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CSRC News/Religion in the News



CSRC Associate Director Erika Johnson was recently honored by the Nashville Scene's annual "Best of Nashville" listing for her interactive art installation, "Curtain," which was on display at Nashville's Parthenon in summer 2008.Link to story

CSRC Director Volney Gay was recently featured on "Issues of Faith," a program of Nashville's NewsChannel 5+, in a conversation about cults with host Ben Hall. Click here to watch this program.

Jewly Hight, a CSRC graduate research fellow, became the Vanderbilt Divinity School's eighty-ninth Founder's Medal recipient at the Vanderbilt May 2008 Commencement. Hight was recognized for her involvement in the CSRC's Music, Religion, and the South project and God in Music City Conference, her stellar academic record (she maintained a 4.00 grade point average over the course of her graduate studies), and her achievements as a musician and writer.

Two CSRC fellows receive faculty awards at 2008 Spring Faculty Assembly Link to story

David Wood
, Centennial Professor of Philosophy and co-director of the CSRC project on Ecology and Spirituality has received the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award to honor faculty whose contributions span multiple academic disciplines. Wood has worked to create groups and conferences that explore wide-ranging issues such as war, environmental justice and animal rights. He moderates "Thinking Out of the Lunch Box" series at the Downtown Public Library; and has published three books with six more under construction.

Daniel B. Cornfield, Professor of Sociology and CSRC Fellow received the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award for distinguished accomplishments at furthering the aims of Vanderbilt University. Although now focusing his energy as founding director of the new transdisciplinary Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies, Cornfield has had great impact on a number of programs including: enhancing the reputation of our sociology department's research on labor issues while he served as chair; putting together an interdisciplinary, inter-university team to study Nashville's immigrant community and its social services needs while serving as acting director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies; and editing the scholarly journal Work and Occupations. He is a CSRC fellow who has worked on the project on Religion and Economy, the project on Religion and Politics, and the developing Constructing Cultures project, which is a joint effort between Vanderbilt and the University of Oslo, Norway.

The Tennessean has featured an article on April 6, 2008 by CSRC Director Volney Gay titled "Racism in American society weaves a network of systematic problems."

"God in Music City," a CSRC-funded project, was featured on Nashville's News Channel 5+ (Ch. 50) on Issues of Faith.

The CSRC was mentioned in an article about a new Luce Foundation grant to establish an art and religion program at the Vanderbilt Divinity School. Click here for article

God in Music City - The Tennessean featured the CSRC's "God in Music City" project in an article for the January 21, 2008 edition.

Gregory F. Barz, Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of the CSRC Music, Religion and the South project, has been nominated for a Grammy for his work on the album Singing for Life: Songs of Hope, Healing, and HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

Black Messiahs Fly: A play by Frank Dobson, director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center was performed at the National Black Theatre Festival held in Winston-Salem, N.C. Link to Register Article.

The New Walmart Effect: A study by Vanderbilt Professor of Environmental Law and CSRC Fellow Michael Vandenbergh (Ecology and Spirituality) shows that American companies and consumers can encourage foreign suppliers to follow environmental rules. Link to Register article.

Vanderbilt Authors Website: Books by CSRC Fellows Michael Bess (Chancellor's Professor of History), Florence Faucher-King (Associate Professor of Political Science), John McCarthy (Professor of German and Comparative Literature and Director of the Max Kade Center of European and German Studies) and David Weintraub (Associate Professor of Astronomy) are featured on the new Vanderbilt Authors Website.

