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The Religion Graduate Students Association of Columbia University presents
Our Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

"Instituting Religion: Investigating the Trajectories of the Study of Religion in Institutions of Higher Education"

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Columbia University, New York


This conference will examine how religion has been and continues to be produced and studied in institutions of higher learning, paying particular attention to the rise of religion departments, religion programs, seminaries, and divinity schools as well as their interrelationships with one another. Also under consideration is how religion departments and programs interrelate with other departments in which religion is studied. Finally, this conference will investigate how particular institutional contexts have created different schools of thought, contributing to the development of theories, methods, and general approaches to the study of religion (e.g. comparative approaches).

Papers will be presented the following panels:

-The Production of Religion: Exploring the founding and historical development of religion departments and programs in the university and how they interrelate with divinity schools, seminaries, and between academic fields and sub-fields.

-Religion outside Religion: Examining the study of religion in other departments (e.g. history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, area studies departments, etc.), and how those departments relate with religion departments and programs within the university, or how the study of religion is undertaken in institutional settings without religion or religious studies departments or programs.

-The Interdisciplinary Study of Religion: Coinciding with how religion relates to other departments, investigating the inter- or multi-disciplinary aspects to the study of religion, such as the use of sociological, anthropological, philological, historical, philosophical approaches in the study of religion and how such inter-/multi-disciplinary methods relate (or could relate) to institutional interactions with other departments