Religion and the Idea of a University
3 - 5 April 2013, Cambridge
Videos of the keynote presentations can be found here.
On April 3 -5 2013, the project hosted an exciting international and interdisciplinary conference exploring the question of: What place does religion have in the Western research university?
From John Henry Newman’s Idea of a University to recent work by Stefan Collini, Martha Nussbaum and many others, the idea of the modern research University has been the subject of a great swathe of intellectual debate, policy wrangling and rhetoric – circulating around conflicting models of intellectual and social formation, ideas of the public good, and claims about the place of knowledge in a utilitarian age.
As the idea of a university has been contested and reconfigured, so too have ideas about the place of religion in the public sphere, the nature and limits of secularity, and the relations between religion and intellectual work. In a complex multi-faith and multi-secular world, a re-evaluation of the relationship between religion and the idea of a university is pressing.
This conference was the highlight in a two-year research project ‘Religion and the Idea of a Research University’ in the Faculties of Divinity, English, History and Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. Interdisciplinary in structure, this meeting has a bold ambition: to engage seriously with the question ‘what place, if any, does religion have in a secular research university?’
Speakers included (links lead to videos of the keynote presentations):
- Professor Asma Afsaruddin, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University, USA
- Professor David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK
- Professor Tal Howard, Center for Faith and Inquiry, Gordon College, USA
- Professor Tomoko Masuzawa, Department of History, University of Michigan, USA
- Professor Isabel Rivers, Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
- Professor Ming Tsuang, Center for Behavioural Genomics, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, USA
- The Right Honourable Charles Clarke
- Dr Jonathan Nicholls, Registrary, University of Cambridge, UK
- Dr Theuns Eloff, Vice-Chancellor, North West University, South Africa
- Professor Prabhu Guptara, William Carey University, India
- Professor Atta-ur-Rahman, University of Karachi, Pakistan