Lerner Foundation Gift Establishes Permanent Fund for Religious Studies Program
The generous contribution of the Lerner family has allowed the Religious Studies Program to create The Lerner Workshop in Religion and Society. Each year a renowned scholar is invited to NYU for a distinguished lecture and seminar. Speakers will address issues that correspond with the Program's ongoing mission to explore religious practice and belief as integral parts of human social life. As the Program faculty's intellectual interests, as well as its close working relationship with the Center for Religion and Media and the joint MA degree with the Department of Journalism attest, a central part of our intellectual and institutional project is to create public contexts for the kind of conversations about religion and social life that usually only occur in the academy: just as religion is something fundamentally public (even when privatized), so the conversation about it should be as well. As our wide interdisciplinary approach includes anthropological, historical, literary, and philosophical approaches to the study of religion, so the invited speaker is asked to "think big" about the given topic.
This year on October 25th, the Lerner Workshop in Religion and Society presented, "Seems Like Blessings Keep Falling on My Lap": The Cultural Politics of American Religion and Popular Music." In the United States, Evangelicalism, popular music, and black culture have been closely intertwined since the 1970s. This evening, Josef Sorett examines influences and exchanges between gospel, hip hop, praise and worship music, and performances by a diverse range of artists, including popular Gospel artists like Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin, lesser known figures such as Ron Kenoly and Lecrae, along with current stars like Chance the Rapper. Sorett finds that their interplay demonstrates often submerged interconnections between religion, race, media, masculinity and the market in our current moment. Presented by Josef Sorett from Columbia University.
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DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES