Research

The Program on Religion and Late Modernity

The epochal revolution of the last five hundred years in the West was not political, but rather the totalizing reconfiguration of social, economic, technological, political, and, thus, cultural life called modernity. Ideas as well as economic and political structures, consciousness as well as behavior and relationships in everyday life have all been fundamentally transformed. As modernity evolves, they are still transforming.

The place, role, meaning, and identity of religion have changed accordingly. All of the assumptions of theistic worldviews and the cultures they spawn have been profoundly, thoroughly, and irreversibly challenged and altered. We see this in these traditions’ theology, doctrine, belief, authority, language, ritual, ecclesiology, ethics, and behavior. Dynamics as widely divergent as secularization, liberalization, and fundamentalism are varied reactions to this same historical and sociological phenomenon.

The goal of the Program on Religion and Late Modernity is to understand the dynamics and impact of late modern culture on the beliefs and practices of religious believers in the leading monotheisms—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

View past events and a list of publications >>

Past events

“Secularism in the Late Modern Age: Between New Atheisms and Religious Fundamentalisms,” conference (2011)

“Difference and Democracy in the Post-Secular World,” Fall Lectures by Sir Jonathan Sacks (2010)

“What History Can Teach Us about Radical Islam,” lecture by John M. Owen, IV, The Yale Club, New York City (2010)

“Pluralism and Democracy,” lecture by Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Yale Club, New York City (2009)

“The Koran, Democracy, and Human Rights,” lecture by Abdulaziz Sachedina, The Yale Club, New York City (2009)

“American Faith: Going Strong, Going Down, or Going to the Mall?,” lecture by Charles Mathewes, The Yale Club, New York City (2009)

“Rethinking the ‘New Antisemitism’ in a Global Age,” lecture by Jonathan Judaken (2008)

“Islam and Politics in Europe and America,” lecture by John M. Owen, IV, The Yale Club, New York City (2007)

“Religion and Politics,” lecture by Mohammad Khatami (2006)

“After Secularization,” conference (2006)

“Religion, Enlightenment, and the New Global Order,” conference held in Vienna, Austria (2005)

“Religion, Secularism and the End of the West?” conference held in Vienna, Austria (2005)

“Religion, Justice, and Violence,” Labrosse-Levinson Lectures by René Girard, Khaled Abou El Fadl, and Danièle Hervieu-Léger (2003)

“Religion, Culture, and Public Life,” conference (2002)

“The Protestant Structure of American Culture: Multiculturalism or Monoculture?” Labrosse-Levinson Lecture by Robert Bellah (2000)

“Religion and Globalization,” Labrosse-Levinson Lecture by Peter Berger (2001)

Publications

Books

Adams, Lawrence E. Going Public: Christian Responsibility in a Divided America. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2002.

Carter, J. Kameron. Race: A Theological Account. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Cochran, Pamela D. H. Evangelical Feminism: A History. New York: New York University Press, 2005.

Gregory, Eric. Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Citizenship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Holcomb, Justin S., ed. Christian Theologies of Scripture: A Comparative Introduction. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Howard, Thomas Albert. Religion and the Rise of Historicism: W. M. L. de Wette, Jacob Burckhardt, and the Theological Origins of Nineteenth-Century Historical Consciousness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Hunter, James Davison. To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Jakelić, Slavica. Collectivistic Religions: Religion, Choice, and Identity in Late Modernity. Ashgate, 2010.

Jakelić, Slavica, and Lori Pearson, eds. The Future of the Study of Religion: Proceedings of Congress 2000. Boston: Brill, 2004.

Malesic, Jonathan. Secret Faith in the Public Square: An Argument for the Concealment of Christian Identity. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2009.

Mathewes, Charles T. Evil and the Augustinian Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Mathewes, Charles T. A Theology of Public Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Mathewes, Charles T. The Republic of Grace: Augustinian Thoughts for Dark Times. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.

Mathewes, Charles, and Christopher McKnight Nichols, eds. Prophesies of Godlessness: Predictions of America’s Imminent Secularization from the Puritans to the Present Day. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Mongoven, Ann. Just Love: Transforming Civic Virtue. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.

Rieff, Philip. The Jew of Culture: Freud, Moses, and Modernity. Volume III: Sacred Order/Social Order. Ed. Arnold M. Eisen and Gideon Lewis-Kraus. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008.

