Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boston College Biennial Conference on the History of Religion

history department

“The Problem of Religion: Faith and Agency in History”


The fifth Boston College Biennial Conference on the History of Religion will take place on March 28-29, 2014. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Problem of Religion: Faith and Agency in History.” Conference panelists and participants will engage with ongoing scholarship in the field of religious history that considers how religious institutions, beliefs, or practices challenge our conceptions of the past while also recognizing that religion is but one of a number of forces that interact, collide, and impel human history. We will try to determine when religion has been important in human history and when it has not, and will grapple with understanding how internal matters of faith provoke and direct acts of human agency, manifest in the exercise of devotional practice, institutional power, and other arenas. Our presenters and attendees will also consider the most appropriate ways to contemplate, research, and write about faith, belief, and agency during what some intellectuals argue is a secular age.

This conference will consider the possibilities and boundaries of using religion as a lens for understanding agency in human history. We are delighted to welcome an exciting and diverse group of scholars to Boston College to discuss topics from the medieval period to the present that touch upon the question of religion (in Christian and non-Christian forms) and agency in history.

Further information about the conference schedule, registration, accommodation, and directions to campus is available by following the links below. If you have any additional questions please contact the Conference Organizing Committee at

Conference Schedule: Please click here



Directions to Boston College: