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Religious Studies Activities and Events

Looking to get involved? We host a number of events throughout the year.

Speaker Series

The department sponsors public lectures and forums on a wide range of topics through the Religious Studies Colloquium Series and the new annual Impact of Religion Series, launched in Spring 2016.

Lectures and Events

Upcoming lectures and events

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, no public events have been scheduled for 2021/22.

Unless otherwise indicated, lectures listed below were in the Religious Studies Colloquium Series.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, scheduled in-person events were canceled for the year.

Philosophy and Religious Studies Virtual Student Awards Celebration, March 12, 2021

Robert Jones (Public Religion Research Institute), “The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity,” virtual talk, September 9, 2020 (co-sponsored by Religious Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies and the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership at Vanderbilt Divinity School)


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, scheduled in-person events were canceled after March 5, 2020.

Jessica Johnson (William and Mary), “Hate Crime or Domestic Terrorism? Replacement, Radicalization, and Religion,” March 5, 2020

Philosophy and Religious Studies Student Awards Reception, March 4, 2020

Sylvester Johnson (Virginia Tech), “Of Matter and the Spirit: Religion, the Cyborg, and the Digital Future of Humanity,” Annual Impact of Religion Lecture, February 6, 2020

Carl R. Holladay (Emory University), “The Right to Confront One’s Accusers: How Acts 25:16 Has Figured in U.S. Constitutional Law,” November 7, 2019

Jason C. Bivins (NC State), “Embattled Majority: Religion and Its Despisers in America,” October 3, 2019


Kelly J. Baker (Editor, Women in Higher Education), “The Artifacts of White Nationalism,” April 11, 2019

Philosophy and Religious Studies Student Awards Reception, March 7, 2019

Jeffrey Stout (Princeton), “Cinematic Spectacles of Sacred Suffering: Ethical Challenges in Dreyer and Von Trier,” Annual Impact of Religion Lecture, February 18, 2019

Screening of Dreyer’s film The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), February 12, 2019, in advance of the above Impact of Religion Lecture (Sponsored by Film Studies and Religious Studies)

Finbarr Curtis (Georgia Southern University), “Profane Contexts: On Cartoons, Offense, Free Speech, and Guns,” October 18, 2018

Annie Hardison-Moody (Agricultural and Human Sciences, NC State), “From Resilience to Resignation: Women’s Religious Agency in the Face of Food Insecurity in North Carolina,” September 27, 2018


William Adler (NC State), “Jesus’ Priesthood and the ‘Secret Codex’ in Tiberius,” March 1, 2018 (Religious Studies Colloquium Series, co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program)

Philosophy and Religious Studies Student Awards Reception, February 28, 2018

Kathryn Lofton (Yale University), “Oprah 2020: The Problem of Celebrity and Politics in America,” Annual Impact of Religion Lecture, February 22, 2018 Read more

Meredith Coleman-Tobias (Williams College), “Thirst: Sobonfu Somé’s Po(r)table Ritual,” January 22, 2018

Rian Thum (Loyola University New Orleans and National Humanities Center), “Chinese Pilgrims, Indian Pirs,” November 9, 2017

Paula Fredriksen (Boston University), “God Was Not Odd/To Choose the Jews: Augustine on the Election of Israel,” November 6, 2017 (sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program)

Anna B. Bigelow (NC State), “The Tears and Smiles of Hagia Sophia: Istanbul and the Architecture of Religious Power,” October 19, 2017

Screening of Raise the Roof, a feature documentary by Yari and Cary Wolinsky, followed by a discussion led by Beth Holmgren (Institute for Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Duke University) about the film and other volunteer projects of restoration of cemeteries and synagogues in Poland and Ukraine, October 3, 2017 (sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program)


Adam Lowenstein (University of Pittsburgh), “The Jewish Cronenberg: A Cinema of Therapeutic Disintegration,” April 3, 2017 (Sponsored by the NC State programs in Jewish Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Communication, Rhetoric & Digital Media; the Duke University Jewish Studies Program; and the NC State Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies)

Eddie Glaude (William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University and President of the American Academy of Religion), “The Problem of ‘African-American Religion’: A Scholar’s Dilemma,” Annual Impact of Religion Lecture with comments by Joseph Winters (Duke), March 30, 2017 Read more

Armin Langer (Salaam-Shalom Initiative, Berlin), “Let Us Not Be Divided: Coalition-Building Between Minorities in Europe,” March 22, 2017 (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Jewish Studies Program)

Philosophy and Religious Studies Student Awards Reception, March 1, 2017

David Nirenberg (University of Chicago), “Anti-Judaism Past and Present,” February 7, 2017 (Sponsored by the NC State Jewish Studies Program)

Kathryn McClymond (Georgia State University), “Ritual Gone Wrong: What We Learn from Ritual Disruption,” November 7, 2016

Clark Chilson (University of Pittsburgh), “Introspection as Intervention: Naikan Meditation and Psychiatry in Japan,” November 4, 2016

Mary Elaine Hegland (Santa Clara University and the National Humanities Center), “Mourning and Mediation: The Politics of Religious Ritual in an Iranian Settlement,” October 20, 2016

“Immigration, Terrorism, and Islam During the 2016 Elections,” a panel discussion with Dr. Anna Bigelow, Dr. Akram Khater, and Dr. Charles Kurzman, September 19, 2016 (sponsored by the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies and the Middle East Studies Program)


Religion and Politics in America and Across the Globe: Perspectives from Leading Analysts: Impact of Religion Forum, April 14, 2016. The speakers were Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, and Dr. Douglas M. Padgett, unit leader for the Middle East in the U.S. Department of State Office of International Religious Freedom.

Philosophy and Religious Studies Student Awards Reception, March 2, 2016

Verena Kasper-Marienberg (University of Graz, Austria), “Who Gets the Best Fish? Jewish-Christian Conflicts in 18th Century Frankfurt,” February 11, 2016

Emanuel Fiano (Duke), “The Rise and Fall of ‘Jewish Christianity’,” February 2, 2016

Rachel M. Lindsey (Washington University in St. Louis), “A Communion of Shadows: Religion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America,” November 18, 2015

William Adler (NC State), “Edessa and the Creation of a Christian Aristocracy,” October 15, 2015

Flagg Miller (UC Davis), “The Audacious Ascetic: Sounding Out Insurgency through Osama bin Laden’s Audiotape Collection,” September 16, 2015 (Co-sponsored by the Laboratory for Analytical Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies)


Tulasi Srinivas (Emerson College), “Forging Faith: Ritual Creativity, Wonder and Ethical Inquiry in Contemporary India,” April 16, 2015

Helen Dixon (NC State – History), “Into the Houses of Baal: Reassessing the Evidence for Phoenecian Religious Practice in the Iron Age Levant,” April 15, 2015

Jason Sturdevant (NC State), “The First Christian Superheroes: Reading the Second and Third Century Acts of the Apostles,” March 25, 2015

Philosophy and Religious Studies Student Awards Reception, March 4, 2015

John Corrigan (Florida State University and the National Humanities Center), “American Christians and the Feeling of Emptiness,” February 12, 2015

Tu Yichao (Fudan University, China and the National Humanities Center), “Billy Graham, American Evangelicals and Sino-American Relations,” November 12, 2014

Jason Ānanda Josephson (Williams College), “The Invention of ‘Religion’ in Japan,” October 16, 2014

For a record of earlier lectures and events, please click here.