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Event to unite various scholars

Caitlin Sisk | Thursday, December 12, 2013

On any college campus, various academic disciplines are somewhat separated. But twice a semester, Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society hosts presentations as part of the Colloquium on the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion to unite scholars from diverse fields.

The Center will host one of these presentations, titled “Beyond Coping: Pentecostalism in Prison in Rio de Janiero,” on Friday.
The speaker, Dr. Andrew Johnson, a former visiting scholar at Princeton University, will present on his research about religion at the margins of society, specifically the Pentecostalism movement and its presence among prisoners in Rio de Janiero, Rae Hoffman, center program coordinator said.

The presentations, although focused on topics related to religious studies, also offer useful information not only for those looking to study religion but also for those wishing to participate in social research, Hoffman said.

“They also talk about how they do their research and different aspects of their research, so I think for anyone that wants to do research it’s good to come and listen to the speakers to get a feel for how others do it,” Hoffman said.

Every colloquium has a different topic, ranging from the idea of science versus religion to investigations of hookup culture on college campuses, she said.

“I think there should be different topics all of the time so it reaches all of the audience, and it’s not just the same thing over and over again. It brings more of a crowd,” Hoffman said.

The colloquium began to bring together different disciplines, she said.

“[We hold them] so that communication across the disciplines becomes better, and also it’s a place for the graduate students to kind of network and get to know other graduate students in other departments,” Hoffman said.

The Center for the Study of Religion and Society hopes to include all disciplines in these discussions on topics related to the study of religion, Hoffman said.

“The majority of them right now are coming from the sociology department,” she said. “Our ideal is to have grad students and faculty come from sociology history, political science, theology.”

Contact Caitlin Sisk at csisk@nd.edu