Arnold H. Lowe Endowed Lecture: Dr. Sylvester A. Johnson, Virginia Tech

4:45 PM  - 6:00 PM
Sunday Feb 24, 2019
Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel

The Religious Studies Department cordially invites you to the 2019 Lowe Lecture: Dr. Sylvester A. Johnson, Assistant Vice Provost for the Humanities, Professor of Religion and Culture, Founding Director of the Center for Humanities at Virginia Tech will give a talk titled "State of Exception or Modus Operandi? Religion, National Security, and the Racialization of Islam." RSVP Dinner will follow in the Weyerhaeuser Board Room.

In recent years, numerous scholars have engaged with political theology (à la Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Gamben) to interpret religion and state power by foregrounding the legacy of European fascism and the systemic norms of political liberalism. What happens when race and colonialism move to the foreground, not as relics of a past era but as contemporary forms of modern state power? In this talk, Sylvester Johnson examines the relationship between national security practices in the United States that target Muslims as enemies through considering the colonial provenance of race governance and the longue durée of Christian political theology.  How should contemporary scholars understand American Christianity given the imperial histories of Islam and Christendom? Is there an American prequel to anti-Muslim state practices witnessed since 9/11? What do current national security paradigms reveal about the political architecture of US empire and its role in shaping global Western power? Johnson’s lecture will take up these questions to propose a decolonizing account of religion and state power in the United States and the construction of Islam as a national security emergency.

This event is for: Alumni, Students, Staff, Faculty, Parents and Families and Public

Sponsored By: Religious Studies

Categories: Front Page Events, Featured Events and Campus Events