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Religious History Colloquium


The purpose of the colloquium is the facilitation of conversation, debate, thinking across subfields regarding issues relevant to the student of religion and culture, especially for those students engaging in historical work. The colloquium is open to anyone in the Vanderbilt community who wishes to attend—faculty and students alike.  The colloquium meets once a month in the Tillet Faculty Lounge from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm during the term.   










Convenor: Paul Lim                                                                                                     Co-Convenor: James Byrd 


RHC Welcomes Kyle Harper October 22


Kyle Harper

Kyle Harper is a  historian of the classical world. He g raduated summa  cum laude with a degree in Letters from OU and then received his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in 2007. A revised version of his dissertation was published by Cambridge University Press as Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275-425. The book was awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize by the American Historical Association and the Outstanding Publication Award from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. His second book, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality was published by Harvard University Press in 2013. Dr. Harper's research has focused on the social and economic history of the period spanning the Roman Empire and the early middle ages. His current work on the environmental and population history of the first millennium explores the impact of climate change and disease on the history of civilization. In 2009 Dr. Harper was appointed founding director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, an interdisciplinary center for the study of constitutionalism. The Institute has rapidly grown into a center for teaching, research, and public engagement. In 2013 Dr. Harper was named OU's Senior Vice Provost, in which capacity he plays a crucial role in maintaining excellence in OU's curriculum and advancing OU's mission in a digital world. Dr. Harper teaches a range of courses on Greek and Roman history, early Christianity, late antiquity and ancient law.


Schedule of Events

2014 -- 2015      
  September 17, 2014 Heather J. Sharkey University of Pennsylvania  Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Ottoman Nineteenth Century: Coming Together, Moving Apart.
  October 22, 2014 Kyle Harper University of Oklahoma  From Paganism to Prudery and Back Again: What Difference Did Christianity Make in the History of Sex?
  November 12, 2014 K. Healan Gaston Harvard University  
2013 -- 2014      
  September 18, 2013 Karen King Harvard University Martyrdom and its Discontents: Rethinking Religion and Violence in the Formation of Christianity
  October 23, 2013 Margo Todd University of Pennsylvania Sex and the Elders: Calvinist Morals Courts and the Double Standard in Early Modern Scotland
  November 13, 2013 Derek Chang Cornell University Parallel or Intersecting Tracks? Black Southerners and Chinese Migrants in Late-19th
Century American Religious History.
  December 4, 2013 Brandon Bayne University of North Carolina Witnesses to Life and Death: Natural Histories, Martyrdom, and the Jesuit Expulsion from Northern New Spain.
  February 13, 2014 Brad Gregory  University of Notre Dame The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society
  April 16, 2014 Wallace Best Princeton University  Concerning ‘Goodbye, Christ’:Langston Hughes, Political Poetry and African American Religion
2012 -- 2013      
  September 19, 2012 Ed Blum San Diego State University The White Jesus in America: Sacred Myths and Their Racial Masks
    Paul Harvey University of Colorado The White Jesus in America: Sacred Myths and Their Racial Masks
  October 17, 2012 Tina Shepardson University of Tennessee Controlling Contested Places: Fourth-Century Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy
  December 5, 2012 Achsah Guibbory Barnard College Conversion Anxiety, Messianic Longing, and Christian/Jewish Relations in England and Palestine
  January 15, 2013 Jimmy Yu Florida State University Buddhist Blood Writing and Agency in Early Modern China
  February 21, 2013 Angela Tarango Trinity University Jesus as the Great Physician: Pentecostal Native Americans Within the Assemblies of God and the New Understandings of Pentecostal Healing
  March 20, 2013 Curtis Evans University of Chicago A Stain Upon Our National Honor: The Federal Council of Churches Anti-Lynching Campaign
2011 -- 2012      
  October 12, 2011 Susan Screiner University of Chicago Are You Alone Wise? The Search for Certainty in the Early Modern Era
  February 22, 2012 Ronnie Hsia Pennsylvania State University The World of Matteo Ricci: Chinese Religions in Jesuit Missions
  March 14, 2012 Anthea Butler University of Pennsylvania The Culmination and Demise of the Religious Rights Southern Strategy 1979-2012
2010 -- 2011      
  September 15, 2010 Mary Watt University of Florida Dante, Columbus, and Stigliani's Mondo Nuovo: Literary Construction and Spiritual Imperialism
  October 13, 2010 Robin Jensen Vanderbilt University Orthodoxy and Early Christian Art: Picturing the Divine Trinity
  November 10, 2010 David Kyuman Kim Connecticut College Melancholic Freedom and the Spirit of Democracy Revisited
  December 8, 2010 Tiffany Patterson Vanderbilt University Religion and the Spiritual World of a Maligned People: Nora Neal Hurston in Haiti
  January 19, 2011 Adrian Weimer University of Mississippi Suffering Saints: The Historical Imagination of Persecution in Colonial America
  February 16, 2011 Linford Fisher Brown University Atlantic History, Native Americans, and The Great Awakening
  March 23, 2011 David Brakke Indiana University Scriptural Practices in Early Christianity: Towards a New History of the New Testament Canon