All Religion Department Symposia are free and open to the Reed College community. The talks are directed to our religion majors but are accessible on a variety of levels. Symposia are held on Mondays from 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

2016-17 Schedule


4:30-6:00 in ETC 208 (unless marked otherwise). Directions to Reed.

Sept 15Thomas Tweed
Location: Eliot 314

Professor Tweed, a former president of the American Academy of Religion, is known for his historical studies of US religion and his theoretical reflections on the nature and function of religion. In this public lecture, he brings together those two concerns, as he thinks about how we might use the themes of his theory of religion—crossing and dwelling—to reimagine America’s religious past.

Sept 20Shaul Y. Stampfer
Stampfer is the Rabbi Edward Sandrow Professor of Soviet and East European Jewry emeritus at the Hebrew University.
Oct 4Religion Department Symposium
Oct 11Jeff Schroeder

When Japan opened to the world in the 1850s, the influx of Western science awakened widespread doubts in Buddhist teachings. This presentation investigates the response of one of modern Japan’s most celebrated and influential priests, Kiyozawa Manshi. Kiyozawa’s response can be boiled down to two arguments: that science is based in faith and that religion is based in empirical facts.

Oct 27Yasmeen Hanoosh
Location: Psych 105
Can the problems that the political ideal of the Islamic state raises be transcended, either in terms of its coherence as an Islamic political project or its difficult fit with international human rights norms? In the second decade of the 21st century, Sudanese intellectuals and average folk alike are asking this question after a lengthy period of experimenting with such a political form. This talk traces two distinct attempts to escape the quagmires of Sudan's Islamic state project: one, Sudanese students who have left Sudan's Islamic state to join ISIS, a political movement that rejects the modern nation-state as a container for Islamic political ambitions; and, two, South Sudan's attempt to escape the human rights challenges of the Islamic state through secession and the establishment of a secular polity. While the first group tries to escape the political form of the state and the compromises to its vision of Islam it requires, the second tries to escape the state’s religious character as a means of fulfilling political equality. Together we will explore the reasons for the difficulties each has experienced in achieving either goal.
Dec 3Senior project trajectory presentations
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Parker House

Fall-spring seniors present their project trajectories to one another, lunch (sandwich buffet) provided.