The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

FundingGC Events

April 18 The Committee for the Study of Religion: Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships and Mid-career Faculty Fellowships

The Committee for the Study of Religion is conducting the following Fellowship searches for the 2016–2017 academic year:

  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships: includes $10,000 for the academic year; for doctoral candidates at the Graduate Center
  • Mid-career Faculty Fellowships: includes 2 course releases for the academic year; for faculty at CUNY campuses.

You can find information regarding the theme, deadline, and participation guidelines below. For the application instructions and details for the fellowships, see the attached document or visit our website. Please send any questions regarding the applications to


The Committee for the Study of Religion invites applications from recently tenured-faculty and from CUNY doctoral students to participate in a research seminar on the theme “Secularization and Modernity”. The deadline for both Doctoral Student and Mid-Career Faculty Applications is Monday, April 18 at 11:59pm.

The Committee program consists of a regular weekly seminar on Wednesdays (12:30–2:00pm) supplemented by reading groups, occasional workshops, and conferences. This broad theme is designed to attract graduates and faculty across the broad spectrum of the humanities and social sciences, and thus weekly seminars are intended to have a multidisciplinary composition. Participants will present works in-progress. In previous years, work from the seminar has often been published.

Secularization and Modernity: Social and Religious Pluralism
The annual theme (2016-2017) for the seminar series for the Committee for the Study of Religion is the analysis of what has been the dominant theme not just of sociology but to a large extent of the humanities from the end of the nineteenth century. The questions confronting social science and humanities have been: what is modernity? What are the processes that have produced the modern world? When did modernity actually start? It has been assumed that modern societies would be secular, and that religion would come to play only a marginal and modest role in the lives of individuals and the societies in which they live. This view has been challenged (at least over the last two decades) with growing recognition of the role of ‘public religions’. To give one example from contemporary America, debates about abortion, same-sex marriage and homosexuality have dominated law and politics, and these issues have involved religious groups in public contestation. Perhaps most interesting has been the view that modernity in fact has a long history with deep origins in many different civilizations.

The second component of the theme for the seminar concerns the growing religious and social diversity of secular societies. With the globalization of labour markets, religious minorities become a more common feature of societies that have been historically and culturally more or less homogeneous. With growing religious diversity, there are important questions about the ability of secular citizenship to accommodate new forms of pluralism such as legal pluralism. Many attempts to ‘update’ liberalism by John Rawls, Charles Taylor and Jurgen Habermas have characterized modern social and political theory. What are the sources of an overlapping consensus of fundamental beliefs?

Throughout the 2016-17 Academic Year, the Committee will explore these and related questions through our weekly seminars, public talks, and other activities.

We thus welcome applications from faculty and doctoral candidates for whom the question of secularism, modernity, and religious pluralism figures in some significant way in their research. We are interested in scholars from any field whose thinking crosses traditional academic boundaries and whose work is empirically rich and theoretically informed.

Guidelines for Fellow Participation
Fellows will be expected to participate in the weekly Committee seminar, held Wednesday afternoons from 12:30-2:00 at The Graduate Center. Ability to attend seminars is a prerequisite of eligibility. Fellows will be expected to present their work in either the fall or spring semester. Seminars will thus include presentations by fellows, talks by visitors and readings from prescribed texts. Fellows are also expected to do their best to attend corresponding public events on the theme of secularization and modernity that will take place throughout the year.


For Application Instructions and Details, please visit our website our see the attachment. Send any questions to

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