College of Charleston to Host Religious Studies Conference

News Briefs

The College of Charleston Department of Religious Studies will host the 2024 American Academy of Religion-Southeast annual conference March 1-4, 2024.

The College of Charleston Department of Religious Studies will host the 2024 American Academy of Religion-Southeast (AAR-SE) annual conference March 1-4, 2024.

Scholars of religion from peer institutions all across the Southeast will converge on the Holy City and the CofC campus for a weekend of dynamic programming featuring paper panels, films and invited speakers centered around the theme of “Tensions” – in politics, social justice and DEI initiatives. The keynote speaker is Matthew Cressler, former professor of religious studies at the College and a scholar of religion, race and culture. The conference will highlight the religious studies department’s academic excellence and give several religious studies students the opportunity to present research papers. 

“This conference will be an amazing opportunity to showcase our beautiful campus and outstanding department, no doubt,” says Lenny Lowe, assistant professor of religious studies, who serves as president of the AAR-SE, alongside its vice president, Brennan Keegan, assistant professor of religious studies. “But it will also be an incredible opportunity for our students to participate in the kinds of scholarly work that happens outside the classroom.”

Alyssa Dukes, a senior majoring in religious studies, will present her paper, “Navigating the Paradox: Religion’s Dual Influence on LGBTQ+ Individuals,” in the conference’s Sexuality, Gender and Religion session. And Luke Shaw, a senior majoring in English and minoring in religious studies, will present his paper, “Holy Spirits and Holy Drugs: Christian Drug Use and the Condemnation of Addicts” in the session titled, Controversies? In Religious Studies.

“I’m excited to share my research with religious studies students and scholars from both my university and outside of it,” says Dukes, adding that the “conference provides a unique opportunity to hear perspectives from students across the Southeast, learning more about what is going on in the sphere of religious studies and broaden my perspective. It will be enriching to hear what other students are passionate about in religious studies!”

Registration is free for College of Charleston faculty, staff and students with proof of a valid Cougar Card. To register for the conference, visit the RELSE website.

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