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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Religion in Popular and Political Cultures

An Undergraduate Discussion Lunch with Professor David Chidester, University of Cape Town

Tuesday, April 2, 12:30-2 p.m.
Harlos House (1331 E. Tenth St.)
SIGN-UP REQUIRED: See details below

IU Alumna Libby Baney What do sports, Coca-Cola, and rock 'n' roll have in common? They are all used as examples of theoretical models for the study of religion by religious studies professor David Chidester. What role did religion play in making apartheid possible and bringing about its end? What role does religion play in making violence—against others or oneself—possible? in preventing it? What counts as religion? What makes a religion authentic? Along with being the director of the Institute for Comparative Religion in Southern Africa at the University of Cape Town, Chidester has authored or edited more than 20 books in North American studies, South African studies, and comparative religion. His book, Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown, which was published by the Indiana University Press, explores the "layers of strategic denial" that participants in the mass suicide-murder experienced in 1978 that claimed more than 900 lives. Other major publications include Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture; Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa; and Wild Religion: Tracking the Sacred in South Africa.

Join David Chidester for lunch and a discussion of his work on religion in American and South African cultures! The conversation can range as widely as your interests.

SIGN-UP INFO: If you are interested in attending this undergraduate lunch, please check your schedule to make sure you are available for the entire event and e-mail Anna Duquaine (, indicating you wish to sign up for the "Chidester" program and include your name, e-mail address, year in school, and field(s) of study. Space is limited so we will let you know by e-mail if a space was available when you replied. The supper is co-sponsored by the Wells Scholars Program.

David Chidester will also deliver a public speech as part of the Institue for Advanced Study's Branigin Lecture series on:

-"Wild Religion: Sacrifice, Sports, and Sovereignty in South Africa"
Wednesday, April 3, 7 p.m., Woodburn Hall 120

Spring 2013 Programs | Extracurricular Home