Does God intervene in the mind? The Tennessean featured the Templeton Research Lecture Series (TRL) in an article entitled "Scientist looks for God amid brain molecules: Consciousness pioneer to speak at Vanderbilt." [March 2007]

Congressman Jim Cooper visits with the Religion and Politics group on February 22, 2007. Cooper urges better connections with the community. Register Article. [February 2007]

CSRC Director Volney Gay weighs in on pastors and pop culture in a December 3 article in The Tennesean. [December 2006]

The War Against Global Warming: David Wood, Professor of Philosophy and co-director of the CSRC's Ecology and Spirituality group gave a spiritual and economic rationale for the war against global warming in The Tennesean on Friday, Nov. 11. Wood also wrote a guest commentary for the Register. [November 2006]

Raising Awareness for Global Warming: The Vanderbilt Register featured members of the Ecology and Spirituality group participating in panel discussions following free screenings of "An Inconvenient Truth" during the week of November 27. [November 2006]

Irreconcilable Differences? Artist-Educators and Religion:
Panelists included Robin Jensen, Alison Helm, Ruth Weisberg, Harvey Breverman, and Eleanor Heartney. This event, part of the Southeastern College Art Conference, was sponsored by the CSRC, the Program in Jewish Studies, University Chaplain and Affiliated Ministries, Divinity School, and the Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life. Link to Register Article. [November 2006]

Researchers visit Tennessee communities for insight into politics and religion: Religion and Politics Summer Field workers discuss preliminary findings with a reporter from the Vanderbilt Register in the article. [September 2006]

CSRC Project Director Tracy Sharpley-Whiting wins the Horace Mann Medal for her research accomplishments, as covered by the Vanderbilt Register. The award is given in recognition of a Brown University Graduate School alumnus/alumna who has made significant contributions to scholarly research. Sharpley-Whiting is the director of the African American and Diaspora Studies program and the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies at Vanderbilt. She also directs the CSRC project "Men, Masculinities, and Fatherhood: Sexuality, Race and Religion in South Africa and the United States." [September 2006]

Benevolent Tornado: An Unlikely Fellow Plans a Southern Rock Festival: Richard Lloyd, Music, Religion and the South Project Fellow, covers local artist in the Nashville Scene. [August 2006]

Updike's Writings Lead Off Fall Series for Vanderbilt's (Lunch) Box Lectures: Volney Gay, CSRC Director, examined John Updike's use of sexual wisdom among his characters in the continuation of the "Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box" series, beginning September 6. Register Article. [August 2006]

Religion and Politics Project Covered in Dyersburg Newspaper: "Vanderbilt Study Examines Relationship Between Politics, Religion"[June 2006] and "Jobs, Education, Crime, Illegal Immigration, Homosexuality Concern Locals: Vanderbilt Study" [August 2006]. Articles appear with permission from the Dyersburg State Gazette.

Is the Middle East War Armageddon? Douglas Knight, CSRC Director, interviewed on Beyond Reason about Biblical prophecies and the Middle East conflict. [July 2006]

Religious Freedom: Spirituality Flourishes When Governments Don't Play Favorites: Science & Theology News - Rodney Stark, 2005-2006 Templeton Research Lecturer, outlines his market theory of religion and society. [July/August 2006]

Prophets Rising: A New Generation of Prophets Claims to Hear the Voice of the Lord. Here's What He's Saying: CSRC Director Volney Gay comments on the prophetic gifting movement for the Nashville Scene. [July 6, 2006]

Reading Group Studies Bin Laden for Understanding: CSRC Director, Douglas Knight, and other Vanderbilt faculty have chosen Osama bin Laden as the focus of their reading group. Bin Laden Reading Group Digs for Insights The Christian Science Monitor - CSRC Director, Volney Gay, along with other Vanderbilt professors have been gathering periodically to talk about bin Laden's own writings and speeches. [June 15, and February 2, 2006]

80 Years after the Monkey Trial: Why It Still Matters: CSRC Director, Volney Gay, reflects on Intelligent Design Theory. Gay participated in a Panel Discussion on the Scopes Trial on the opening night of the LA Theatre Works production of "The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial" on October 19, 2005 at 6:45 p.m. at the Curb Event Center on Belmont Campus. Gay's remarks. [October 2005]

Bin Laden fascinates, repels scholars at VU: Professor's group studies terrorist's speeches, writing: The Tennesseean - Volney Gay, Director of the CSRC, gathers with other Vanderbilt University professors to discuss the speeches and statements of Osama Bin Laden. [November, 2005]

