Talk by Nancy Levene, Senior Research Scientist, Religious Studies, Yale University. The Department of Religion's 2014 Hardigg Family Fund Lecture.
Nancy Levene is the author of Spinoza's Revelation: Religion, Democracy, and Reason (Cambridge Univ. Pr., 2009) and editor of Textual Reasonings: Jewish Philosophy and Text Study at the End of the Twentieth Century (Eerdmans, 2003), and is currently working on a new book, The Elementary Forms of Religion in Modernity. About her talk, she writes: “It is an exciting time to study religion. Perhaps this has always been true. Religion designates a topic that promises insight into fundamental human questions and struggles. Yet we live in an age when religion is also a term of uncertain application. There exists a robust vocabulary for the contours of religion through the ages: church, empire, schism, enlightenment, modernization, secularization, fundamentalism, revival, new ages, spirituality, syncretism. Many of these terms have contemporary resonance and promise to endure into the future. But it may also be asked: what can our epoch contribute to the history and the concept of religion? Or more simply, what is religion for our age?
Although it is impossible, and indeed undesirable, to remove the ambiguity from a metaphor as dense as religion or to convince everyone who uses it to use it in the same way, I undertake … to conceive a history of religion adequate to the present moment. My aim is to connect the question of religion to the nature of historical existence and to the concept of the humanities, calling upon a range of philosophical, theological, and historical ideas in Western thought.”
Free & open to all.
Sponsored by the Hardigg Family Fund.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.