CFP -- America's Unexceptional Christian Nationalism (July 23–27, Baltimore, MD)

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The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies ( in Baltimore invites scholars and pro-democracy activists to submit proposals on the topic of:


America’s Unexceptional Christian Nationalism: Democratic Lessons from Other Contexts

American democracy is in crisis: rickety democratic structures built haphazardly over two centuries are swaying in the face of authoritarian, racist, and anti-pluralistic threats. One need look no further than January 6, 2021 and the near-upheaval of the 2020 presidential election to see the profound dilemma we face. And threaded through America’s present-day crisis is a layer of “Christian nationalism” that some have chosen to treat as a sui generis phenomenon.

This seminar will bring together scholars and practitioners to look outside the U.S. context—or at least the usual and established locations of “best practice” in the U.S.—to consider possible new approaches, including through interracial and interreligious coalitions, to address religious nationalism and to strengthen democratic institutions and systems. Instead of perpetuating claims of American exceptionalism, this seminar (and eventual book) aims to look squarely at the American crisis through other lenses and other models, inviting scholars and activists working together on the front line of democratic crises globally to offer important insights.


We invite proposals for possible/eventual publication that address the question:

  • Drawing lessons from other global contexts, what are constructive ways that Christians and non-Christians based in the U.S. (scholars, religious leaders, activists, etc.) can address the growing threat of American Christian nationalism and white supremacy?


Approaches to this question might include (but are not limited to):

  • Challenging American Christian nationalism from non-Christian, but still U.S.-based perspectives.
  • Non-academic (i.e., activist, community organizing, etc.) models of positive engagement between religious communities and democratic systems both in and outside of the U.S. 
  • Successful examples of partnerships between scholars/academic research and democratic activists/organizing, where scholarship has positively and pragmatically contributed to organizing efforts. 
  • Addressing the dilemma of American Christian nationalism using national and regional experiences and perspectives from outside of the U.S., including: 
    • Examples of constructive interracial and interreligious pro-democracy coalitions, their constituent elements, and successful strategies.
    • Paradigms for equipping religious actors with tools for addressing religious nationalism and extremism within their own communities.
    • Proven contextual models for defanging religious radicalism and religious ethno-nationalism. 
    • Case studies in collaborations between religious and secular-defined actors for strengthening democracy.


Those proposals that are selected will be invited to Baltimore in July 2023 to participate in ICJS' second annual Faculty Seminar, a funded research conference. The seminar will be co-facilitated by Susan Hayward (Harvard Divinity School) and Matthew D. Taylor (ICJS).

The seminar will be conducted (in person) in Baltimore, MD: Sunday July 23 - Thursday July 27th, 2023

Travel, food, and lodging will be reimbursed by ICJS. Spending limits will apply.  

The deadline for submission of proposals is March 15, 2023.

Further details about the seminar and guidelines for proposals can be found at

Inquiries and questions about this program can be sent to Matthew D. Taylor at