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Religion and Society

Religion and Society Research Group Informal Gathering (on Secularism: Jews and Muslims) with a visiting scholar, Ari Varon Tel Aviv University/Feb 16


We will have an informal faculty gathering  and discussion with a visiting scholar from Tel Aviv University. Ari Varon who is a PhD. Candidate at Tel Aviv University writing his PhD dissertation on Islamic Political Identity in Europe. He will share with us his preliminary findings on Muslims in Europe and compare them with Jews in Israel. We have scheduled the meeting for Wednesday, February 16, at 3PM in the East Hall, 331.        

Ari Varon
Practicing Religion in a Secular State Comparing Two Case Studies: Jews in Israel and Muslims in Europe

You will find his bio at the following homepage:

In the meeting, We will also talk about Menachem Lorberbaum’s article on Religion and Society in Israel. Here is the article:

Religion and Society in Israel

Please let me know if you would like to attend this informal Religion and Society Research group meeting. 





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Dear all,
First of all, thank you all for being a part of the religion and society research group.  As you all know, we need to get together two times per quarter to share readings and exchange ideas on religion and society, and organize future academic events, seminars and lectures on the interaction between religion and society. I have therefore created a proposed theme and reading list for the group. This group is not based on a theological understanding of religion or any other non academic purpose (like dialogue groups), but rather it looks and tries to understand religion from a sociological lens and/or social science perspective, through the interaction of society and the individual. Any suggestions or recommendations are very much welcome.  You will find the first readings (Public Religions Revisited-Jose Casanova and Islamic Way of Life- Mawdudi) below, and we should get together on Wednesday November 17 at Portland State University.
You can also download the files at the following homepage:
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at or cell: 202-378-8606.

Date: November 17
Time: 4:30 - 6-30 PM      
Meeting Place: East Hall Room 331  (632 Hall Street, Portland State University)
Pizza and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
Classical Concepts, Ideas and Theories on Religion
-What is religion?
-Why do we need a religion?
-On religion: Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel
-Islamic Way of Life by Syed Abul A'ala Mawdudi
Modern Classical Concepts, Ideas and Theories on Religion
-Modern man and religion
-Work and Religion
-Secularism/Laicism - Peter Berger
-Harvey Cox – Are the City and religion compatible?
-Modernity and Judaism
-Where does god live in a city and who regulates the church, mosque or synagogue?      
Postmodern Concepts, Ideas and Theories on Religion
-De-secularization and society – Talal Assad
-Religious Revivalism in post-modern society
-Christianities – Many religions without a God- Secularism
-Is there religious revivalism, or domestication of religion towards the full secularization of society?
-Are we more religious or less religious?  
-Revisiting Peter Berger.
-What is the role of religion in post-modern society?

Best to all,

Tugrul Keskin

Assistant Professor of International and Middle Eastern Studies
And Center for Turkish Studies
Portland State University




Religion and Society Research Group

The Portland Center for Public Humanities

Coordinator: Tugrul Keskin


During the 2010-2011 academic year, The Portland Center for Public Humanities seeks to form a Religion and Society Research Group with scholars from across the colleges and universities in Portland and generally across Oregon.


The research group will sponsor a reading group and ideally some discussion panels or lectures by scholars.  We would like to explore the possibility of having the project culminate in late May in a regional conference on Religion and Society in the 21st century.


We would like to have a diverse group of scholars from religious studies participate, including faculty from Judaic studies and Islamic studies, history, sociology, and other related disciplines.


If you might like to participate in the Religion and Society Research Group, please contact me by emailing me directly at:


Kindly do not respond via this listserv.



Keith Walters -Portland State University

Jim Proctor - Lewis and Clark

John Vignaux Smyth -Portland State University

Bill Rottschaefer - Lewis and Clark

Wendy Dasler Johnson - Washington State University

Daniel K. Falk - University of Oregon

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri - Reed College

Paul Powers - Lewis and Clark

DuRoche - World Affairs Council

Natan Meir - Portland State University

Michael Wiengrad - Portland State University

Steven K. Green - Willamette University

Frodo Okulam - Portland State University

Carl Abbott - Portland State University

John S. Ott - Portland State University

Sharon Carsten - Portland State University

Sherryll Mleynek - University of Hawai and PSU

Joseph Corrado - PCC

Martha Bailey - Claremont Graduate University

Jennifer Schuberth - Portland State University

Ananda Abeysekara - Virginia Tech

Kemal Silay - Indiana University

Najma Yousefi - Virginia Tech