Two spring Dean’s Lectures will bring renowned Asian American scholars to speak at Candler School of Theology in March. Both lectures are free and open to the public and will be held in Room 252 of Candler’s Rita Anne Rollins Building. Boxed lunches will be provided for all registrants.
Wednesday, March 1: “Heathen: Religion and Race in American History”
11:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Speaker: Kathryn Gin Lum, associate professor of religious studies in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and associate professor of history in affiliation with American Studies and Asian American Studies, Stanford University
Americans used to believe that much of the world was populated by “heathens.” This talk asks what that view of the world entailed and shows its continuing repercussions on American ideas about race as a “heathen inheritance.”
Gin Lum specializes in the history of religion and race in America, with her research centered on the lived ramifications of religious beliefs. She is the author of Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2014) and co-editor (with Paul Harvey) of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her most recent book, Heathen: Religion and Race in American History (Harvard University Press, 2022), examines how the figure of “heathen” in need of saving undergirds American conceptions of race. At Stanford, Gin Lum also directs the American Religions in a Global Context (ARGC) Initiative.
Wednesday, March 22: “Rethinking Racism in terms of Racial Capitalism”
11:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Speaker: Jonathan Tran, associate professor of great texts (theology) and associate dean for faculty of the Honors College, Baylor University
This lecture examines the political economic contours of American race and racism—what it calls “racial capitalism”—and three implications drawn from the racial capitalist framework: the transnational nature of ideologized exploitation, the plight of Asian Americans, and Christianity’s complicity and contributions.
Tran’s research examines the theological and political implications of human life in language. His most recent book, Asian Americans and the Spirit of Racial Capitalism, was published by Oxford University Press in 2022. Tran serves as co-editor of the American Academy of Religion/Oxford University Press book series “Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion” and serves as principal investigator for the Luce Grant “Religiously Inspired Asian American Coalitional Justice Work.”