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August 10, 2014

Professor Leslie Smith lectures in Germany

Professor Smith recently (July 21-25, 2014) traveled to Hannover, Germany as a member of the International Scholars Program, hosted by the Institute für Theologie und Wissenschaftsreligion at the Leibniz Universität Hanover (University of Hanover). While there she gave a public lecture over her new book and also taught a course entitled “The Politics of Fundamentalism,” which discussed both the political impact of fundamentalist movements as well as the politics underscoring the way that scholars both study and discuss them. You can see a video of her lecture here. Here’s what Dr. Smith had to say about her experience:

One of my favorite parts of teaching at the University of Hannover was the students’ response to seeing how overtly Christian fundamentalist rhetoric works its way into the American political scene. The lingering sensitivity over the power of Nazi propaganda was a very prominent part of our conversations, and this caused many of them to balk at how strong, emotional, religious language is persuasive to so many Americans. That was an excellent lesson for all of us on how deeply cultural and historical contexts can shape our perceptions about what is “reasonable” religion.”

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