Faculty Directed Conferences and Lecture Series

Each year, the Center sponsors several proposals from Princeton University faculty members for interdisciplinary conferences, symposia, or guest-speaker series that focus on some aspect of religion. This support is intended to help a faculty member initiate or augment a scholarly research project or teaching endeavor that bears on the study of religion. For application information, see Opportunities for Princeton Faculty. These events replace the Thematic Projects sponsored by the Center in previous years.

Faculty Directed Events from previous years include:


“Mysticism, Reform, and the Formation of Modernity” a conference organized by Sara S. Poor and Nigel Smith, Princeton University. View the schedule here. February 21-23, 2008.

“Landscapes of the Saints: Hagiography and Land in the Near East and Europe, ca. 500-900,” a colloquium organized by Angela B. Gleason and Richard Payne, History. March 28-29, 2008.

“American Religious Liberalism: Retrospect and Prospect” a conference organized by Leigh Schmidt, Princeton University. A complete schedule and conference website is available here. April 10-11, 2008.


“The Expulsion of Religious Minorities” a conference organized by William Chester Jordan, Professor of History and Director of the Program in Medieval Studies. October 19-20, 2006.

“Reconsidering the Concept of ‘Revolutionary Monotheism’ in the Ancient Near East” a conference organized by Froma Zeitlin, Charles Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies. February 10-11, 2007.

“The Good Samaritan in the Age of Globalization: Religion, International Migration and the World Economy” a conference organized by Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Eric Gregory, Assistant Professor of Religion, Margarita Mooney, Research Fellow, Office of Population Research, Lecturer in Sociology, and Albert Raboteau, Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion. March 29-30, 2007.

Religion in the English Enlightenment” a conference organized by Sophie Gee, Assistant Professor of English, John E. Annan Bicentennial Preceptor. April 12-13, 2007.


“Jewish Magic in Context: Hidden Treasures from the Cairo Geniza.” Conference organized by Martha Himmelfarb, Professor of Religion, and Peter Schaefer, Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religion. October 9, 2005.

“The Relation Between Religion and Postcolonial Criticism.” Conference organzied by Simon Gikandi, Professor of English, and Sadia Abbas, Lecturer in English, University of Michigan. March 10-11, 2006.


“The Discovery of Paganism in Early Modern Europe.” Workshop organized by Anthony Grafton, Department of History, and Jonathan Sheehan, Indiana University. November 12-13, 2004.


“Life Technologies: Medicine, Culture, and Ethics,” a Colloquium Series. Organized by João Biehl, Assistant Professor of Anthropology. Co-sponsored with the Department of Anthropology, the Center for Health and Well-being, and the Center for Human Values. See Life Technologies for more information.

Past Thematic Projects
For five years concluding in 2003-2004, the Center sponsored faculty members in the social sciences and humanities in directing thematic projects involving research and teaching about religion. Each thematic project involved faculty research, a graduate or undergraduate seminar, support for graduate research assistance, and a public conference.

2003-2004: “Religion, Poetry, and Memory in Ancient China,” CSR’s final thematic project. Organized by Martin Kern, Assistant Professor of Chinese Literature in the East Asian Studies Department.

2002-2003: “The Moral Mystic: Mysticism and Moral Philosophy” description conference
“Seventeenth-Century ‘Adamolatry’ and Paradisal Return: A Project on Religion and Science” description conference

2001-2002: “Poverty and Charity in Judaism in the Islamic World in the Period of the Cairo Geniza” description conference
“Death and Dying in Buddhist Cultures” description

2000-2001: “Darwin and Religion, 1860-1900” description
“Cinema and Religious Expression” description conference website

1999-2000: “World Traditions of Religious Chant” description