Can we hope for a better society? That is the animating question behind an ambitious project, the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP). Inspired by Amartya Sen, the project is modeled after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is guided by a scientific council and a steering committee. It exists to “harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues” and to “deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians, and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change.” Also modeled on the IPCC, drafts of the chapter reports are now available for public comment. Prompted by David Smilde, this is our invitation to the readers of The Immanent Frame to join that conversation. To read the chapter on religion and provide critical comments, visit the IPSP commenting platform.
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Announcements, events, and opportunities related to topics of interest to TIF readers are posted here. Additionally you may find round-ups of news items and brief commentary on current events.
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The Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life invites applications for postdoctoral scholar positions, for the 2016-2017 academic year.
The Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University has announced a new position: Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Political Theory: Public Life and Religious Diversity in association with Harris Manchester College.
As part of the COMPROMISE research project at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen will host an international conference on December 6-7, 2016.
In these Carlyle Lectures, given at the University of Oxford in January and February 2016, I suggested that between 1650 and 1800 sacred history offered a fertile resource to political philosophers interested in exploring the concepts of “society” and “sociability.” The lectures thus brought together two stories which early modern intellectual historians have tended to keep separate. One is the study of sacred history, in particular of its foundation text, the Bible, which entered a new phase in the Renaissance, and reached a peak of intensity and originality in the seventeenth century. Over this period a succession of scholars from Erasmus to Richard Simon transformed understanding of both the text and the context of the Bible by study of its composition and authorship, and of its chronologies and historical and geographical content. The excitement of that early modern scholarship has recently been captured by Anthony Grafton and a growing number of younger historians, including Scott Mandelbrote and Dmitri Levitin. In turn, their work has enabled me to appreciate what the political philosophers who are my subjects saw in sacred history.
University of Cambridge historian John Robertson will be delivering this year's Robert P. Benedict Lectures on the History of Political Thought at Boston College entitled, The Sacred and the Social: 1650-1790.
On July 27-30, the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion in conjunction with St. Anne's College at Oxford will be hosting a conference entitled, Postsecular Age? New Narratives of Religion, Science, and Society.
Secularism has many critics in the academy these days, but not all have given up on it. This is made abundantly clear in the recently published volume, Religion, Secularism, and Constitutional Democracy edited by Jean L. Cohen and Cécile Laborde.