Religion and Nation
With the death of Jacques Derrida at the end of 2004, theorists and literary critics alike asked themselves if they were witnessing the death of theory, and if not, what theoretical trend might develop to usher theory into the twenty-first century. Recently Stanley Fish wrote, "When Jacques Derrida died I was called by a reporter who wanted to know what would succeed high theory and the triumvirate of race, gender, and class as the center of intellectual energy in the academy. I answered like a shot: religion."
The study of religion as an academic approach—not merely as a relic of mystification or a refusal of intellect—is becoming an increasingly important avenue of critical inquiry. And as John Caputo, Talal Asad, Jeffrey Stout, and others have demonstrated, a more refined notion of the study of religion demands an even closer examination of the interconnectedness between religion and nation. The 2006 NEXUS Interdisciplinary Conference will contribute to this burgeoning "center of intellectual energy" of which Fish speaks by examining the intersections of religion with politics, theory, and art.