Participant Bios

Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor is Board of Trustees Professor of Law and Philosophy at Northwestern University. He is the former Chicele Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford and is professor emeritus of political science and philosophy at McGill University. Among his publications are Hegel (Cambridge University Press, 1975), Philosophical Papers (2 vols., Cambridge University Press, 1985), Sources of the Self (Harvard University Press, 1989), and Modern Social Imaginaries (Duke University Press, 2004). He is currently working on topics in social and political theory having to do with multiculturalism, secularization, and alternative modernities. His latest book,
A Secular Age, was recently published by Harvard University Press.

Courtney Bender
Courtney Bender is an associate professor in the Departments of Religion and Sociology at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton and her B.A. in religious studies from Swarthmore. Bender’s work focuses on the social and cultural processes that shape religious practice, experience and interaction in contemporary American life. She is the author of Heaven’s Kitchen: Living Religion at God’s Love We Deliver (Chicago 2003), an analysis of religious practice and discourse in a non-religious New York City AIDS organization. Her current book project Worlds of Experience: Contemporary Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination (Chicago) employs ethnographic and historical research in Cambridge Massachusetts to reevaluate academic approaches to spirituality and religious experience. In addition, Bender is currently co-editing two volumes: After Pluralism: Reimagining Models of Interreligious Engagement(with Pamela Klassen) and Religious, Secular, Spiritual: Invidious Distinctions, Ambivalent Attachments (with Ann Taves).

Seyla Benhabib
Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics. Professor Benhabib was the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07. She is the author ofCritique, Norm and Utopia. A Study of the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (1986); Situating the Self. Gender, Community and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics (1992; winner of the National Educational Association’s best book of the year award) ; together with Drucilla Cornell,Feminism as Critique (1986); then with, Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell and Nancy Fraser, Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange (1994); The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt (1996; reissued in 2002); The Claims of Culture. Equality and Diversity in the Global Era, (2002) and The Rights of Others. Aliens, Citizens and Residents (2004), which won the Ralph Bunche award of the American Political Science Association (2005) and the North American Society for Social Philosophy award (2004). A new book, Another Cosmopolitanism. Hospitality, Sovereignty and Democratic Iterations, based on Professor Benhabib’s 2004 Tanner Lectures delivered at Berkeley, with responses by Jeremy Waldron, Bonnie Honig and Will Kymlicka has appeared from Oxford University Press in 2006. Her work has been translated into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish, Swedish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science since 1996 and has held the Gauss Lectures (Princeton, 1998); the Spinoza chair for distinguished visitors (Amsterdam, 2001); the John Seeley Memorial Lectures (Cambridge, 2002), the Tanner Lectures (Berkeley, 2004) and was the Catedra Ferrater Mora Distinguished Professor in Girona, Spain (Summer 2005). She received an Honorary degree from the Humanistic University in Utrecht in 2004. Professor Benhabib will be a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin in 2008-09.

Rajeev Bhargava
Rajeev Bhargava is Senior Fellow and Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. He was formerly Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and between 2001 and 2005, Professor of Political theory and Indian Political Thought and Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. Rajeev Bhargava obtained his B.A degree in Economics from the University of Delhi and M.Phil and D.Phil from Oxford University. He has been a Faculty fellow in Ethics at Harvard University, CR Parekh Fellow at the CSDS, Delhi, Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Bristol, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Jerusalem, Visiting fellow of the British Academy, and was the Asia Chair at Sciences Po, Paris in the summer of 2006. His publications include Individualism in Social Science (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), Secularism and its Critics ed. (OUP, New Delhi, 1998),Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Democracy (ed. with A. Bagchi and R. Sudarshan, OUP 1999),Transforming India (ed. with Francine Frankel et. al, OUP 2000) and Civil Society, Public Sphere and Citizenship (ed. with H. Reifeld, Sage, 2005). His forthcoming publications include ‘Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution’. He is currently working on a book on Secularism. He has contributed to several international books and journals including the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and theOxford Handbook of Political Theory. He contributes regularly to openDemocracy. He was a consultant to the UNDP Report on Cultural Liberty and Diversity.

Akeel Bilgrami
Akeel Bilgrami is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy in the Philosophy Department at Columbia University. He is also a member of the Committee on Global Thought as well as the Director of the Heyman Center for Humanities at Columbia. He is the author of three books, Belief and Meaning(Blackwell, 1992), Self-Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard University Press, 2006), and Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity (forthcoming, Harvard University Press), and of various articles on subjects ranging from the Philosophy of Language and Mind to Secularism and the Enlightenment.

Jon Butler
Jon Butler is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Yale University and the Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies. He grew up in rural Minnesota and received his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota; in December 2006 his alma mater conferred the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causis. His publications include Power, Authority and the Origins of American Denominational Order (American Philosophical Society, 1978; republished by University of Alabama Press, 2008); The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society (Harvard University Press, 1983); Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (Harvard University Press, 1990); Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776(Harvard University Press, 2000); Religion in American Life: A Short History, co-authored with Grant Wacker and Randall Balmer (Oxford University Press, 2003), of which his section has been published separately as New World Faiths: Religion in Colonial America (Oxford University Press, 2007), plus many articles. His current project is a book entitled God in Gotham: The Miracle of Religion in Modern Manhattan from the Gilded Age to the Kennedy Election.