Sargeant, Kimon Howland. Seeker Churches: Promoting Traditional Religion in a Nontraditional Way. Piscataway: Rutgers University Press, 2000.

Slade, Peter. Open Friendship in a Closed Society: Mission Mississippi and a Theology of Friendship. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Wilcox, W. Bradford. Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Hearing the Call: Liturgy, Justice, Church, and World. Ed. Mark R. Gornik and Gregory Thompson. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Inquiring about God: Selected Essays, vol.1. Ed. Terence Cuneo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Practices of Belief: Selected Essays, vol. 2. Ed. Terence Cuneo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Issues of The Hedgehog Review

Film Series

“Faith in the Hood.” Documentary film series. Paul Wagner, director. Joshua J. Yates, producer. (Fall 2006).

Articles and Book Chapters

Geoffrey Claussen

  • “The Practice of Musar.” Conservative Judaism 63.1 (forthcoming 2011).
  • “Sharing the Burden: Rabbi Simhah Zissel Ziv on Love and Empathy.” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 30.2 (2010): 151–169.
  • “The American Jewish Revival of Musar.” The Hedgehog Review 12.2 (2010): 63–72.
  • “God and Suffering in Heschel’s Torah Min Ha–Shamayim.” Conservative Judaism 61.4 (2010): 16–41.

Pamela D. H. Cochran

  • “Women: Evangelical.” Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Ed. Charles Lippy and Peter Williams. Washington, DC: CQ, 2010.
  • “Feminist Christian Thought.” Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions. Ed. Yudit Greenberg. Santa Barbara: ABC–CLIO, 2007.
  • “Scripture, Feminism, and Sexuality.” Christian Theologies of Scripture: A Comparative Introduction. Ed. Justin S. Holcomb. New York: New York University Press, 2006. 261–281.
  • “Forgiveness as Hospitality and Communion.” The Other Journal: An Intersection of Theology and Culture (Summer 2006).
  • “The Family, Evangelicalism, and Civil Society.” The Other Journal: An Intersection of Theology and Culture (Fall 2004).

David Franz

  • “Backlash: Prophesies of Godlessness in the 1970s and 1980s” (with Joseph Davis). Prophesies of Godlessness: Predictions of America’s Imminent Secularization from the Puritans to the Present Day. Ed. Charles Mathewes and Christopher McKnight Nichols. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • “Focused on the Family?: Religious Traditions, Family Discourse, and Pastoral Practice” (with W. Bradford Wilcox and Mark Chaves). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 43 (2004): 491–504.

Karen Guth

  • “Reinhold Niebuhr and the Church: Repentance as Political Practice.” Gendering Christian Ethics. Ed. Jenny Daggers. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, forthcoming 2011.

James Davison Hunter

  • “Fundamentalism: When History Goes Awry” (with Joshua J. Yates). Stories of Change: Narrative and Social Movements. Ed. Joseph E. Davis. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002. 123–148.
  • “When Psychology Replaces Religion.” The Public Interest 139 (Spring 2000): 5–21.
  • “Religious Authority, Fin de Siècle.” The Partisan Review CLXIV.2 (Spring 1997): 4–20.

Slavica Jakelić

  • “Secularism.” Encyclopedia of Global Religion. Eds. Mark Juergensmeyer and Wade Clark Roof. Thousand Oaks: Sage, forthcoming.
  • “The Promise and the Limits of Sociology of Religion.” The Immanent Frame (February 2010).
  • “Secularism: A Bibliographic Essay.” The Hedghehog Review 12.3 (Fall 2010): 49–56.
  • “The Sixties: Secularization and the Prophecies of Freedom.” Prophecies of Godlessness: Predictions of America’s Imminent Secularization from the Puritans to the Present Day. Ed. Charles Mathewes and Christopher McKnight Nichols. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 175–190.
  • “Moral Consensus in a Secular Age.” Culture (Spring 2008).
  • “Hope and Uncertainty…in Bosnia and Beyond.” Comment, V.40 I.3 (2007).
  • “Secularization, European Identity, and ‘The End of the West.’” The Hedgehog Review 8.1–2 (Spring & Summer 2006): 133–139.
  • “After Secularization.” The Hedgehog Review 8.2 (2006): 5–6.
  • “Religious Studies: A Bibliographic Essay” (with Jessica Starling). Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 74, No. 1 (March 2006).

