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April 5: Sociology expert to give talk on American secularism

FREDERICK, Md.—A leading sociologist who has written several books on religion and politics will give a lecture on American secularism at Hood College April 5.

Jacques Berlinerblau, Ph.D., professor and director of the program for Jewish civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, will deliver his talk, “Freedom of, and from, Religion: Understanding the American Secular Tradition,” at 7 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall. He will discuss what American secularism is and its relevance to issues including women’s reproductive freedoms, civil rights of LGBT communities and political policymaking.

He has published five books, the most recent being “How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom,” which is now on sale at the Hood College bookstore. He will hold a book signing for this following his lecture.

His previous works include “Thumpin’ It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today’s Presidential Politics,” “The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously,” “Heresy in the University: The Black Athena Controversy and the Responsibilities of American Intellectuals” and “The Vow and the ‘Popular Religious Groups’ of Ancient Israel: A Philological and Sociological Inquiry.”

Berlinerblau has also published articles on a wide variety of issues ranging from the composition of the Hebrew Bible, to the sociology of heresy, to modern Jewish intellectuals, to African-American and Jewish-American relations. His articles on these and other subjects have appeared in several journals.

At the New School for Social Research in New York City, he earned a doctorate in sociology in 1999 and a master’s degree in sociology in 1993. At New York University, he earned a doctorate in Hebrew and Judaic studies in 1991, a master’s degree in Hebrew and Judaic studies in 1988 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1986.

For more information, contact Diane Wise at