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Research Invitation ; Dr. Francois Dupuigrenet Desroussilles
University of Kyoto, Faculty of “Integrated Human Studies”. 1 May-15 August 2017.  Research Project at the invitation of professor Okada Atsuhi in the graduate school «Thought and Culture/Theory of Creative Arts » : What sort of things are works of art? Relics and art in Western Catholicism and Japanese Buddhism.

Reading about the famous Japanese diplomatic mission in Europe of 1582, and its impact on artistic exchanges between East and West, Francois Dupuigrenet Desroussilles was struck by the debates that took place in the cities visited by the four young “Christian samurais” and their Jesuit mentor about the opportunity to offer them relics to take back to Japan. What could these relics mean to newly converted “Kirshitans” brought up in a society where worshipping of Buddhist relics had been for centuries a constant feature of religious life? At the same time Francois Dupuigrenet Desroussilles was intrigued by the implicit or explicit reference to religious relics in contemporary works of art by Christian Boltanski, Damien Hirst – whose retrospective in Qatar, in 2014, was precisely called “Relics” -, or Takashi Murakami. This led him to conceive a comparative inquiry into the conception of relics in Western Europe Catholicism and in Japanese Buddhism, and the impact that these conceptions had on the conception of works of art in Europe and Japan, both in the early modern period and in contemporary art.


Dr. Jimmy Yu Receives Grant from the National Central Library in Taiwan

Professor Yu was selected to receive the Center for Chinese Studies Grant from the prestigious National Central Library of Taiwan for the summer of 2016. He will be spending three months researching and writing his next book monograph on the creation of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism in Taiwan. The Center for Chinese studies established the Research Grant for Foreign Scholars in Chinese Studies program in 1989. In 2010, the Center was given the responsibility for administering the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwan Fellowship and it has become one of the major funding institutions for promoting international scholarly exchange.


Dr. Michael McVicar Receives the 2016 Risley Family Fellowship of FSU

Professor McVicar was selected to receive the Stephen Risley Fellowship for Early Career Faculty for the 2016-2017 academic year. The Risley family established the fellowship for the purpose of supporting faculty in their research and scholarly activities as they work towards tenure.


Dr. Jamil W. Drake joins the Religion Department

We are delighted that Professor Drake will be joining the Religion Department beginning this fall, 2016. Professor Drake received his Ph.D. from Emory University in 2015 with a dissertation topic, "To Know the Soul of the People: The Field Study of the 'Folk Negro' and the Making of Popular Religion in Modern America, 1924-1945." His work provides an intellectual history of the study of race and religion in the developing social sciences and folk studies of early twentieth-century North America. It chronicles how the study of African American religions coalesced around social scientists and federal specialists' engagement in the political discussion about the future of the "Folk Negro"—African Americans who were typically low-income workers, inmates, semi-skilled and unskilled laborers. At the heart of Drake's project is the notion that religious expressions of the "Folk Negro" became important scientific data to understand the unique behavioral traits that were purportedly in contradiction to the progressive ideals of modern America.

Dr. Kristina Buhrman was awarded a 2015 Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship

Professor Buhrman was awarded a 2015 Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship by the Asian Division of the Library of Congress. Under this reward, she traveled to Washington in July to examine manuscript and printed guidebooks to calendars and day-selection from the Edo (1600 – 1868) and early Meiji (1868 – 1912) periods in the Library of Congress’ collection of works on traditional Japanese mathematics. Through comparing the contents of these works, and what authorities are cited, she is tracing the spread of beliefs drawn from pre-modern astronomy and astrology among the Japanese population.


Dr. Amanda Porterfield on CNN news: Was America founded as a Christian nation?

That question has served a variety of political causes since July 4, 1776, from legalizing persecution and aiding runaway slaves to fighting Nazis and Communists.
The scholars below have spent years reflecting on the intersection of American religion and nationalism. Their answers to the question invite us to examine the motivations behind the controversy: Why do so many people think the country's Christian history is so important?
Amanda Porterfield is a professor of religion at Florida State University. Her most recent book is "Conceived in Doubt: Religion and Politics in the New American Nation."
If we are talking about 13 colonies belonging to the British Empire, whose king presided over an imperial church, then yes, British citizens residing in those colonies lived under Christian rule. >>Read More on CNN

Dr. François Dupuigrenet-Desroussilles invited to University of Tokyo this fall as Visiting Professor

Invited by professor Mariko Muramatsu, Professor François Dupuigrenet-Desroussilles gave two lectures in May 2014 at the graduate school of the College of arts and sciences in the University of Tokyo on The History of the book and the Study of Literature and on Religious Aspects of Visual poetry during the Renaissance and Baroque era. The latter was the occasion of very stimulating exchanges with students working on Saint Thomas, the Jesuit missions in Japan, or the comparative history of Buddhist and Christian relics. These lectures led to a formal invitation to teach in 2015 as visiting professor a two months graduate course at the university of Tokyo on religious conflicts in early modern Europe both inside Christianity--from the outset of the Reformation to the peace of Westphalia in 1648 that put an end to the Thirty Years War on the principle “cujus regio ejus religio”--, and outside of it--the wars against the Ottoman sultanate until the peace of Karlowitz in 1699. Professor Dupuigrenet-Desroussilles was asked to emphasize how knowledge of these issues could help us to understand the contemporary confrontation between branches of Islam and western states that after decades of secular politics reconsider the relevance of their “Christian roots” not only in their foreign policy--for example the debate about Turkey entering the European Union--but in their domestic agendas from legislation about gay marriage to the relations of Church and State now that Islam has become one of the main religions of countries like France or England. Another invitation, for a research semester at the university of Kyoto in 2016-2017, this time about ascetic traditions, has been extended by professor Okada Atsushi.

Dr. Martin Kavka Selected as Katz Fellow for 2015-2016

Professor Kavka’s project during his year at the Katz Center — “A Jewish Bacchanalian Revel: The Place of G.W.F. Hegel in Jewish Philosophy” — starts from the failures of Jewish metaphysical inquiry in the twentieth century, from the inability of Jewish philosophy to give a consistent account of itself. The canon, in Kavka’s view, is itself evidence that Jewish philosophy is an example of what the philosopher Robert Pippin has called (in a description of Hegelian logic) “a constantly unstable reflective enterprise.” As a result, Kavka’s research project aims to redescribe Jewish philosophy in a Hegelian manner—as something that changes over time because various situations steer the process of reasoning in different directions—and retrieves nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Jewish philosophers who cited and grappled with Hegel in the service of this end.


Dr. John Corrigan receives award of the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair the most prestigious appointment in the Fulbright Scholar Program

Professor Corrigan, the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion, was one of about 40 people in the United States to receive a Fulbright Distinguished Chair this year. To be considered for a distinguished chair award, candidates must be eminent scholars and have significant publishing and teaching records.

Corrigan’s award will allow him to travel to the Netherlands, where he will spend four months in Middelburg conducting research as the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center, a think tank for scholars researching modern American history and culture.

While there, Corrigan will meet with scholars in residence at the center as well as scholars and diplomatic staff at The Hague and elsewhere, deliver occasional lectures and work toward completion of his book, "Religious Violence and American Foreign Policy," which will be published by the University of Chicago Press.

“I am looking forward to engaging experts in the fields of diplomatic and religious history and to discussing international policy and its implementation with persons from various governments,” he said. >>Read on FSU Top Story