Forgive my failure to put up my standard two posts last week. My Drexel email account has apparently been corrupted and I spent the majority of last week working with the tech support people at Drexel trying to fix it. Unfortunately, they have so far been unable to solve the problem, so anyone who wishes to email me should, for the time being, address all emails to my Apple Webmail account: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that I just returned from the first International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society. Unlike many conferences that claim to be “international,” this one truly was. There were just over 100 participants, but these included scholars from Japan, Jordan, Germany, Nigeria, Portugal, the UK and Kuwait, to name just a few of the countries represented. The keynote speakers included internationally famous and widely published indologist Wendy Doniger from the University of Chicago and Steve Shoemaker, host of the popular and critically acclaimed weekly public radio program “Keepin’ the Faith.” Doniger gave a fascinating talk on the issue of whether Hinduism was monotheistic or polytheistic (her answer was yes) and Shoemaker talked about how he got started with his radio program and the kinds of guests he has had (from poet laureates, Imams and Rabbis to student activists), to why he thinks programs such as his are important. In between were many other stimulating presentations the topics of which varied from religion and spirituality in contemporary popular culture to the same in ages past. It was one of the most interesting and stimulating conferences I have been to recently because of the variety of topics covered and because the small size facilitated better discussions.
Now what, you are undoubtedly asking yourself, does this have to do with Kierkegaard? Well here’s the thing: the call for papers is already up for next year’s conference in Vancouver and it seems to me that this would be a great opportunity for Kierkegaard scholars to present their work and to meet and exchange ideas with other scholars in related fields. Check it out!