Craig Calhoun
Craig Calhoun (b. USA 1952) is University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University where he directs the Institute for Public Knowledge. He is also President of the Social Science Research Council, an international leader in intellectual innovation and interdisciplinary research since 1923. Calhoun received his doctorate from Oxford University. He taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 19 years, serving also as Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the University Center for International Studies. He has been a visiting professor in China, Eritrea, France, Norway, and Sudan. Calhoun’s most recent books include Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream (Routledge 2007) and two edited collections, Sociology in America(Chicago 2007) and Lessons of Empire: Historical Contexts for Understanding America’s Global Power (with F. Cooper and K. Moore, New Press 2006). His new book, The Roots of Radicalism, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2008.

José Casanova
José Casanova has joined recently Georgetown University as Professor of Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, after a long tenure as Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York. He is the author of Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago, 1994). He is presently working on two projects: “Rethinking Secularization: A Global Comparative Perspective” and “Transnational Migrations, Transnational Religions and Diversity.”

William E. Connolly
William E. Connolly is the Krieger - Eisenhower Professor of Political Theory and International Relations at Johns Hopkins University. His recent publications include Pluralism (Duke,2005),Neuropolitics:  Thinking, Culture, Speed (2002), Why I Am Not A Secularist (1999), The Ethos of Pluralization (1995), and Political Theory and Modernity (1988, 1993).

Simon During
Simon During is Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University. He gained his PhD from Cambridge University in 1983 and subsequently joined the English Department at Melbourne where he taught for many years. His books include Foucault and Literature (1993) and Modern Enchantments: the cultural power of secular magic (2003). His current work explores intersections between literature, politics, and religion in Britain between 1688 and 1945.

Nilüfer Göle
Nilufer Göle is a professor of sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She is the author of The Forbidden Modern: Veiling and Civilization (1996) and Interpénétrations: L’Islam et l’Europe (2005).

Philip S. Gorski
Philip S. Gorski (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley 1996) is Professor of Sociology, Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Research (CCR), and Co-Director of the MacMillan Center Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Society at Yale University. He is a comparative-historical sociologist with strong interests in theory and methods and in modern and early modern Europe. His empirical work focuses on topics such as state-formation, nationalism, revolution, economic development and secularization with particular attention to the interaction of religion and politics. Other current interests include the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences and the nature and role of rationality in social life. Among his recent publications are The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Growth of State Power in Early Modern Europe (Chicago, 2003); Max Weber’s Economy and Society: A Critical Companion (Stanford, 2004); and “The Poverty of Deductivism: A Constructive Realist Model of Sociological Explanation,” Sociological Methodology, 2004.

Colin Jager
Colin Jager is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University. He is the author of The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). He has also written the following articles: “A Poetics of Dissent; or, Pantisocracy in America,” Theory and Event 10.1 (2007); “After the Secular: The Subject of Romanticism,” Public Culture 18.2 (2006); “Mansfield Park and the End of Natural Theology,” Modern Language Quarterly 63:1 (2002); “Natural Designs: Romanticism, Secularism, Theory,” European Romantic Review 12.1 (2001). Professor Jager is currently editing a volume for Romantic Circles on “Secularism, Cosmopolitanism, and Romanticism,” with contributions by Paul Hamilton, Mark Canuel, Colin Jager, and Bruce Robbins. He is the co-director of the “Mind and Culture” working group at the Rutgers Center for Cultural Analysis. His research interests include romantic literature, theology, and critical theory.

John Milbank
John Milbank is Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham. He has previously taught at the Universities of Lancaster, Cambridge and Virginia. He is the author of several books including Theology and Social Theory and most recently Being Reconciled: Ontology and Pardon. He is one of the editors of the Radical Orthodoxy collection of essays.

Jonathan VanAntwerpen
Jonathan VanAntwerpen is an SSRC research fellow, program officer for Council projects on Religion and the Public Sphere, and a fellow at the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge. Currently completing his Ph.D. in the department of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, he received a BA from Calvin College, and an MA in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation investigates the transnational struggles over “reconciliation” that have occurred in the aftermath of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, focusing in particular on the ways that prominent conceptions of reconciliation have been transformed by both religious and secular engagements with the politics of transitional justice. VanAntwerpen is co-editor (with Michael Burawoy) of an online volume entitled Producing Public Sociology (2nd edition, 2005), and co-author (with Craig Calhoun) of “Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and Hierarchy: ‘Mainstream’ Sociology and its Challengers,” in Sociology in America (University of Chicago Press, 2007). Forthcoming publications include: “Reconciliation Reconceived: Religion, Secularism, and the Language of Transition” in Will Kymlicka and Bashir Bashir, eds., The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (Oxford University Press); and “Moral Globalization and Discursive Struggle: Reconciliation, Transitional Justice, and Cosmopolitan Discourse” in Steven Heydemann and David C. Hammack, Philanthropic Projections: Sending Institutional Logics Abroad (Indiana University Press).

Michael Warner
Michael Warner is Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, with diverse interests in colonial and antebellum America, social theory, media studies, queer theory and politics. He is currently at work on a study of secularism, including both the theoretical understanding of secularism in the present and a historical inquiry into the development of secularism in America. Among his books are The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America (Harvard University Press, 1990); Publics and Counterpublics (Zone Books, 2002); The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life (The Free Press, 1999;  Harvard Univ. Press, 2000); The Portable Walt Whitman (New York:  Penguin, 2003);American Sermons (Library of America, 1999); Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); and with Myra Jehlen, The English Literatures of America, 1500-1800 (Routledge, 1997)