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


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



09/18/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:00 PM
The Annunciation: Behind the Scenes
Rachel Fulton Brown, University of Chicago

10/17/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:00 PM
Writing a History of the First Reformation: Hussites and Protestants in the Sixteenth Century
Phillip Haberkern, Boston University

01/23/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:00 PM
How Infinity Came to Be at Home in the World: The Contribution of Eighteenth-Century German Religious Poetry to a Modern Scientific and Theological Paradigm Shift
John H. Smith, UC Irvine

02/27/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:00 PM
J.G. Hamann, Trojan Horse of the Enlightenment
Katie Terezakis, Rochester Institute of Technology

03/22/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:00 PM
Making Books Talk: The Reception of an Andalusian Biography of the Prophet
Dagmar Anne Riedel, Marie Curie Fellow, CCHS-CSIC (Spain) and Columbia University

04/17/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:00 PM
Theological Writing and Religious Experience
Christine Helmer, Northwestern University