Visiting scholar questions the modern place of religion

Edinburgh & London, April 19, 2012: Professor Naomi Goldenberg, from the Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, is visiting Britain this coming week (21 – 28 April 2012) to give public and university addresses in Stirling, Aberdeen and London.

Professor Goldenberg will argue that religions function effectively as ‘vestigial states’ (or remnants of states) within contemporary nation states, raising questions about the kind of sacral and secular power they reinforce in this role.

What she has to say will have considerable relevance to contentious debates about religion in public life in Britain and in North America. She will be available for media interviews throughout her visit (see contact below).

Professor Goldenberg offers a feminist critique of patriarchal religion. Her related interests include psychoanalytic theory, body politics, gender and popular culture.

Her visit is being sponsored by the Critical Religion Research Group at the University of Stirling, which is pioneering intellectual engagement with questions of religion at the interface between the academy and public debate.

On Thursday 26 April she will give a major public lecture at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London, entitled ‘What’s God Got to Do With It? Feminism, Religion and the State’. This event is being co-sponsored by the cutting edge religion and society thinktank Ekklesia.

On Monday 23 April Professor Goldenberg speaks on ‘Contemporary Statecraft, Gender and the Category of Religion’ at the University of Stirling.

On Tuesday 24 April she is speaking at a day workshop entitled Modernity and the Category of Religion, organised by Dr Trevor Stack of Aberdeen University’s Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law.

Other speakers include Dr Stack, Dr Tamas Gyorfi, the University of Stirling’s Dr Timothy Fitzgerald, Dr Suzanne Owen and Dr Brian Bock. Stirling’s Dr Alison Jasper is a discussant.

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Notes to Editors:

1. All enquiries should be directed in the first instance to Dr Michael Marten on 01786 467532 (in and out of office hours) and michael.marten@stir.ac.uk

2. Full details of the visit are available here: http://www.criticalreligion.stir.ac.uk/events/april-2012-naomi-goldenber...

3. Professor Naomi Goldenberg’s CV is available here: http://naomigoldenberg.com/cv.html

4. Advance contributions from Professor Goldenberg on the Critical Religion blog: http://www.criticalreligion.stir.ac.uk/author/naomigoldenberg/

5. Founded in 2001/2, Ekklesia examines politics, values and beliefs in a changing world, from a Christian perspective in dialogue with others. More information here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about The partnership with Critical Religion at the University of Stirling is aggregated here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/criticalreligion