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Conference: Religions and Public Life Graduate Student Working Group
May 6, 2021 | 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
This event represents the culmination of the efforts of a year-long graduate student working group composed of Duke and UNC students working at the intersection of immigration and religion. Students have met monthly throughout the school year to develop their projects and receive feedback from the collegial environment of the working group.
The first panel, “The Nation-State and its Others,” explores the ways in which the modern state interprets the relationship of religious groups within its borders to political exigency. It showcases the ways in which both religious schism and religious orthodoxy have been portrayed as inherently obstructive to the normal functioning of state power, as cancers in the body politic. The second panel, “Religion and Representations of Near Eastern Belonging,” explores religious, political and representational nuances of Near Eastern experience elided for a Western audience, reflexively showing the adverse consequences when such nuances are “lost in translation.” The third panel, “Migrant Outreach and Contemporary American Protestantism,” explores the factors which have influenced twenty-first-century American Protestant theological and practical responses to immigration, also investigating how gaps form between religious and practical responses. The final panel, “Theologies of Migration and Home,” by contrast flips the script and focuses upon the religious experiences of immigrants, how these experiences are, far from an afterthought, primary to understanding immigration and immigrant movements.
This working group has been supported by the Kenan Institute, Jewish Studies, Duke Islamic Studies Center, and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center.