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Across the Normative Divide: Religion, Race, and Justice in America

May 26, 2022 (All day) to May 27, 2022 (All day)
Stanford University. If you have registered for in-person participation (now closed), you will have received an email with the location. If you did not receive this email, please email

Register to attend on Zoom here.

It often feels as if scholars of American religious history and scholars of religion, ethics, and politics are a world apart: the “normative divide.” Put simply, some see their work as primarily descriptive, while others see their work as more prescriptive. Our goal is to create space for conversations between scholars working on religion and race in America from various fields and methodologies to push the boundaries of our respective disciplines and enrich our public-facing work. Can historians make responsible ethical claims about the past’s bearing on the present? Can ethicists and ethnographers use historical material in ways that historians would find compelling? And how can conversations across the "normative divide" further our work toward racial justice in America?

Events that are open to the public:

Thursday, May 26:

4:30-5:30pm PST - Roundtable: What is the "normative divide"? How does it manifest in our fields and in our work?

Friday, May 27:

1:30-4:30pm PST - Primary source panels/conversations "across the normative divide"

4:30-5:30pm PST - Roundtable: Why do we do what we do in the way(s) that we do it?

Participants include: Natalie Avalos, Vaughn Booker, Melissa Borja, Fadeke Castor, Matthew Dougherty, Jennifer Graber, Rachel Gross, Vincent Lloyd, Kathryn Gin Lum, Jonathan Tran, Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh, & Joseph Winters

Organized by Vincent Lloyd (Villanova) and Kathryn Gin Lum (Stanford)

Event Sponsor: 
American Religions in a Global Context Initiative at Stanford, Center for Political Theology at Villanova, Political Theology Network, Department of Religious Studies at Stanford, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford
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