News

The end of public religions in America?


24 July 2013

Bryan Turner Lecture
Recent surveys show people who identify as having 'no religion' has grown to around 20 percent in the US. [Image: Flickr/Mark Sardella, used under the Creative Commons licence].

Professor Bryan S Turner from City University, New York, will deliver a public lecture at the University of Sydney on Tuesday 30 July called, "The End of Public Religions in America: Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party politics, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, abortion, Shari'a and the growth of no religion".

This lecture will ask: is America becoming like northern European societies in terms of secularisation? It will look at what is arguably the failure of the Moral Majority agenda to capture American politics, illustrated by the slow and complex acceptance in mainstream politics of homosexuality in the military, in the Boy Scouts, and public life.

Professor Turner's lecture will also point to the spread of legislation in support of same-sex marriage, and the limited success of creationism. After President Barack Obama's second electoral victory, it appears the Republican party is abandoning the Tea Party and embracing Democratic strategies, he says.

Recent surveys show people who identify as having 'no religion' has grown to around 20 percent in the US. People who identify their category as 'spirituality' rather than 'religion' has also grown.

Bryan S Turner is the Presidential Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Committee on Religion at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. This lecture is co-hosted by the Law and Society Research Network in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Sydney Institute of Criminology in Sydney Law School.

Professor Turner's publications in the sociology of religion include Religion and Modern Society (2011), and The Religious and the Political (2013).

He is currently editing the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory and his current research projects are on Shari'a in the USA and Australia, Occupy Wall Street, the assimilation of Muslims in the West, and the same-sex marriage debate in New Zealand and Australia.


Event details

What: The End of Public Religions in America: Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party politics, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, abortion, Shari'a and the growth of no religion, a public lecture by Professor Bryan S Turner from City University, New York

When: 6 to 8pm, Tuesday 30 July (registration and refreshments from 5.30pm)

Where: New Law Building, Camperdown Campus

Cost: Free

Register online or by contacting 02 9351 0323 or law.events@sydney.edu.au

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Contact: Jacqueline Chowns

Phone: 02 9036 5404; 0434 605 018

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