Greening Vanderbilt: Renewing our Mission for the 21st Century: In the Register, David Wood, principal investigator of the CSRC Ecology and Spirituality research group, calls Vanderbilt to redefine its mission in light of the pressing ecological issues of our time. [October, 2005]

Where Religion Meets Culture: Perilous Crossroads? Vicki Greene, Associate Professor of Physics and member of the CSRC Science and Religion project, comments on the place of "intelligent design" in a religion versus science classroom. [Summer, 2005]

A&S Cornerstone: The CSRC is recognized for honoring the "big-picture questions" of the role of religion in the 21st century. By crossing departmental lines and supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative work, the CSRC opens possibilities for new inquiry about topics such as religion and economics, and the relationship between theologians and scientists.

Verily, I Sell Unto You: Mark Justad, Executive Director of the CSRC, comments on the increase of businesses identifying themselves as explicitly Christian and the ramifications of religious expression in secular workplaces. Link to article. [August, 2005]

Science and Theology News: Vanderbilt University was recently awarded with a Templeton Research Lecture grant for its program, Scales and Hierarchies: Implications for Science and Religion, a three-year research seminar in affiliation with the CSRC. [June, 2005]

For Bible Editors, No Day of Rest: Chronicle of Higher Education: A New Zealand professor’s meticulously revised version of the King James Bible joins a rush of new scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Douglas Knight, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, comments on the "iconic moment" for the biblical text as an object of study. [June, 2005]

Cornerstone Article: The CSRC is highlighted as a vital loci for tackling pressing issues of religion and culture, including religion and terror, from many perspectives. Dr. Volney Gay, co-director of the CSRC, notes, "We want dissent. We want more debate, not less. We want differences...of thinking and articulation." [Summer, 2003]

James Foster, professor of economics, senior fellow at the CSRC and at Vanderbilt's Institute for Public Policy Studies (VIPPS), will be granted the Honorary Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo in Mexico. Only six others have been honored with this degree in the university's 135-year history. Link to Register article.

Visiting Professor and CSRC Fellow Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. speaks to the New York Times about his time at Vanderbilt. Lawson returned to Vanderbilt this year two teach classes.

CSRC welcomes Grants Resource Officer Susan Kuyper. Dr. Kuyper works with interdisciplinary centers as well as individual faculty and graduate students to acquire research funding from government agencies, foundations, and other nongovernmental funding sources. Email: Susan.Kuyper@vanderbilt.edu

CSRC hosts William McDonough, architect, environmentalist, capitalist, designer, teacher and visionary. Public Lecture Tuesday, September 26, 7 p.m., Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University. For more information go to: http://www.tnfund.org.

The CSRC welcomes Richard King: Dr. King comes to Vanderbilt University to serve as Associate Professor of Religious Studies (A&S), Associate Professor of Religion and Culture in the Divinity School, and Senior Research Fellow in the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture.

Chancellor Gee presented The Thomas Jefferson Award to Doug Knight, the Director of the CSRC, at the Fall Faculty Assembly on August 25, 2005. The Thomas Jefferson Award honors Doug Knight "for distinguished service to Vanderbilt through extraordinary contributions as a member of the faculty in the councils and government of the University."

The CSRC offices have relocated to the newly renovated Buttrick Hall. The first floor of Buttrick Hall houses the following interdisciplinary centers: CSRC, Jewish Studies, The Center for the Americas, and The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy.

Chancellor Gee emphasized the new culture of interdisciplinary at Vanderbilt in his Spring Faculty Assembly speech. (pdf)CSRC receives Templeton Research Lecture Grant. (pdf)








Religion in the News

The following are links to resources following religion in the news:

Religious Diversity News: Top headlines on issues of religion and culture around the world.

The Pluralism Project: Follows stories related to its mission: "to help Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity through research, outreach, and the active dissemination of resources."

The Pew Forum on Religious Life: Follows stories of religion and public life around the world.

The Revealer: A daily review of religion and the press edited by journalist Jeff Sharlet.