Upcoming Events

The Divinity School sponsors a variety of programs throughout the academic year, including conferences, our weekly Wednesday Lunch series, and lectures by visiting scholars. For more events information, see our online calendar, or sign up for our weekly events email. Join the conversation! 


Public Lecture: Geneviève Zubrzycki (PhD'02), Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, on "Beheading the Saint: Aesthetic Revolt and National Identity in Quebec, 1959-69."

Monday May 22 | 4:30pm | Swift Common Room 

Geneviève Zubrzycki is a comparative-historical and cultural sociologist who studies national identity and religion, collective memory and national mythology, and the contested place of religious symbols in the public sphere. Her work combines historical and ethnographic methods, and considers evidence from material and visual culture.

Her first book, the award-winning The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland  (University of Chicago Press, 2006) was translated into Polish in 2014 (Nomos). Her second book, Beheading the Saint: Nationalism, Religion and Secularism in Quebec (University of Chicago Press, 2016) is a historical ethnography and visual sociology of the formation and transformation of national identity in Quebec. Forthcoming are the tentatively titled Resurrecting the Jew: National Identity, Philosemitism, and the Politics of Memory in Contemporary Poland and an edited volume, National Matters: Materiality, Culture and Nationalism.

Her scholarship has been awarded prizes from the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Polish Studies Association, and from the American Sociological Association’s sections on Sociology of Culture, Political Sociology, Sociology of Religion, and Collective Behavior and Social Movements.

Professor Zubrzycki is the director of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, which includes the Center for European Studies; Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and Copernicus Program in Polish Studies. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.

Professor Zubrzycki will also be presenting a paper – "Nationalism, 'Philosemitism,' and Symbolic Boundary-Making in Contemporary Poland" – at a workshop on Tuesday the 23rd at 12 noon in the Common Room.   

past events this Quarter

Religion and Literature Workshop: Vivian Liska on "German Jewish Thought and its Afterlife: A Tenuous Legacy.”

Tuesday March 28 | 4:30pm | Swift 106

V LiskaVivian Liska is Professor of German literature and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Her research focuses on modernist literature, German-Jewish literature and thought, and literary theory. She is the editor of the De Gruyter book series “Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts,” of the Yearbook of the Association of European-Jewish Literature, of the comparative literature journal arcadia and of numerous books, among them the two volume ICLA publication Modernism and What does the Veil Know? In 2011 she has been awarded the Cross of Honor of the Republic of Austria for Science and the Arts. Vivian Liska is the author of several monographs, among them  Die Nacht der Hymnen (on Paul Celan), ‘Die Moderne – ein Weib’ (on Turn of the Century German women novelists),  Das schelmische Erhabene (on Else Lasker-Schüler), Giorgio Agambens Leerer Messianismus (translated into Hebrew as אגמבן 'ורג'יוג  של הריקה המשיחיות)When Kafka Says We (translated into German as Fremde GemeinschaftDeutsch-jüdische Literatur der Moderne and soon in Hebrew translation with Hakobbutz Hameuchad.) Her most recent book: German-Jewish Thought and its Afterlife: A Tenuous Legacy (2017).

Prof. Liska will speak about her book, focusing on the Kafka chapter. Abstract: References to the law pervade Kafka’s writings, but their meaning remains elusive. It is precisely because it is uncertain whether the law in Kafka’s work is to be understood in juridical, religious, literary, or more generally ontological terms that it has elicited numerous and often contradictory interpretations that shed light on the relationship between these different realms. The lecture will explore how this indeterminacy and its effects have inspired important debates between modernist thinkers from Scholem and Benjamin to Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben. The talk will focus on the relationship between law and narrative and its correlation with Jewish approaches to the interaction between Halacha and Aggadah.


Philosophy of Religions Workshop: Noreen Khawaja on "Philosophy, Theory, History"

Wednesday April 5 | 4:30pm | Swift Common Room 

N KhawajaNoreen Khawaja, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University, on  "Philosophy, Theory, History."
Noreen Khawaja specializes in 19th and 20th century European intellectual history, and particularly on the shifting status of religious ideas in late modern Western philosophy and culture. Her research examines the collapse of metaphysics both historically and philosophically. She looks at this issue in relation to secularity, the retrieval of theological traditions, and the rise of critical discourses on religion. Her book on existentialism, The Religion of Existence: Asceticism in Philosophy from Kierkegaard to Sartre was published with the University of Chicago Press in 2016. A newer project looks at the emergence of authenticity as a cultural and aesthetic ideal from the early Surrealists to the present day.




J Elsner

Classicisms Lecture: “Classicism and the Transmission of Antiquity”

Thursday, April 6 | 5pm | Cochrane-Woods Art Center, 5540 S. Greenwood Avenue, room 157

Jas' Elsner, Visiting Professor of Art and Religion, will will discuss the ways artworks were viewed in their original context and how they relate to other forms of cultural, social, and spiritual practice.

