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February 2017
News and Events

Contents


01) February 2 | NOT a Theology of the New Testament | Dale B. Martin
02) February 16-17 | Vernacular Theologies | All Day Workshop
03) February 17 |  Deadline: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Theology
04) February 23 | Traditionalism and the New Catholic Liberation Theology | Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins
05) February 28 | Why Non-Christians Should Study Christian Theology | Leora Batnitzky
06) March 3 | Deadline: New Directions in Theology Graduate Student Grants


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

 
01) February 2 | NOT a Theology of the New Testament | Dale B. Martin

Berkeley Public Theology Program

NOT a Theology of the New Testament

Dale B. Martin, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University, and Danforth Visiting Professor of Theological Studies, St. Louis University
Thursday, February 2, 5-7pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley


For the past two centuries, scholars have attempted to derive orthodox Christian theology by reading the New Testament. They have, however, insisted that any contemporary theology be based on historical-critical exegesis of the ancient text, taking the meaning relevant for today from what scholars decide was the meaning intended by the original author or understood by the original audience. Martin argues that founding modern readings on constructions of ancient intentions has, of necessity, led to bad history, bad theology, or both. Only by moving to a postmodern approach to the Bible can one arrive at robust, orthodox Christian theology.
02) February 16-17 | Vernacular Theologies | All Day Workshop

Berkeley Public Theology Program

Vernacular Theologies
Thursday and Friday, February 16 and 17
All Day Workshop
3335 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley


The notion of “vernacular theology” has developed in reference to a body of Christian texts in vernacular languages that emerged during the late middle ages in lay or semi-lay circles. These texts and artifacts (music, images) address questions and practices of devotion, as well as theological issues and problems. They articulate positions outside of, and often in competition with, more official monastic or scholastic theologies. By doing so, they establish new modes of theological investigation, devotional theory and practice, and community-formation, often inspiring other theological movements that resonate far beyond the church and the monastery (from pietism to romanticism and decadence, aspects of modernism, and revolutionary movements). Finally, these vernacular theologies engage in and with a wide range of media (music, poetry, painting, up to video art), and not only to "illustrate" certain ideas, but also to give theological ideas entirely new shapes inside these specific media.

In this workshop, we will ask whether, and how far, this idea of vernacular theology can find application beyond the bounds of medieval Europe, and beyond Christianity. How does theology unfold in various traditions outside the main channels of institutionally authorized discourses? What are the specific stakes and the media that are used? What kinds of community-shaping forces are being mobilized in and through vernacular theologies? How does this recast our understanding of theologies and the function of theological imagination outside of normative and authorized frameworks? And how might the study of other “theologies” reshape the frameworks we use to understand the Christian?

Program forthcoming. Registration is required to receive pre-circulated materials. To register, please contact info.bcsr@berkeley.edu


03) February 17 | Deadline: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Theology

Berkeley Public Theology Program

Deadline: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Theology
Friday, February 17

The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) opened recruitment for the Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Theology on December 1. Part of BCSR’s Public Theology Program, the fellowship is dedicated to the furtherance of the very best new scholarship in religious studies, and, in particular, the development of modes of inquiry that can pioneer new approaches to the study of religion in the public university. For the academic year 2017-18, BCSR seeks a top early career scholar to come to Berkeley for one year. Applications received by the initial review date of February 17, 2017 receive priority. For more information, including required qualifications and application materials, visit:

https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/apply/JPF01217


04) February 23 | Traditionalism and the New Catholic Liberation Theology | Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

Berkeley Public Theology Program

Religious Realignments in the Trump Era
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Theology
Thursday, February 23, 5-7pm
3335 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley


The success of populist movements in Western Europe and the United States has created conditions for the formation of new coalitions between religious groups and political ideologies that once stood hostile to each other. We are now experiencing a convergence between the political views of conservative Evangelicals in the United States and so-called traditionalists in Russia. Russia's lack of freedom — something for which the Soviet Union was condemned — now seems to provide a model for reestablishing America as a Christian nation.

A different kind of convergence is on display with secular nationalist parties in... (more)

05) Why Non-Christians Should Study Christian Theology | Leora Batnitzky

Berkeley Public Theology Program

Why Non-Christians Should Study Christian Theology
Leora Batnitzky, Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor and Chair of Religion, Princeton University
Tuesday, February 28, 5-7pm
470 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley


By now most universities recognize that the religious dimensions of culture and experience are too important, and potentially too dangerous, either to be neglected by our educational institutions or to be consigned exclusively to religious institutions to study.  But should the study of religion in universities include theology, which, after all, is rightly regarded as historically Christian and normatively authoritarian?  This paper contends that the study of theology is not inimical to the charge of liberal education but instead essential to it.  Turning to Max Weber’s well-known dictum that “The primary task of a useful teacher is to teach his [or her] students to recognize ‘inconvenient’ facts…. And for every party opinion there are facts that are extremely inconvenient,” the paper argues that the study of Christian theology presents a number of inconvenient facts that are as important for non-Christians as they might be for... (more)
06) March 3 | Deadline: New Directions in Theology Graduate Student Grants

Berkeley Public Theology Program

Deadline: New Directions in Theology Graduate Student Grants
Friday, March 3
BCSR is pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2017-18 New Directions in Theology Graduate Student Grants, an opportunity offered through the Public Theology Program. A $5,000 grant will be awarded to incoming first-year and continuing second-year students from a variety of disciplines. Grantees participate as a cohort in biweekly meetings convened by BCSR faculty, receive intellectual guidance on research projects, and contribute to the building of a unified community of inquiry on the Berkeley campus in public theology. Applications for second-year graduate students are due on March 3. For more information, including application guidelines, please visit the BCSR website.
 
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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