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Reformation and Racial Taxonomies: An Underexplored Narrative of Modernity


Sep 28, 2017

1350 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 Map

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Sperry Room, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Ave.
Thu., Sep. 28, 2017, 5:15 – 6:45 p.m.

This year's Dudleian Lecture, “Reformation and Racial Taxonomies: An Underexplored Narrative of Modernity,” is presented by Dr. Paul C.H. Lim, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity and Associate Professor of Religious Studies Vanderbilt University.

What did the Reformation have to do with the construction and consolidation of racial categories that abide with us, even to this day? How does that affect one’s ontological and sacramental status: can that person be baptized? If so, would that make that baptized person now a “brother and sister” in Christ? In what possible ways is Charlottesville, Virginia of 2017 connected with Valladolid, Spain of 1550?

The Reformation—both Catholic and Protestant—unleashed powerful dynamics for sweeping and epochal changes: religious, political, social and cultural in Europe and, indeed, much beyond. This lecture will shift the focus to “much beyond,” by looking at the sacramental politics and theological anthropologies of two early-modern figures, one Catholic and the other Protestant: Bartolomé de Las Casas and Morgan Godwyn.

The connection between Reformation and modernity will be explored through the lens of how the racial and religious “others” were scrutinized, classified, and categorized by looking at a crucial juncture in post-Tridentine Catholicism and late-seventeenth century Anglicanism.

Please note that a workshop entitled "Reformation: Dialogue and Identity" will be held the following day, September 29.

Gazette Classification: Lecture, Religion
Sponsor: HDS Dean's Office and Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Contact: Office for Academic Affairs and Dean's Office: 617.495.4513

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