The Armstrong Lecture

The Armstrong Lectures at Kalamazoo College are made possible by the Homer J. Armstrong Endowment in Religion. Established in 1969 in honor of Dr. Homer J. Armstrong, eminent pastor and long-time trustee of Kalamazoo College. The fund was provided through the generosity of numerous friends of the College.

The Fall 2021 Armstrong Lecture

Wednesday, October 27, 2021
7:00pm EST
Olmsted Room, Mandelle Hall

This year’s guest speaker is Dr. Andrea R. Jain.

Andrea R. Jain, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Indianapolis, editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and author of Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Oxford 2014) and Peace Love Yoga: The Politics of Global Spirituality (Oxford, 2020). She received her doctorate degree in religious studies from Rice University in 2010. Her areas of research include religion and capitalism; global spirituality and modern yoga; gender, sexuality, and religion; and theories of religion.


Predation: Capitalism, Religion, and the Consumable

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused enormous suffering all over the world. In scholarship on religion moving forward, we should address the forces behind that suffering as well as that related to devastating natural events, from flooding and hurricanes to tornadoes and forest fires, all of which are increasingly becoming the norm. This means addressing how the capitalist pursuit of profit and power results in rampant disregard for the natural world, non-human animals, people of color, and women, and how that has simultaneously facilitated and been exacerbated by pandemic and environmental devastation. How does religion feature in capitalism’s viciously predatory disposition toward non-human animals and the natural world? In turn, how do the same religious discourses that uphold gendered, heterosexist, and racist structures of oppression feature in capitalist industries that profit off of non-human animals and threaten the environment (the effects of which disproportionately affect women and people of color), such as industrial animal agriculture? How do animalizing discourses link exploitative and expropriative economic activity, social injustice, and environmental injustice, and what role does religion play in doing the kinds of cultural work associated with that linkage?

The lecture is free and open the public

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Past Guest Lecturers

2021, February 23: Dr. Amanullah De Sondy
2019, May 7: Dr. Robert Orsi
2018, March 5: Dr. Judith Weisenfeld
2017, February 15: Dr. Tisa Wenger
2016, May 4: Dr. Sufia Uddin
2015, May 13: Dr. Kathryn Lofton
2014, May 15: Dr. Pamela Klassen
2013, April 10: Dr. Karen King
2012, May 14: Dr. Ann Taves
2010, October 21: Dr. David Hackett
2010, February 15: Dr. Wendy Dongier
2008, May 01: Dr. Emilie M. Townes
2006, October 12: Dr. Vasudha Narayanan
2005, November 3: Dr. Bernard McGinn