We are honored to have Dr. Jose Casanova of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University as the speaker for our Biennial Michael R. Rion Lectureship. He will speak on the subject,”Between Public Sociology and Practical Theology: Reflections on a Scholarly Journey,” offering some reflections on his personal journey from “theology” to “sociology” and back, a journey that has been informed by an ever more “catholic,” that is, “universal” and “global” vocation.
Dr. Casanova is one of the world’s top scholars in the sociology of religion. He is a professor at the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University, and heads the Berkley Center’s Program on Globalization, Religion and the Secular. He has published works in a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into five languages, including Arabic and Indonesian. In 2012, Dr. Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of life-long achievement in the field of theology.
The Rion Lectureship was established to honor former Hartford Seminary President, Dr. Michael R. Rion. Dr. Rion, the first layperson to serve as president of the Seminary, is deeply committed to lay ministry and to strengthening the connection between religious faith and one’s involvement in work and community service. In 1989, after Dr. Rion’s six years as president, a fund was established in his honor to sponsor a biennial address at the Seminary to be given by a layperson who, in his/her life, embodies commitment to ministry in their daily life in a distinctive way.