Current Visiting Scholars and Resident Fellows

Visiting Scholars

The CSWR welcomes the following Visiting Scholars for the 2018–19 academic year:

Titus Corlăţean, Ph.D., is a legal scholar, diplomat, lawmaker, and educator. He holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Bucharest, and has conducted advanced studies in International Relations and Diplomacy at the International Institute for Public Administration in Paris, and at the National Defense College in Bucharest. He is the author of several books in the field of human rights, and of numerous scientific papers in the fields of law, human rights, and post-Soviet secessionism. Currently, Dr. Corlățean serves as a Romanian Senator, as Chairman of the joint Committee of the Romanian Parliament for the preparation of the future Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, as Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and as First Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy/PACE. Between 2012 and 2014 Dr. Corlățean served as Romania’s Minister of Justice, and as Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University in Bucharest, Romania, where he teaches the International and European protection of Human Rights. At the Center for the Study of World Religions, Dr. Corlățean’s work will be geared toward family protection, family rights, secularism, religious freedom, ethno-religious politics, European identity, Islam, the Middle East, and related topics.

Michael Motia received his M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and his Ph.D. in religion from Harvard University, where his work focused on the formation of selfhood in late antiquity. His dissertation, “The Mimetic Life: Imitation and Infinity in Gregory of Nyssa,” examined the roles of mimesis in Greek philosophical schools and early Christian formation, especially as they related to the fourth-century bishop Gregory of Nyssa. The project highlights the mimetic names, spaces, and characters that shaped the early Christian imagination. He is currently working on articles on mystical theology and on the Syriac reception of Gregory of Nyssa, as well as a larger project on the production of space in late antiquity.

Emily M. Rose is a scholar of the Medieval and Early Modern periods. Rose’s first book,The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe was named one of the “Ten Best History Books of the Year” by the Sunday Times of London and described by the Wall Street Journal as “a landmark of historical research.” It won the prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson of the Phi Beta Kappa Association and the 2017 Albert C. Outler Prize of the American Society for Church History for the best ecumenical church history monograph or biography. She is interested in questions of contrasting historiographies and the interaction of religious, social and political life in European culture. While at the Center for the Study of World Religions she will work on the topic of “enacted identity” in Christian pedagogy and daily life, with a special focus on ritual culture and exegesis.

Michael Thate has embarked on something of a disciplinary nomadic existence since graduating with his PhD from Durham University in 2012 in Religious Studies. His first position was as a lecturer in New Testament Interpretation at Yale Divinity School, where he also was a post-doc. From there he moved to Princeton University where he again was a Lecturer but this time in ethics in the Religion Department. Michael is currently at Princeton as an Associate Research Scholar engaged in varying research projects on labor disputes in antiquity through modernity. A recent recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt award, Michael spent time between the Institut für antikes Judentum und hellenistische Religionsgeschichte at Tübingen and in the Centre international d’étude de la philosophie française contemporaine at École normale supérieure, Paris. His first book, Remembrance of Things Past? was a kind of social history of the rise of history-as-science in nineteenth and twentieth century German universities and the emergence of an “historical Jesus” discourse which came out of that. His second book, The Godman and the Sea reads varying representations of the sea in antiquity and early Christianity through the rubrics of desolation and trauma. His is currently finishing a book on smell and moral philosophy in early Christianity and late antiquity. While at HDS he will be undertaking new research on time, technology and messianism in twentieth-century philosophy.

January 2019

Carlos A. Manrique received an M.A. in Religious Studies (2004) and a Ph.D. on Philosophy of Religions (2009) from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. His Ph.D. thesis entitled Religion, subjectivity and the political in Derrida’s reading of Kant, explores how Derrida’s reading of Kant’s practical philosophy suggests challenging ways for re-opening the question regarding the passages between the religious and the political. Since 2009 he has been Professor at the Philosophy Department in the Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, where he is currently Associate Professor. His research project Religious practices, State techniques and conflicted forms of violence in Colombia’s peace-building scenarios seeks to analyze specific aspects of the complex intersections between the religious, the political and the juridical in the fragile and uncertain current transitional scenario of a post-armed conflict Colombia. In the articulation of ethnography and political theory, the project explores three interrelated paths of inquiry: first, the task of unfolding the political theology at stake in forms of radical democracy, through an attention paid to the leading role of pastoral practices of the Catholic Church in a popular uprising and civic strike that took place in the main port of Colombia’s pacific coast, in 2017. Second, through a comparative analysis of alternative institutional assemblages emerged from pastoral practices committed to the defense of social rights of marginalized communities, the project asks how these assemblages have overlap with forms of State institutionality, and examines the extent to which this overlap allows, or not, to differentiate religiously militant forms of peace-building that turn out to be instrumental to neoliberal governmental rationalities, and those which introduce alternative and dissenting forms of self-governance. Finally, the third path of inquiry employs the Foucauldian trope of care for the self and care for others to explore the contrasting processes of subjectivation and of commoning enacted in some conservative strands of evangelicalism, on the one hand, and in emancipatory forms of pastoral work committed to the defense of the “common” hand in hand with grassroots social movements. And out of this contrast evaluates the conditions and implications of these churches’ public stance vis-à-vis the implementation of the peace process agreements.

Resident Fellow

The CSWR also welcomes one Resident Fellow for the 2018-19 academic year:

Shawn Higgins recently received his MTS from Harvard Divinity School.  His research focuses on the transcultural impact of the Theosophical milieu, and the phenomena of creole religiosity. He is currently working on a narrative nonfiction manuscript that examines the occluded history of the “anonymous donors” who were responsible for the creation of The Center for the Study of World Religions.  By excavating the beliefs of the donors (and their opponents), Shawn hopes to re-appraise the impact the Theosophical Society had on the field of religious studies and religious pluralism.