This event is part of a series of gallery talks and lectures related to the Smart Museum of Art special exhibition, Classicisms.

J CorriganAlumnus of the Year 2017 Lecture and Reception
Thursday, April 20 | 4:30pm | Swift Lecture Hall
John Corrigan (PhD'82), the Divinity School's 2017 Alumnus of the Year, will deliver a lecture entitled "Religion, Emotion, and History."
Corrigan, the author or editor of numerous books, is the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of History at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Read more about Prof. Corrigan and the Alumnus of the Year award
A reception will follow (Swift Common Room, 1st floor).

State of the Garden poster image

Friday April 28 | Swift Lecture Hall (3rd floor)

Divinity School Ministry Studies and the Divinity Students Association present "State of the Garden: Womanism in the post-Obama Era" – an occasion to hear from and converse with those who helped define the womanist methodology as it emerged in the late 1970s and continued to gain prominence. And, nearly 40 years later, it also presents a chance to recognize and hear from later generations on womanist thought and its relevance leading into the future.

Participants: Rev. Neichelle Guidry, Rev. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones, Rev. Dr. Linda Thomas, and Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes. Special musical guest Corey Barksdale. A reception will follow.

Cosponsored by the Graduate Council; Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture; and Off the Pews Into the Street.

Rev. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones is an assistant professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University (Bloomington). Dr. Jones is a graduate of University of Chicago (Ph.D.), Yale Divinity School (M.Div.), Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) and Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.). In addition to her work in the academy, Dr. Jones is a fourth-generation, ordained, itinerant preacher and the founder of Move And Shake Women: Academic Women Connecting in the Journey, which focuses on training high achieving women in work-life balance.

Linda Thomas is a Professor of Theology and Anthropology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Her research and teaching interests include cultural anthropology and its intersection with theology, ethics, and African-American and gender studies. In addition to fieldwork in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, her publications include the books Under the Canopy: Ritual Process and Spiritual Resilience in South Africa (University of South Carolina Press,1999), and Living Stones in the Household of God: The Legacy and Future of Black Theology (Augsburg Fortress, 2004). She is also co-editor of the Palgrave Macmillan series “Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice,” and delivered the 2007 Taylor Lectures at Yale University.

Rev. Neichelle R. Guidry is Liaison to Worship and Arts Ministries in the Office of the Senior Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ. She is the creator of shepreaches, a virtual community and professional development organization that aspires to uplift African-American millennial women in ministry through theological reflection, fellowship, and liturgical curation. Rev. Guidry is a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in Liturgical Studies (Homiletics) at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston. 

Rev. Dr. Emilie M. Townes is the dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. Her broad areas of expertise include Christian ethics, cultural theory and studies, postmodernism and social postmodernism. Dr. Townes earned a doctorate in philosophy from the Joint Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University Program in 1989. She received a doctorate in ministry from the University of Chicago in 1982 and was our Alumna of the Year for 2008. Corey Barksdale is a Christian Singer/Songwriter who uses illustrative lyrics, biblical teachings, and eclectic vocals.


Senior Fellow Symposium with Maliha Chishti

Tuesday, May 9 | 4:30pm | Swift Common Room (1st floor) 

Maliha Chishti (PhD, University of Toronto) teaches at the Chang School/ Sociology Department at Ryerson University, Toronto Canada. She is the former Director of the Hague Appeal for Peace at the United Nations and helped initiate the historic Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.  She is currently working on her manuscript, “Decolonizing Peacebuilding” and has published numerous articles on Afghan women, peace and conflict. Her current research involves the opportunities and challenges to peacebuilding in Muslim-majority contexts, focusing on the role of religion, traditional authority and the politics of mulitivocality and pluralism in post-conflict contexts.

Senior fellows in the Marty Center are scholars from the United States and other countries throughout the world, on sabbatical leave from their home institutions. At the Marty Center, they situate their research within a broader cultural frame of reference, bringing their perspectives to bear on religious questions facing the wider public.



Senior Fellow Symposium with Massimo Nardello: “God’s becoming as foundation of an interactional ecclesiology”
Thursday, May 11 | 4:30pm | Swift Common Room (1st floor)

Prof. Massimo Nardello (PhD, Gregorian University, Roma) is Professor of Systematic Theology in the Inter-Diocesan Theological Institute, Professor of Systematic Theology in the High Institute of Religious Studies (Modena), and contract professor of systematic theology in the Faculty of Theology, Bologna. His current research involves process theology within the Catholic tradition.

Senior fellows in the Marty Center are scholars from the United States and other countries throughout the world, on sabbatical leave from their home institutions. At the Marty Center, they situate their research within a broader cultural frame of reference, bringing their perspectives to bear on religious questions facing the wider public.