Religion and Writing

  • Founded
  • Seminar Number

The seminar investigates the roles of literacy and writing in religious traditions.  Its goal is to serve as a research group for the comparative study of literacy and the uses of writing as a form of communication technology in world religions.  Approaching the relationship between religion and writing through the lenses of literacy and communication technology, the seminar strives to address all media – from inscriptions on stone and clay tablets to internet websites – and all literary genres – from myths and commentaries to divine revelations and hymns – as well as the theoretical and practical implications of the absence, or rejection, of writing.

Seminar Website

Dr. Mahnaz Moazami

Dr. Elizabeth Powers

Carolyn Quijano

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.



09/20/2016 Faculty House
5:00 PM
The Oral and The Textual in Mesopotamian and Biblical Law
Shalom E. Holtz, Yeshiva University

10/25/2016 Faculty House
5:00 PM
Editing and Printing the Quran in Early-Modern Europe (16th-18th Centuries)
Roberto Tottoli , Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”/Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

11/17/2016 Faculty House
5:00 PM
Publishing over Preaching: Jesuit Missionaries and Chinese Print Culture in the Seventeenth Century
Daniel Purdy , Pennsylvania State University

Notes: Please note this meeting is on a Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday.
12/06/2016 Faculty House
5:00 PM
A Metamorphosis in Christian Biography in the High Middle Ages: The Case of the Early Lives of Francis of Assisi
John W. Coakley, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

01/24/2017 Faculty House
5:00 PM
Betrayed Legacies?: A Rabbi, His Christian Disciple and an Unfinished Manuscript: The Case of Elia Benamozegh (1823-1900) and Aimé Pallière in Search of Religious Universalism
Clemence Boulouque, Columbia University

02/28/2017 Faculty House
5:00 PM
Patterning the World: The Role of Wen and Civilizational Violence in the Shang Dynasty
Roderick B. Campbell, New York University - Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

04/04/2017 Faculty House
5:00 PM
Historiographical and Archaeological Problems in Understanding Temples and Sacred Spaces in Ancient Iran
Matthew P. Canepa, University of Minnesota

Notes: This seminar is generously sponsored by the American Institute of Iranian Studies.

05/02/2017 Faculty House
5:00 PM
Scientific Authority and Jewish Law in Eighteenth-Century Italy
Debra Glasberg Gail, New York University