Crossing Borders, Creating Conversations

Every two years, the Graduate Division of Religion identifies a theme for the Laney Colloqium in Religion that provides a special focus for students and faculty. This theme is explored through a variety of public lectures, film screenings, book talks, photographic exhibits, graduate seminars, digitally based projects, and other activities. By bringing together scholars from diverse disciplines, perspectives, and stages in their academic careers around a common topic, we hope to discover new connections and to engender new approaches to emerging issues in the study of religion and:

  • highlight and nurture interdisciplinary work already under way in the GDR by featuring the research of current faculty and students as well as that of recent graduates 
  • stimulate additional connections and ideas by engaging with scholars throughout Emory—and by inviting key figures from the interdisciplinary study of religion throughout the world to share their research with us 
  • host events to be shared more widely with the public through Itunes U and, as appropriate, publication in Emory online journals including Sacred Matters, Practical Matters, and Southern Spaces 
  • honor the excellence of student research pertinent to the topic at by means of a biennial prize for the best paper or other scholarly work 

The Laney Colloquium on Religion has chosen TRANSLATIONS as its theme for 2017-18. A series of panels, talks and discussions will engage faculty and students across and beyond the GDR, including: those who are doing translations, those studying the history or the sociology of translations, and those interested in the translation of ideas or practices, from one religion or context to another.

Questions that might be asked include: How do we conceive the relationship between the original and a translation? What is the nature of the authority of the original? How do you identify and evaluate what’s lost and what’s gained in translation? How do indigenous meanings appear in translations? How do translations function as new texts even as they claim to be accurate reproductions of another? How can we determine the historical and local contexts of words, ideas and practices? What are the ethics of translation? Is there something unique about religious language that makes it a special case of translation? Are there certain things which are untranslatable? How does translation connect the philosophy of language with historical method? And also: what are the emerging questions yet to be asked?

The inaugural theme in 2015–2017 was Global Religious Circuits

Religious cultures are embodied in global networks of texts and traditions, peoples and practices. This theme will explore the religious, political, economic, and social transformations that occur when texts, traditions, people, and materials crisscross and zigzag across various religious, national, linguistic, and even epistemological boarders. Our focus on religious circuits brings to the fore issues of movement and mobility, pilgrimage and exile, hybridity and mimicry. 

A list of seminars, lectures, programs, and other events already planned for 2015-2016 is found here and will be updated regularly. We welcome initiatives for more theme-related activities from faculty and students within the Graduate Division of Religion and from across Emory. These will be publicized through this website. 

Join the Conversation

A Laney Colloquium in Religion organizing committee consisting of faculty and students organizes and oversees each theme. The committee for Global Religious Circuits consists of Carol Newsom and Bobbi Patterson, co-chairs, Eric Reinders, Jim Hoesterey, Jonathan Strom, Lisa Hoelle and Sara Williams. A new committee charged with identifying and developing the theme for 2017–2019 will be formed this fall. Interested faculty and students should contact GDR Director Joyce Flueckiger, Associate Director Joel LeMon, or a member of the current committee.