The team at the Portland Center for Public Humanities will work on a research project called “Currencies of the Religious and the Secular.” This title is meant to capture several different sets of concerns that grow from the intensity of both religious life and secular market ideologies in North America. On one level, “currency” refers to flow, allowing an exploration of the circulation of religious and secular energies or practices in and through one another's domains. The idea here is to explore counterintuitive interdependencies of religion and secularism. “Currencies” can also refer to the deep relationship of both religion and secularism to value forms that may take on an economic significance or a connection to the marketplace. Finally, “currency” will also suggest an attention to historical trajectories (currents) that lead to the contemporary (or current) shape of these broader themes.
On Halloween afternoon, 2014, the Portland Center for Public Humanities at Portland State University hosted a conversation between two of the most eminent thinkers of our time: Professors Slavoj Zizek and Jean-Pierre Dupuy.