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Book Manuscript Workshops

 A forum for scholars to review and discuss forthcoming books on religion that are poised to make a public impact.  

Elizabeth Armstrong for book lectures “When [Professor Ecklund] first invited me to participate in the Books in Public Scholarship on Religion workshop, I considered it an honor to have the opportunity to comment on Wendy Cadge’s manuscript. After spending a day and a half at Rice, it became clear that the experience was a great privilege as well. This sort of event is all too rare in academia—consider that the typical academic conference session affords a scant twelve minutes or so to present new work. Here, we had a full day to talk in depth and at length about a work in progress, to influence its shape and direction, to interact with leading scholars in the field, and to learn from each other’s perspectives. It was especially exciting for me, as a sociologist of medicine, who read [Professor Cadge’s] book through that lens, to learn how my colleagues in the sociology of religion interpreted her findings. This is a model innovation that should be replicated far and wide.”

Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong
Associate Professor of Sociology
Princeton University


Workshop featuring John Schmalzbauer’s work, The Return of Religion on Campus

 November 5, 2011

schmalzbauer for book eventsWith input from invited scholars and Houston community members, John Schmalzbauer, the Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Missouri State University, came away with valuable feedback on his and Kathleen Mahoney’s forthcoming book, Religion: A Comeback on Campus. While Schmalzbauer appreciated the “tone and constructiveness” of the event, other participants appreciated the potential for the book to change the way we view religion and its place on university campuses. Events like this help advance the RPLP’s goal of generating and facilitating important research on religion and public life. As RPLP Director, Elaine Howard Ecklund reflected, “there are few chances in the academy to get together a group of people to have positive critique and conversation about a manuscript before it goes out the door.”

Event featuring Paging God by Wendy Cadge

December 4, 2010

Paging God Wendy CadgeInvited guests and scholars from the Houston community discussed the manuscript for the upcoming book, Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine by Wendy Cadge, an associate professor and sociologist of religion and medicine at Brandeis University. The book is about the formal and informal presence of religion and spirituality in hospitals, focusing in particular on the presence of religion in neonatal intensive care units. The book draws from historical and policy documents as well as more than 100 interviews she conducted with hospital chaplains, nurses, and physicians in large academic medical centers around the country. According to Cadge, “The Books in Public Scholarship event was a privilege. The commentators who provided feedback on my manuscript were excellent and the book will be stronger thanks to their input.”