New Jersey Harper Lecture with Margaret M. Mitchell, AM'82, PhD'89: Talking about Religion in Public
April 14, 2013: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
In a May 2012 column, journalist Mark Oppenheimer argued that, in the American media scene, the comedian Jon Stewart is a religion teacher extraordinaire. Much can be said about this judgment on Stewart (which has predictably raised some strong reactions on both sides), but what is perhaps universally agreed is Oppenheim's appraisal that it is difficult "to find good writing about religion" and "harder still to find good television about religion." This talk will engage the question of the proper role of the academic study of religion in relation to contemporary media coverage through an examination of several case studies plucked from recent headlines. By examining several case studies plucked from recent headlines, this talk will engage the question of the proper role of the academic study of religion in relation to contemporary media coverage.
Margaret M. Mitchell, AM'82, PhD'89, is the dean of the Divinity School and the Shailer Mathews professor of New Testament and early Christian literature. She is a literary historian of ancient Christianity with a research and teaching span that focuses on a range of topics in New Testament and early Christian writings through the end of the fourth century. The author of four books and the coeditor, with Frances M. Young, of the 2006 The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 1: Origins to Constantine; her current projects include a volume of translations of occasional sermons by John Chrysostom on Pauline passages (for the Writings From the Greco-Roman World series) and a commentary on 2 Corinthians.
The Madison Hotel
1 Convent Road
Morristown, New Jersey
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2:00 PM-2:45 PM: Registration and reception
2:45 PM-4:00 PM: Presentation and discussion