December 9, 2022

James Room, Swartz Hall

45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge





This initiative seeks to provide a forum for such conversation—among scholars as well as the broader public--with the concrete outcome of an edited volume on methodology that will aid and enable such interdisciplinary efforts in the future. One of our key interests is bringing together scholars from divinity schools/religious studies and the broader academic disciplines. Both in academic conversations and more public media outlets, there is increasing recognition of the key role that theology and religious studies must play in understanding political and sociological phenomena. Although the relationship divinity schools assume to faculties of arts and sciences is often deeply shaped by the very secular/religious divide that each of these disciplines is now probing, divinity schools have often assumed a close relationship to the public sphere and have also become leaders in forging interdisciplinary conversations between religious studies, theology, secular studies, sex and gender studies, literature, anthropology, postcolonial theory, and critical race theory. These are intersections that the disciplines of history, political economy, and political theory would benefit from engaging more deeply. It is no longer possible to ignore the theologically porous nature or histories of equality, justice, and rights indicates that future discussions of these categories must be willing to rethink—and possibly displace—merely “secular” understandings of these notions.


Click here for full list of abstracts



Todd Weir - University of Groningen
Albert Wu - Academia Sinica
Victoria Smolkin - Wesleyan University
Eric Gregory - Princeton University
Lucia Ruth Hulsether - Skidmore College
Cemil Aydin - University of North Carolina
K. Healan Gaston - Harvard University
Justine Quijada - Wesleyan University
Amy Alemu - Scripps College
Susanna Ferguson - Smith College
Conference Flyer. December 9, 2022, in the James Room of Swartz Hall.



Michelle C. Sanchez

michelle sanchezAssociate Professor of TheologyHarvard Divinity School


Sanchez received her doctorate in the study of religion in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. Her first book, Calvin and the Resignification of the World: Creation, Incarnation, and the Problem of Political Theology was released by Cambridge University Press in 2019. It closely reads Calvin's 1559 Institutes with attention to how its genre and pedagogical strategies shape its doctrinal arguments in a material context and with an eye to embodied activity. It also places the text in conversation with contemporary theorists of religion, ritual, secularization and political theology.

Her next book project examines how Christianity became pedagogically reconfigured as a “worldview” in the twentieth century, with special attention to the role of nineteenth century Calvinist theologians.

Her research interests include the Christian movements of reform and complicated legacies of Protestantism, and the complex interrelationships between theology, politics, and rapid social change that marked sixteenth-century Europe. She also studies ways of reading theology that are attentive not only to the traditions themselves, but also to how theological writing responds to concrete historical conditions and general human concerns.

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

Daniel Steinmetz-JenkinsLecturer, Wesleyan University



Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins is a global historian of 20th century intellectual and political thought. He is currently at work on two book projects: The first is titled, The Neoconservative Moment in France: Raymond Aron and the United States (Columbia University Press), which looks at the larger transatlantic intellectual origins of the neoconservative movement. The second is tentatively titled, The Rise and Fall of Global Secularism since the Cold War. Daniel has published scholarly articles in The Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, Global Intellectual History and elsewhere. He is currently coediting two books: Michel Foucault, Neoliberalism and Beyond (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019) with Stephen Sawyer; and Christianity and the New Historiography of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2020) with Sarah Shortall.

His general audience commentary has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, Times Literary Supplement, Dissent Magazine and elsewhere. He currently serves as an editor for The Tocqueville Review and is the Europe editor for H-Diplo. At Jackson he will be teaching classes on religion and global politics, and history and theories of global development.

His personal website can be found here: danieljenkins.me.


Justin Reynolds

Justin ReynoldsLecturerHarvard University


Justin Reynolds is a Lecturer on Social Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, where he taught in the Core Curriculum before coming to Harvard. His research interests include the history of political thought, international order in the 19th and 20th centuries, Christian theology and missions, and the history of environmentalism. He is currently preparing articles and a book manuscript based on his dissertation, an international history of the Protestant-led ecumenical movement from 1900 to the 1960s. The project examines the rise and fall of anti-secularism as concept and practice of international organization to recast debates about the history of "secularization" in the North Atlantic world. His second project looks at the relation between decolonization and environmental thought. His work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, and other institutions.


The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.




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