Call for Papers

Secularization and Revival: The Fate of Religion in Modern Intellectual History
Third Annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, October 8-Saturday, October 10, 2009

The question of faith's place in modern intellectual life never has seemed more pressing in academia or popular culture. While specialists have abandoned simplistic versions of the "secularization thesis," which predicted that religion would crumble inexorably under the weight of advancing science and reason, best-selling atheistic critics still lament religion's influence, deny its philosophical viability, and predict its ultimate demise. Meanwhile, scholars have demonstrated the surging strength of both Christianity and Islam in non-western parts of the world, and the persistent religiosity in the United States. Accordingly, this symposium will consider religion's place in modern thought and culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century.

We invite papers that explore the intellectual tensions between the revival and decline of faith, not only in the Anglo-American West, but around the world. Among the confirmed plenary speakers are David Bebbington (Stirling/Baylor), Michael J. Buckley (Santa Clara), José Casanova (Georgetown), Philip Jenkins (Penn State), Rodney Stark (Baylor), and Frank Turner (Yale).

Possible themes to be explored include the following, though other paper or session proposals on specific topics, questions, or books are encouraged:

The Enlightenment and its critics
Romanticism and its implication for faith, art, politics, and culture
Evangelical, charismatic, or fundamentalist revival
Democracy and religion
Ethics and religion
The New Atheism
Resacralization vs. secularization theory
Gender, race, and class dynamics of secularization and revival
Religion as a colonial or indigenous force
Globalization and religion
Religion and the modern university
Faith and reform movements
Faith and the arts in contemporary culture

Abstracts of 500-750 words should be submitted by June 1, 2009, and should include name, affiliation, address, and e-mail address. Please submit proposals to the Institute for Faith and Learning, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97270, Waco, TX 76798-7270, or by e-mail to

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