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Annual CSRC Spring Lecture | University Seminar in Religion & Culture
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Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh University Seminar in Religion and Culture
The CSRC's University Seminar is an academic forum that examines substantial issues at the intersection of religion and culture. The Seminar routinely features the work of CSRC Faculty Fellows and CSRC Faculty Research Projects, as well as the work of the Center's Graduate and Summer Fellows. Invited scholars or practitioners are featured on an occasional basis. The Seminar is held one to three times each semester and is open to all members of the Vanderbilt University community. The CSRC University Seminar in Religion and Culture is generously supported by a gift from Professor Emeritus Burt Bogitsh and his family given in honor of Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh.
How Many Ultimate Realities Are There? Religious Diversity and the Trinity
John J. Thatamanil
Assistant Professor of Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity School
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt Divinity School
Christian theologians have long sought a way to understand religious diversity without explaining diversity away. In this lecture, John Thatamanil will address religious diversity by arguing for a complex view of ultimate reality. He will appeal to three key terms--Mystery, Contingency, and Relation--and show how this particular "trinity" can help us understand and learn from the differences between Hindu, Christian and Buddhist traditions without erasing diversity or dismissing unity.
About the speaker: John J. Thatamanil teaches a wide variety of courses in the areas of comparative theology, theologies of religious pluralism, Hindu-Christian dialogue, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, the theology of Paul Tillich, process theology, and Eastern Orthodox theology and spirituality. Tying together these diverse interests is a basic commitment to a deeply metaphysical form of philosophical theology which he takes to be essential for any Christian theology that seeks to be in conversation with non-Christian religious traditions.
Professor Thatamanil's first book is an exercise in constructive comparative theology. The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament. An East-West Conversation (Fortress Press, 2006) provides the foundation for a nondualist Christian theology worked out through a conversation between Paul Tillich and Sankara, the master teacher of the Hindu tradition of Advaita Vedanta. He is currently at work on his second book tentatively entitled, Religious Diversity After "Religion": Rethinking Theologies of Religious Pluralism (Fordham University Press).
Please see Professor Thatamanil’s page on the Vanderbilt Divinity School website for additional information about his work.
On Thursday, November 20, the CSRC seminar, "Religious Themes in Ugandan AfroPop and Rwandan Reconciliation" featured our 2008 CSRC summer fellows, Gerald Liu and Joshua Bazuin.
On Tuesday, September 23, the CSRC hosted our first Seminar in Religion and Culture of the 2008-2009 academic year. The summer field researchers from the Project on Religion and Politics reported on their summer ethnographic work.
Music, Religion and the South: Notes from the Field, featuring Professor of Homiletics John McClure, was held on February 12, 2008.
Religion and Politics in Tennessee: A Report from the Field, October 30, 2007, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, Divinity G-27. Researchers in the CSRC Religion and Politics project presented on their summer field work. Link to podcast.
CSRC University Seminar, October 5, 2007, 3:00 - 5:00 PM, Buttrick Hall Room 123. The CSRC Summer Graduate fellows reported on their field research.
Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. gave the University Seminar in Religion and Culture on Wednesday, April 11 in Benton Chapel at 6 p.m. His lecture was entitled "Moving Ourselves from Unknown Peril to Noble Vision." Lawson was the Distinguished Visiting University Professor and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture. A reception followed. He spoke to the New York Times last October about his time at Vanderbilt.
Religion and Comparative Allegory : Anthony Yu, Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Professor Emeritus of Religion and Literature (U. Chicago, Chicago Divinity School), presented on Thursday, January 25, 4 -6 p.m., in Divinity Hall G-27 (pdf). Sponsored by CSRC's Group on Religion and Literatures.
A Report from the Field: Research Findings of the CSRC Religion and Politics Project's Summer Fieldworkers. Thursday, September 21, 4-6 p.m., Buttrick Hall 101 (pdf). Link to Podcast.
The Merchants of Babylon: Entrepreneurs in the Sixth Century BCE: presented by Cornelia Wunsch, Research Associate for the School for Oriental and African Studies, London. Thursday, October 26, 4:10-6 p.m. in Buttrick 123. Reception to follow (pdf).
Summer Reflections in November: Presentations by the CSRC's 2006 Summer Graduate Fellows. Thursday, November 30; 4-6 p.m., Buttrick 123.
"Religion" as Colonial Fantasy, or How the West Views the Rest: Richard King, CSRC Senior Research Fellow, presented the CSRC University Seminar in Religion and Culture on Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 4:00 pm in 123 Buttrick Hall. (pdf)
Religion and Science: Two Cultures or One?: Richard Haglund, CSRC Senior Fellow, presented for the CSRC University Seminar in Religion and Culture on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at 4 p.m. at the Vanderbilt University Club.