In this chapel talk on Apr 9, 2019 at St Paul’s School in Concord, NH, I share with students three keys to being resilient.
Call for Papers: Second Annual Political Theology Network Conference Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, New York, NY October 17-19, 2019
Plenary Speakers: Michelle Alexander, Gil Anidjar, Lap Yan Kung, Najeeba Syeed
We invite proposals of 200-300 words for projects exploring political theology, broadly understood as an interdisciplinary conversation about intersections of religious and political ideas and practices. Under the sign of “political theology” political theorists have reflected on analogies between political and theological sovereignty, theologians have reflected on the role of memory and hope in political engagement, and cultural theorists have performed ideology critique. We are looking for projects that may draw on but also challenge and transform such classic conversations about political theology.
We embrace the vibrant scholarly and activist work being done under the sign of political theology around the world, particularly in contexts of domination. African, Arab, Asian, and Latinx political theological traditions interrogate discourses around “sacred” and “profane” bodies. Indigenous activists organize to dismantle the anthropocentricism and “civilizing mission” of settler states. Scholars of secularism explore the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in India. Black Muslim intellectuals theorize the power of popular protest and the religious nature of #BlackLivesMatter. Anti-colonial theologians from across the globe discuss abolition, anarchy, statelessness, and “higher laws.” Still others invite us to imagine “the end of the world.”
We aim to bring together scholars, activists, and artists working with ethnographic, theoretical, theological, legal, historical, literary, and cultural studies methods motivated by a concern for justice. We are particularly interested in proposals that speak to the following themes:
gender and sexualities
citizenship, migration, place and displacement
colonialisms (including settler colonialism and relations between settlers and Indigenous peoples)
critical disability studies
technologies and artificial intelligence
fictions and poetics
public scholarship and creative pedagogies
religious nationalisms and religious pluralities
Proposals that address these themes from diverse global and religious perspectives are especially welcome. We invite five different presentation formats:
Paper presentation or pre-arranged papers panel (we anticipate allotting 90 minutes for each panel)
Dialogue or roundtable around a single theme (roundtables that include a combination of academics,
activists, and representatives of the community are strongly encouraged)
Activist workshop (e.g. teach-in, facilitated conversation, skills-building session, etc.)
Performative piece (e.g. poem, spoken word, music, drama, dance, film, digital media, creative fiction
readings, etc.) (Please submit either a general description of the piece or the performative work itself. Please also indicate any preferences for room and A/V setup.).
This conference, hosted by Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, is also funded by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. It hosts a professional network connecting scholars of political theology across varying fields and traditions, and we are eager for proposals to advance conversations about what political theology could look like both in and outside the academy.
Submit proposals to Winfield Goodwin, PTN Conference Coordinator at email@example.com
Proposals Due June 1, 2019
Here’s a video of the lecture I gave on March 22, 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania, hosted by the Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. I spoke on how the generation of interest and the generation of children have been conflated and compared at different points in history in various theological and philosophical systems. Maybe one way to resist the onslaught and power of debt in society today is to tease out and separate these interconnections, and undercut the associations between debt and reproduction.
I recently engaged in dialogue with D. Stephen Long, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at Southern Methodist University, about my recent book, Divine Currency. Long offered his review of the book in Marginalia: LA Review of Books, entitled, “Can Christians Be Capitalists?” Given the challenges and critiques he raises, I provided a response, “The Anxiety of Influence.” Check out the exchange!
Very excited about my upcoming lecture at UPenn. Hosted by the Collegium Institute and co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Penn PPE, the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society. To be held in a lecture hall at Wharton.
I look forward to the conversation!
This lecture explores how understandings of debt and interest are bound up with assumptions about what counts as reproduction, and how both interest and reproduction reflect anxieties about the scarcity of life and resources. Drawing on alternative labor theories, the paper examines what it means to say that money works to produce more of itself, and whether recent anti-work interventions offer productive insights for reining in the proliferation of debt. Ultimately, a reconsideration of the centrality of productive labor to human identity may provide resources for challenging the centrality of productive, debt-based finance to our economic imaginations.
Prefer to listen to my lecture on “Greed and God” in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, rather than watch the video? Check out the audio track here on Soundcloud. This also has the advantage of containing the entire QnA, which was cut off on the video.
This video is an edited down version of my participation on a panel at Harvard Divinity School on Christianity, Race, and Mass Incarceration, showing my contribution to the discussion. October 20th, 2017.
I recently participated in a book event for Adam Kotsko’s Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of Late Capital. Read my entry and the many great reviews, in addition to Kotsko’s response, here.