William Lockhart

  • “‘We Are One Life,’ But Not of One Gender Ideology: Ambiguity, Unity and the Promise Keepers.” Sociology of Religion 61.1 (Spring 2000): 73–92.
  • “Race and Religion at the Million Man March and the Promise Keepers’ Stand in the Gap” (with Steven L. Jones). Standing on the Promises. Ed. Dane Claussen. Cleveland: Pilgrim, 1999. 44–55.
  • “Defining the New Christian Man: The Promise Keepers’ Books among Current Conservative Protestant Books on Masculinity.” Priscilla Papers 11:3 (June 1997).

Charles T. Mathewes

  • “Saving Grace and Moral Striving: Thrift in Puritan Theology” (with James Calvin Davis). Thrift and Thriving in America: Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present. Ed. Joshua J. Yates and James Davison Hunter. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • “Theology and Culture.” Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology. Ed. Gareth Jones. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007. 47–64.
  • “An Augustinian Look at Empire.” Theology Today 63.3 (October 2006): 290–304.
  • “Christian Intellectuals and Escapism after 9/11.” Strike Terror No More: Theology, Ethics, and the New War. Ed. Jon L. Berquist. St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.
  • “Original Sin and The Hermeneutics of Charity: A Response to Gilbert Meilaender.” The Journal of Religious Ethics 29.1 (Spring 2001): 35–42.
  • “An Appreciation of Hauerwas: One Hand Clapping.” Anglican Theological Review 82.2 (Spring 2000): 343–360.
  • “Reading Reinhold Niebuhr Against Himself.” The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics 19 (1999): 69–94.
  • “Augustinian Anthropology: Interior intimo meo.” The Journal of Religious Ethics 27.2 (June 1999): 195–221.

Kevin M. Schultz

  • “Secularism: A Bibliographic Essay.” The Hedgehog Review 8.1–2 (Spring & Summer 2006): 170–77.

Nicholas Wolterstorff

  • “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along with Each Other.” Religious Voices in Public Places. Ed. Nigel Biggar and Linda Hogan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 17–36.
  • “Jesus and Forgiveness.” Jesus and Philosophy: New Essays. Ed. Paul K. Moser. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 194–214.
  • “On Kai Nielsen’s Argument That the Emergence of Secularism and Religious Pluralism Has Made It Impossible for Intellectuals to Be Justified or Rational in Holding Theistic Belief.” Reason and Emancipation: Essays on the Philosophy of Kai Nielsen. Ed. Michel Seymour and Matthias Fritsch. Amherst: Humanity, 2007. 37–50.
  • “Historicizing the Belief-Forming Self.” Knowledge and Reality: Essays in Honor of Alvin Plantinga. Ed. Thomas M. Crisp, Matthew Davidson, and David Vander Laan. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006. 111–135.
  • “Abraham Kuyper.” The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature. Ed. John Witte, Jr. and Frank S. Alexander. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. 288–327.
  • “Justice, Not Charity: Social Work through the Eyes of Faith.” Christianity and Social Work 33.2 (Summer 2006): 123–140.
  • “Justice of God.” For Faith and Clarity. Ed. James K. Beilby. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006. 179–197.
  • “Is There Justice in the Trinity?” God’s Life in Trinity. Ed. Miroslav Volf and Michael Welker. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006. 177–190.
  • “Justice, Not Charity: Social Work through the Eyes of Faith.” Christianity and Social Work 33.2 (Summer 2006): 123–140.
  • “God, Justice and Duty.” Religion in the Liberal Polity. Ed. Terence Cuneo. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005. 15–42.
  • “To Theologians: From One who Cares about Theology but is not One of You.” Theological Education 40.2 (2005): 79–92.
  • “Theological Foundations for an Evangelical Political Philosophy.” Toward an Evangelical Public Policy. Ed. Ronald J. Sider and Diane Knippers. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. 140–162.
  • “Religious Epistemology.” The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion. Ed. William J. Wainwright. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. 245–271.

Joshua J. Yates

  • “Fundamentalism: When History Goes Awry” (with James Davison Hunter). Stories of Change: Narrative and Social Movements. Ed. Joseph E. Davis. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002. 123–148.
  • “Disturbing Fundamentalism.” AICGS Issue Brief #13. The Johns Hopkins University (January 2007).

Current initiatives

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The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture is an interdisciplinary research center and intellectual community at the University of Virginia committed to understanding contemporary cultural change and its individual and social consequences, training young scholars, and providing intellectual leadership in service to the public good.

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