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Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Weber, Religion, and Modern Manhattan.

A Horning Lecture with Jon Butler

Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Was the great German sociologist Max Weber right in 1917 when he argued that “the fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world,’” a phrase overwhelmingly taken to mean the collapse of the mysterious and the end of religion in modern times?  The lecture, “Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death,” will probe both Weber’s thinking and the history of religion in modern Manhattan to assess the acuity of Weber’s observation and explore the fate of the sacred in the capital of American secularism.

Jon Butler is Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale University and Adjunct Research Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  He grew up in rural Minnesota and earned his B.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1972) from the University of Minnesota, where in 2006 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.  His books include Power, Authority, and the Origins of American Denominational Order (Am Phil Soc, 1978; new ed. U of Ala Press, 2009), The Huguenots in America:  A Refugee People in New World Society (Harvard UP, 1983; Soloutos Prize and Chinard Prize); Awash in a Sea of Faith:  Christianizing the American People (Harvard UP, 1990; Outler Prize, the AHA Beveridge Award for Best Book in American History); Becoming America:  The Revolution Before 1776 (Harvard UP, 2000), and Religion in American Life:  A Short History, co-authored with Grant Wacker and Randall Balmer (Oxford UP, 2003; 2nd ed., 2011).  He also is the author of many articles and reviews.  He taught at California State College, Bakersfield (1971-1975), the University of Illinois at Chicago (1975-1985), and Yale University (1985-2012), where he served as Chair of the American Studies Program (1988-1993), Chair of the Department of History (1999-2004), Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (2004-2010), and Acting University Librarian (2010-2011).  In 2010 he received the Byrnes-Sewall Prize for Teaching Excellence in Yale College and the Edward Bouchet Leadership Award for Diversity and Equal Opportunity.  He is Vice President of the Organization of American Historians, Editor-in-Chief of the forthcoming online Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History, and is writing a book about religion in Manhattan from the Gilded Age to the 1960 Kennedy election, God in Gotham.


Memorial Union (campus map)
Journey Room
Robert Peckyno
robert.peckyno at oregonstate.edu
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
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