I recently spoke with Eliana de Castro, editor of the Brazilian online magazine of art and literature, Fausto. She asked my about my book, Divine Currency, as well as the relation of religion and economics to Islamophobia in the West. Read it in Portuguese here, or pop it into your favorite online translator.
I’m often struck by how little I see written about Gen Xers (1965-1980) in the workplace or Gen X leadership. There is, of course, a ton on our younger siblings, the Millennials (1981-1996), and still plenty coming out on our aging Boomer (1946-1964) parents. There’s even a lot of coverage on the tense relationship between those two!
We Xers seem to have been left out of things, which, of course, totally fits our life experience.
But why fail to consider the important challenges faced and contributions made by GenXers in the workplace?
I’m sure there are a few books out there that I’m missing on this topic, but here’s a quick and dirty list of five things that Gen Xers bring to leadership, the workplace, and organizations in general:
May 22, 2018
In this TCM mini-episode, we hear a short talk given by Devin Singh last November as part of the Race, Coloniality and Philosophy of Religion Unit at AAR in Boston. Devin has recently written a book Divine Currency: The Theological Power of Money in the West. We'll hear more about that in an upcoming episode... Stay tuned.
Dec 4, 2018
In this public lecture, for “Radboud Reflects,” a program hosted by Radboud University, Nijmegen, I explain some of the main themes from my book, Divine Currency, and ask how God and greed may be more closely related than we assume.
This summer I received word that I had been selected to participate in a Luce Foundation-funded project called Public Theologies of Technology and Presence, administered through the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley.
My project, “Decentered Sovereignties and Spectral Transactions: Cryptocurrency, Public Theology, and the Ethics of Presence” will examine the hidden ethical vision of cryptocurrency and evaluate its potential impact on community. Click the link to learn more!
The Briefing, Powered by Dartmouth
May 5, 2018
Money is significant in Western culture, and as the saying goes, money is power. But how did it become such a central part of Western life? Dartmouth’s Devin Singh examines the religious and theological sources of money’s influence in his new book Divine Currency: The Theological Power of Money in the West.
The Briefing Powered By Dartmouth on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121. Airs Saturdays at 8am EST, rebroadcast Sundays at 6am and 7pm EST. A lively hour dissecting the history, facts and perspectives shaping this week's news.
Sirius Radio’s legal prevents me from posting the whole thing but feel free to message me for a file of the entire interview for your personal use.
Last year I was interviewed by a Dartmouth student and this profile was recently published. Click the image for a link to a readable online version!
As an extension of his fight against racist laws at home, Martin Luther King Jr. became increasingly critical of US policies abroad. Indeed, many speculate that King’s progressively strident critique of US militarism and intervention, particularly in Vietnam, and his challenge to American market priorities were factors that accelerated plans for his assassination—the 50th anniversary of which we recently marked as a nation. Among his many detractors were white clergy who, already incensed at King’s challenge to segregation and Jim Crow, were dumbfounded that he would move to oppose US warmongering and to call out the evils of capitalism. As King’s confrontation revealed, their theology was not only implicated in their racist vision of society, but also in a worldview that prioritized economic supremacy by any means necessary.
On April 4th, 1967, exactly one year to the day before he was murdered, King gathered with other religious leaders to protest the war in Vietnam at the Riverside Church in New York, where he delivered his famous sermon, “Beyond Vietnam.” As he began, King addressed his critics, those who asked, “Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?”; “Peace and civil rights don’t mix.” To such complaints, King responded: “the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment, or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.”
I was recently invited to join the Westar Institute's annual gathering in Santa Rosa, CA, as part of a new discussion in their God Seminar on decolonizing theology. Mary Keller (Wyoming), An Yountae (Northridge) and myself were asked to share reflections about theism and post-theisms in light of post- and decolonial thought. I spoke on the question of the secular in light of decolonial reflection, arguing that some notion of the secular as a space to protect difference should be preserved, and perhaps can be theologically legitimated and defended from a variety of religious and humanist traditions, suggesting that the decolonial turn may open up new perspectives on the question.
It was a lovely gathering of scholars, including Jeff Robbins, Clayton Crockett, Karen Bray, Noelle Vahanian, John Caputo, Wilson Dickinson, Jordan Miller, Michael Zbaraschuk, Sarah Morice Brubaker, and Mike Grimshaw. This was a chance for me to learn about the interesting work of the institute and seminar, and consider some of the contemporary challenges being tackled.
Since we were in prime wine country, some of us were able to sneak off to sample the local varietals.