharska, Social Science and Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute

Emily Wilcox, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor



This conference is sponsored by The Political Theology Network and the University of Chicago Divinity School's Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion; addiitonal sponsorship from the Center for International Social Science Research and the Office of the Dean of the Divinity School. 



This event is open to the public by RSVP. To RSVP, please contact Kellan Klaus by January 2 (kellan@uchicago.edu).

Persons with a disability who need an accomodation to attend this event, please contact Sandra Peppers (speppers@uchicago.edu)