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March 2014
News and Events

Contents

01) March 12 | The Rule of Law and the Unruliness of Religion: Reflections on Legal Multiculturalism | Benjamin Berger
02) March 13 | Graduate Student Summer Research Grants Applications Due
03) March 18 | Science and the Future of the Study of Religion | Edward Slingerland, Evan Thompson, Jeffrey Kripal, Robert Sharf, and David Presti


All events free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.
For more information, visit bcsr.berkeley.edu.

 
01) March 12 | The Rule of Law and the Unruliness of Religion: Reflections on Legal Multiculturalism | Benjamin Berger

The Rule of Law and the Unruliness of Religion: Reflections on Legal Multiculturalism
Benjamin Berger, Associate Professor of Law, York University
Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion
Wednesday, March 12, 5-7pm
3335 Dwinelle, UC Berkeley

In a recent work on the nature of religious speech, sociologist Bruno Latour cautioned that “the more you make religion modern and acceptable, soft and digestible, the less you are faithful to its specific order of difficulty.” This talk aims to draw out that “specific order of difficulty,” exploring the way in which the prevailing story about law’s role in the management of religious difference obscures the features that make religion a distinctively unruly phenomenon within a modern culture of law’s rule, and hides the paradoxes and awkwardness into which religion leads the constitutional rule of law.  In exposing these features of the interaction of modern law and religion, the talk will touch on issues such as the way in which religion is transformed by law’s gaze, the strange relationship of law to choice and freedom in its treatment of religion, and the troubled life of legal toleration.  Drawing on the experience of religious diversity and the law in Canada, where the rhetoric of legal multiculturalism has been particularly powerful, the talk seeks to set the stage for a better account of the interaction of law and religion in any liberal constitutional order.  (Berger)
 
Benjamin Berger is an Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Law School, York University, Toronto and a member of the faculty of York’s Graduate Program in Socio-Legal Studies. His research and teaching focuses on the interplay between religious difference and the culture of law’s rule; the social functions of criminal and constitutional law; and the nature, quality, and virtues of legal judgment. He served as law clerk to the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University, where he earned his LL.M. and J.S.D.
 
Professor Berger is a BCSR Visiting Scholar, February to March 2014.

 

02) March 13 | Graduate Student Summer Research Grants Applications Due
 
BCSR is offering five summer research grants in the amount of $5000 each for advanced graduate students working on topics in the study of religion, broadly construed. Applications are welcome from all UC Berkeley Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy, with preference given to those who are close to completion of their dissertations. Grants are awarded for summer research travel and related expenses only. To apply, visit bcsr.berkeley.edu. Applications are due Thursday March 13.

 
03) March 18 | Science and the Future of the Study of Religion | Edward Slingerland, Evan Thompson, Jeffrey Kripal, Robert Sharf, and David Presti

Science and the Future of the Study of Religion
Tuesday, March 18, 5-7 pm
370 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley
 
• Religious Studies in the Age of Consilience: New Approaches Drawn from the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences
Edward Slingerland, Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
 
• Buddhism and Cognitive Science
Evan Thompson, Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Visiting Professor, Center for Buddhist Studies, UC Berkeley
 
• Neuroscientists at the Cusp: The Materialist Paradigm and Mind Beyond Brain
Jeffrey Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University, Houston
 
Edward Slingerland, Evan Thompson, and Jeffrey Kripal have written works that engage the perspectives of cognitive science and neuroscience and challenge the boundary between the study of religion and the experience of it. Their respective works pose fundamental challenges to the way that religion has traditionally been studied. They join UC Berkeley faculty Robert Sharf, D H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies, and David Presti, Senior Lecturer of Neurobiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, who are currently co-teaching "Consciousness: Buddhist and Neuroscientific Perspectives." Professor Sharp moderates this panel discussion on science and the future of the study of religion.

 
By connecting scholars, students, and the global community, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) fosters critical and creative scholarship on religion and activates this scholarship for students and the public at large.

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For more information, visit bcsr.berkeley.edu.