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Applications for Seminar on Debates about Religion and Sexuality

From June 5 to 14, 2012, Harvard Divinity School will host the Seminar on Debates about Religion and Sexuality. This seminar is for scholars, other writers, religious leaders, and public advocates who are working on a first large project in which they hope to change the terms of current debates around religions and sexuality. For scholars, this project would be either a doctoral dissertation or a first book. For other writers, religious leaders, and public advocates, it might be a first book, though it might also be a new curriculum, series of public presentations, or media piece.

The seminar understands both “religion” and “sexuality” broadly. Though its staff will have done specialized work mostly in “Western” religious traditions and expressions of sexuality, participants’ projects may cover a wide range of religions and sexual cultures. The seminar welcomes various methods in religious studies and theology, from the most focused ethnography or local history to the grandest policy proposal or normative argument. It is also interested in projects about media communication, public policy, religious advocacy, and religious education. It especially seeks the participation of writers from outside the United States.

The seminar will be directed by Mark D. Jordan, Richard Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School. Faculty from Harvard University and other institutions or organizations will lead sessions in their areas of expertise. Large portions of the seminar’s time will be devoted to discussing participants’ writing in workshop format.

The seminar is limited to twelve participants. Harvard Divinity School will pay for their travel to Cambridge and their lodging and meals during the seminar.

Applicants to the seminar should be working on a dissertation, a first book, or a similar large-scale writing project that is centrally concerned with religion and sexuality.

Applications are due February 1, 2012. Invitations to the seminar will be issued by February 15. Details of the application and further information about the program are available online at

Questions may be directed to rsseminar(at) or to the Religion and Sexuality Seminar, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

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