Religious Studies launches lecture series focusing on faculty books

Religious Studies launches lecture series focusing on faculty books
Professors will read passages, discuss content

Rice News staff

The Department of Religious Studies is launching a yearlong lecture series that features Rice professors reading from their recently published books and discussing them with audiences. April DeConick, the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Religious Studies, organized the series.

Inspired by Augustine’s famous words, “Tolle Lege! (Take up and read!),” the series begins Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. with a lecture by Anthony Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religious studies. Her will present his latest book, “What is African-American Religion?”

In the book, Pinn explains the religious landscape of African-American communities today. He writes about the traditional bias toward Christianity in particular or organizations (with doctrines and creeds) in general, and offers an alternate theory of black religion that begins with a basic push for embodied meaning as its core impulse.

The second installment in the “Tolle Lege!” series will be Nov. 1, when DeConick will discuss “Holy Misogyny: Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter.” Published by Continuum, the book was released this month.

On Nov. 15, Jeffrey Kripal, the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies and department chair, will speak on “Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics and the Paranormal.” Kripal’s book will be released in November by the University of Chicago Press.

The series continues in 2012, when Matthias Henze, the Watt J. and Lily G. Jackson Chair in Biblical Studies and associate professor of religious studies, will discuss his book, “Jewish Apocalypticism in Late First Century Israel: Reading Second Baruch in Context.”

Finally, Pinn will conclude the series March 27 with a discussion of “The End of God-Talk: An African-American Humanist Theology,” which will be published in January by Oxford University Press.

All the lectures will be held in Fondren Library’s Kyle Morrow Room.

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