Project title: Beyond Secularization: Religion, Science and Technology in Public Life
Project PI’s: Gaymon Bennett; J. Benjamin Hurlbut; Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University (ASU) invites applications for up to three, full-time, fiscal-year positions for Postdoctoral Research Scholars for an interdisciplinary project that explores the intersection of religion, science, and technology in contemporary public life. Incoming scholars will receive an annual stipend of $55,000 with health benefits, plus up to $3,500 per year in research travel funds. The initial appointment is for one year with the possibility of renewal for up to one more year, contingent upon satisfactory performance, the needs of the university and availability of resources. The anticipated start date is as early as July 1, 2020 and negotiable to August 15, 2020. The project seeks to open up new areas of research in the fields of: science and technology studies, religious studies, religion and science, religion and ecology, anthropology and intellectual history.
The project seeks to document, analyze, and reflect on the interplay of science, religion and technology in the contemporary “post-secular” moment. The project will explore some of the way the categories of science, technology, religion and secularity and the boundaries between them are conceived, enacted and/or problematized in public life. The project is organized around three central research areas: (a) imaginations of “progress” and “innovation” that have informed science and technology in the public/political sphere; (b) communities and cultures of innovation in which hybridized notions of techno-scientific and spiritual progress shape social forms and practices; and (c) new religious/spiritual subjectivities, identities, and movements that frame social possibilities for and constraints upon new and alternative imagination of progress.
Empirical research will focus on national and international public debates about human integrity and dignity in relation to emerging biotechnology; spiritual ideas and commitments, both tacit and explicit, that animate high-technology innovation in Silicon Valley and other innovation enclaves; and forms of post-secular spirituality that seek to re-enchant self and nature by assimilating or appropriating elements of science and technology in religious environmental movements and in ideas and figures in the spiritual wellbeing movement who connect science directly to spirituality .
The postdoctoral research scholar will be expected to participate as an active member of the research group associated with the project. This will entail:
- Conducting research both independently and collaboratively with the PIs that advances the aims of the project;
- Participating in and presenting research in regular meetings of the research group;
- Producing publications and presenting research in academic settings such as professional conferences;
- Contributing to the organization of public and outreach activities related to the project; and
- Contributing to efforts to seek additional external funding to support project research.
There is no teaching requirement for this position, although there is an option to teach one class if desired.
ASU is committed to inclusive, equitable and team-oriented work environment that promotes the candidate’s career and personal advancement. The Beyond Secularization Project is located in the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict which offers a supportive and stimulating intellectual environment as well as a diverse collection of faculty with expertise in related field. In addition to participating in the required activities of the project, the Postdoctoral Research Scholar will be able to participate in conferences, public lectures and outreach activities of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict as well as activities of related academic units at ASU (e.g., Institute for Humanities Research, Global Futures Initiative, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Center for Science and Imagination, and the Beyond Institute).