Applications are now open for the 2019-20 Young Scholars in American Religion program!

Young Scholars in American Religion will include a series of seminars devoted to the enhancement of teaching and research. The aims of the program are to develop ideas and methods of instruction in a supportive workshop environment, stimulate scholarly research and writing, and create a community of scholars that will continue into the future.

Please click here to apply

The dates for these seminars are:

Session I: March 20-24, 2019
Session II: October 2-6, 2019
Session III: April 1-5, 2020
Session IV: October 14-18, 2020

Making the City | The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts

This semester’s third installment of The Ethics, values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts Seminar Series, “Making the City,” will be held on Monday, April 16, from 4-6pm at the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, University Library 4115P.

Cities across the US are grappling with major transformations that expose the many tensions inherent to historical disparities in economics, education, safety, and political access brought on by inequalities based in race and class. Midwest cities have responded to these challenges with a variety of approaches. This seminar series is concerned with addressing one of them: the role of culture in reshaping cities – specifically through public art.

In the discourse and practice of urban design, public art has increasingly been seen as a key tool in redeveloping our cities – from making cities more livable and safe to encouraging economic development and educational achievement.

Using art as a tool to address urban design challenges goes by a variety of different names: creative placemaking, civic art, and tactical urbanism, to name a few. These approaches are fundamentally tied to ethical frameworks and notions of value. Seminar meetings will discuss the intersections of ethics, public art, and urban design through shared readings, guest speakers, and conversation.

Click here to reserve your ticket on Eventbrite.

The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts Seminar Series is supported by The Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society at Indiana University, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, and the Herron School of Art and Design.

New Religion & Ethics Seminars coming spring and fall of 2018

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CRES) was pleased to announce two new Religion and Ethics Seminars to run next year, along with three current seminars that have been selected for renewal in 2018. Details and further information can be found on the CRES website.

Economic Justice: The Ethics of Doing Business with the Poor (renewed)

Islam in the Global Sphere (renewed; previously Islam in the American Public Sphere)

The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts (renewed)


Global and Comparative Approaches to Religion, Ethics, and Political Theory will explore the overlapping intellectual goals of comparative religious ethics and global or comparatively oriented political theory, much of which is based in religious thinking about politics and justice. These two fields are both combinations of descriptive and normative analysis, frequently drawing on religious as well as philosophical thinking about fundamental issues of human social order.

The seminar will be led by Aaron Dean Stalnaker, Professor of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, IU-Bloomington; and Hussein Banai, Professor of International Studies, School of Global International Studies, IU-Bloomington.


Mounds of the Midwest investigates how religious ideas have shaped attitudes to the natural environment by focusing on the Mounds of the Midwest. It will examine the meanings and burial practices of the early Native American peoples, highlight the history of these indigenous groups, and explore the multiple meanings of the Mounds today as revealed in contemporary governmental policies and the American public educational system. The goal is to create critical conversation around environmental ethics and the complex intersections of state power and religion.

The seminar will be led by Charmayne Champion-Shaw, Professor of Native American Indigenous Studies, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI; and Kelly Hayes, Professor of Religious Studies, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI.

Applications open for Young Scholars in American Religion program

Young Scholars in American Religion will include a series of seminars devoted to the enhancement of teaching and research. The aims of all sessions of the program are to develop ideas and methods of instruction in a supportive workshop environment, to stimulate scholarly research and writing, and to create a community of scholars that will continue into the future.

Please click here to apply.

Scholars eligible to apply are those working in a subfield of the area of religion in North America, broadly understood, who have a terminal degree in hand, a full-time academic position, and have launched their careers within the last seven years. Scholars are selected with the understanding that they will commit to the program for all seminar dates. Participants are expected to produce two course syllabi, with justification of teaching approach, and a publishable research article over the course of their seminars.

IUPUI’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture also has a new website at

The Key Limitation and Danger of the Electronic Health Record

Dr. Alice Dreger

Please join the IU Center for Bioethics for a special seminar on Electronic Health Records by Alice Dreger, Ph.D., author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. The seminar discusses a key limitation and danger of the electronic health record (EHR), “In Which Winnie the Pooh Teaches Us Something Important about the EHR’s Central Lesion.”

The seminar will take place in the Glick Eye Institute, Room 103, on June 6 at 2pm.

The electronic health record (EHR) holds the potential to be a fantastic technology in many ways. It promises better patient access to records, the ability to look more systematically for risk before harm happens, a way for health care professionals to more accurately track patients longitudinally, and a means to kinds of medical research we could never do before. But the EHR also has the potential to obscure the importance of cohesive narrative in patients’ lives.

