Religion Unbound: Ideals and Powers from Cicero to King
May 1 – May 11, 2017, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Business School Auditorium, University of Edinburgh

“Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?”—Martin Luther King Jr.

The religious defenders of tyranny and oppression bind religion to injustice. The remedy, Adam Gifford thought, is not to secularize politics but to emancipate religion from arbitrary power. Religion is not going away. It will always have political effects. The effects are good if the religion is good and bad if the religion is bad. An ideal of ethical religion animated the abolitionists whom Gifford admired and many activists since.

In “Religion Unbound,” a 2017 Gifford Lecture Series hosted by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Jeffrey Stout (Princeton University) will trace the ideal’s history and explain how its defenders have defined and criticized religion.

The lecture series will have six parts, all hosted in the Business School Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. Additionally, all lectures will be recorded and links posted on the pages of the lecture, accessed here. The schedule of events is as follows:

Lecture 1 – “Religion since Cicero” | Monday, May 1, 2017

Lecture 2 – “Early Modern Critics of Tyranny and Oppression” | Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lecture 3 – “Why Religion, Faith, and Freedom Proved Hard to Reconcile” | Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lecture 4 – “Abolitionism, Political Religion, and Secularism” | Monday, May 8, 2017

Lecture 5 – “Slavishness, Democracy, and the Death of God” | Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lecture 6 – “Religion and the Politics of Explanation” | Thursday, May 11, 2017

You can learn more or obtain tickets to this free series on their website.