Religion Across Disciplines

A new initiative of the Graduate Division of Religion, the Laney Colloquium in Religion seeks to foster interdisciplinary conversation, teaching and research on issues that span the breadth of the GDR and connect deeply with other centers of inquiry across Emory University.

Every two years the Laney Colloquium will take on a particular theme that cuts across theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary divides in the study of religion. The current theme is Global Religious Circuits. Look to the right to see what we have in store for this semester.

The Laney Colloquium is sponsored by the Laney Graduate School and Candler School of Theology

Upcoming Events

Guest Lecture:

“Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Ottoman Middle East”
Heather Sharkey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, University of Pennsylvania
February 7, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Location TBA

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Ottoman sultan issued reforms that seemed to proclaim the social equality of Christians and Jews relative to Muslims as Ottoman subjects.  These reforms ended a practice that Islamic states had followed since the early Islamic era, of identifying non-Muslim subjects as dhimmis: protected but subordinate people, who had to pay a tax called the jizya in recognition of their status. Approaching this subject through the lenses of material and military history, I will examine how Ottoman reforms affected the way Christians, Jews, and Muslims related to each other in the long nineteenth century.  I will argue that the late Ottoman state’s efforts to dismantle some old hierarchies, while preserving others, ultimately heightened tensions along religious lines and set the stage for the twentieth-century Middle East.

“Christian Ethics and American Politics”: A Lunchtime Conversation with Authors Timothy P. Jackson and Ted A. Smith
March 14, 2017
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location TBA

Timothy P. Jackson is Professor of Christian Ethics at Candler School of Theology and a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. His 2015 book, Political Agape: Christian Love and Liberal Democracy presents a vision in which love for God and love for one’s neighbors shapes American law and politics.

Ted A. Smith is Associate Professor of Preaching and Ethics at Candler School of Theology. His book, The New Measures: A Theological History of Democratic Practice (2007) and Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of Ethics (2014) provocatively incorporate streams of theological and political thought.

Visit by Angela Zito, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, NYU
April 6-7, 2017

Dr. Zito’s research ranges from the study of ritual in 18th-century China, to Chinese documentary film, to the ways that contemporary Chinese city-dwellers create “new forms of personal value.” Her attention to “bodies in sensory performances” and how materials and media convey those performances unites her diverse academic work. For this and more information on Dr. Zito, visit

Events to include:
Formal presentation on narrative and virtue
Conceptual panel discussion on religion and media
Possible visits to Religion Department and GDR seminar