This talk uses A.A. Milne’s story of Owl’s house being blown down, along with research from clinical psychology, cross-cultural anthropology, and evolutionary biology, to suggest that, unless we think about the great big narrative holes the EHR is leaving in patients’ lives, we may not be healing people as well as we could. Drawing on her experiences as an historian of medicine and science—including as one who has composed short, private, client-centered medical histories for victims of iatrogenic trauma—the speaker will suggest that the macrohistory of science and medicine that helps us understand the power of the EHR also compels us to consider the need for a micro history of medicine that makes up for one of the EHR’s worst unintended consequences.

IUPUI Secular Humanism Studies Speaker Series tackles complex topics this month

The IUPUI Secular Humanism Speaker Series kicks off tonight, April 13, with the University of Iowa’s Dr. Evan Fales‘s discussion of “The ‘Right to Believe’ and Bible-based Public Policy.” The next installment of the series will be the following week on April 20, when Purdue University’s Dr. Paul Draper will talk about “How to Argue for Atheism.” For the final engagement, the University of Toledo’s Dr. Jeanine Diller will discuss “Global and Local Atheisms: What the Multitude of Ideas of God Means for Atheism.” 

Each event will take place at the IUPUI University Tower, The Presidents’ Room (2nd floor), 875 W North Street, and begin at 6:30pm. Parking is available for a fee in the North Street Parking Garage, 819 W North Street. A campus map is available here.

This series is presented by the IUPUI Department of Philosophy and the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. If you have any questions or would like to request additional information on this series, please email

God Around the Edges?: Wendy Cage

Dr. Wendy Cadge

On Friday, March 10, from 10-11:30a.m., Wendy Cadge of the Brandeis University departments of sociology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, will present her talk, “God Around the Edges? Moral Frameworks in times of Crisis.” This discussion will take place in the IUPUI Campus Center Room 406.

Wendy will discuss her book-in-progress on religion and spirituality in public places and institutions: deep-sea ports, container ships, airports, halls of Congress. Wendy is an ethnographer who studies the intersections of religion with immigration, sexuality, and health care.

This talk is hosted by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society.

Lunch and Learn Lectures: Kraig Beyerlein

Dr. Kraig Beyerlein

Micro-Contextual Effects of Congregations on U.S. Residents’ Civic Activity

On Wednesday, March 8, from 3-4:30 p.m., Kraig Beyerlein of the University of Notre Dame’s sociology department will present on Social Justice in the Desert: Faith-Based Mobilizing to Save Lives Along the Arizona-Sonora Border. This talk will take place in Campus Center Room 305.

Through the course of the talk, Kraig will discuss his book-in-progress on the sanctuary movement in Arizona, a movement among religious congregations to provide safe haven for undocumented border crossers from Central America. Kraig is a scholar of social movements, religion, and civic engagement.

Turns out, who your neighbors are matters. Scholars have long looked at faith communities broadly as important predictors of giving, volunteering, and other forms of civic activity, but local contexts are underexplored.

By examining the density of congregations in small geographic areas, Beyerlein can make claims about the significance of congregations in promoting volunteerism and political activism. He considers the number of activities, amount of time, or types of activity with which residents are involved.

Using emerging geo-coding methodologies in the social sciences, Beyerlein’s approach and findings break new ground in the study of faith communities, philanthropy, and civic engagement.

This talk is hosted by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society and the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. Seating for the event is limited, so please register here.

IUPUI Steward Speakers Series features Eric Holder, former attorney general

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is the next guest of the IUPUI Steward Speakers Series. He will speak March 2 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Campus Center.

Eric H. Holder Jr. was sworn in as the 82nd attorney general of the United States on Feb. 3, 2009, by Vice President Joe Biden. Then-President-elect Barack Obama had announced his intention to nominate Holder on Dec. 1, 2008. In 1997, Holder was named by President Bill Clinton to be the deputy attorney general, the first African American named to that post. Prior to that, he served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

In 1988, Holder was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to become an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Holder, a native of New York City, attended public schools there, graduating from Stuyvesant High School, where he earned a Regents Scholarship. He attended Columbia College, majored in American history and graduated in 1973. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1976.

Sabbatical Speaker Series features Dr. Susan Shepherd

Dr. Susan Shepherd

Join the IU School of Liberal Arts in a discussion, “We Are Here! Counteracting Stigma in the Kenyan Deaf Community,” led by Susan Shepherd for the Sabbatical Speaker Series on Friday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m. in Campus Center 405.

Deaf individuals in Kenya are marginalized and denied their basic human rights. How do traditional beliefs affect attitudes, and how can this be addressed? Activist research addresses counteracting stigma and issues of empowerment, identity and access to education, health care and employment in the Kenyan deaf community.