Jeffrey Stout is Professor of Religion at Princeton University.
Dates: 1,2, 4, 8, 9, 11 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm
The lectures may be followed by questions. Latest finishing time is 7pm.
Venue: Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS
Tickets are free of charge but need to be booked in advance.
“Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?”—Martin Luther King Jr.
The religious defenders of tyranny and oppression bind religion to injustice. The remedy, Adam Lord Gifford thought, is not to secularize politics but to emancipate religion from arbitrary power. Religion is not going away. It will always have political effects. The effects are good if the religion is good and bad if the religion is bad. An ideal of ethical religion animated the abolitionists whom Gifford admired and many activists since. ‘Religion Unbound’ will trace the ideal’s history and explain how its defenders have defined and criticized religion.
Public intellectuals often posit a Great Separation of religion from politics in modernity. They differ over how the Separation was achieved, whether its effects were good, bad, or mixed, and whether it was permanent or temporary. References to a recent ‘return of religion’ assume that a Great Separation in fact took place, that we know what it was, and that it set the terms in which politics was conducted where and while it lasted. Yet religiously motivated reformers and revolutionaries have been with us all along. How would our outlook need to change if we included Milton, Wilberforce, Mott, Emerson, Gandhi, and King in the story?
|Lecture 1 - Religion since Cicero||Monday 1 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm||Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS|
|Lecture 2 - Early Modern Critics of Tyranny and Oppression||Tuesday 2 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm||Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS|
|Lecture 3 - Why Religion, Faith, and Freedom Proved Hard to Reconcile||Thursday 4 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm||Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS|
|Lecture 4 - Abolitionism, Political Religion, and Securalism||Monday 8 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm||Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS|
|Lecture 5 - Slavishness, Democracy, and the Death of God||Tuesday 9 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm||Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS|
|Wednesday 10 May 2017, 6.00 - 7.30pm||The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22 - 26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ|
|Lecture 6 - Religion and the Politics of Explanation||Thursday 11 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm||Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS|
|Book your tickets here|
|Book your tickets for the Gifford Discussion Forum at RSE|
|Gifford Lectures Blog|
The lectures will be recorded and links will be posted in the respective pages of each lecture.
Since 1975 Jeffrey Stout has taught at Princeton University, where he holds a professorship in Religion. He is affiliated with the departments of Philosophy and Politics, the Center for Human Values, and the Center for the Study of Religion. Two of his works—Ethics after Babel and Democracy and Tradition—received the Award for Book Excellence from the American Academy of Religion, a scholarly society for which he served as president in 2007. His honors include election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2008), Princeton University's Graduate Mentoring Award (2009), and Princeton's Presidential Award for Distinguished Teaching (2010).
Stout is a secular philosopher with a background in democratic activism. He is best known for his analyses of religious involvement in politics, his criticisms of secularism and traditionalism, and his selective reworking of ideas from American pragmatism. His most recent articles are concerned with conceptions of religion and critiques of arbitrary power in the writings of Hegel, Emerson, and Lincoln. Stout’s essays on religion and film have appeared in Film Comment and The Hidden God (Museum of Modern Art).
Professor Jeffrey Stout - Religion Unbound: Ideals and Powers from Cicero to King
Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS