Situating Spirituality and Asian Religions: A Conversation about the Study of Spirituality and Asian Religions in the Global Age

March 2, 2022 - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
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This panel invites the three editors of the recently published volume Situating Spirituality: Context, Practice, and Power (Oxford, 2021) to discuss spirituality broadly from global and international perspectives. The essays collected in Situating Spirituality examine not only individual engagements with spirituality, but also how seemingly personal facets of spirituality, as well as definitions of spirituality itself, are deeply shaped by diverse religious, cultural, and political contexts. The editors will talk about how such cross-national and comparative analyses lead them to reconceptualize spirituality beyond North American experiences.

About the speakers:
Anna Sun is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology at Duke University and two-term co-chair of the Chinese Religions Unit of the American Academy of Religion. In addition to Situating Spirituality: Context, Practice, and Power (Oxford, 2021), which she co-edited with Brian Steensland and Jaime Kucinskas, she is the author of Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities (Princeton, 2013). A sociologist of religion who has conducted extensive fieldwork on religious life in contemporary urban China, she has published on issues related to religious identity, the social nature of prayer, and Chinese ritual pluralism. Her most recent projects are on sacred time in urban religion and the politics of the concept of magic.

Brian Steensland is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). His research interests include religion, culture, politics, and civic life. His books include Situating Spirituality: Context, Practice, and Power (Oxford, 2022), co-edited with Jaime Kucinskas and Anna Sun; The New Evangelical Social Engagement (Oxford, 2014), co-edited with Philip Goff; and The Failed Welfare Revolution: America's Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy (Princeton, 2008).

Jaime Kucinskas is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Hamilton College. She is the author of The Mindful Elite: Mobilizing from the Inside Out (Oxford, 2019), co-editor of Situating Spirituality: Context, Practice, and Power (Oxford, 2022), and has published on spiritual and religious movements, inequalities, and the importance of situating studies of spirituality, religion, and morality in specific temporal, group, institutional, and national settings.

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  • Duke University Center for International and Global Studies
  • Asian/Pacific Studies Institute
  • John Hope Franklin Center
  • Wednesdays at the Center Series