Baylor Professor to Lecture on Desecularization of Russia and China

November 5, 2008

by Lauren Venegas, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Dr. Christopher Marsh, associate professor of political science and church-state studies, director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies and director of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society at Baylor University will present a lecture on "The Desecularization of Russia and China" at 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6 in Draper 116 on the Baylor Campus. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Global Issues Lecture Series and presented by the Center for International Education.

Dr. Marsh's expertise is in religion, politics, and society, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia. His particular interests include religion and ethnic conflict, religious liberty in transition societies and the dialogue between the sociology of religion and the field of church-state studies.

"The topic of desecularization of Russia and China is interesting because until a couple of decades ago, it was thought that the more technologically advanced the world became, the more religion would decline and humanity would basically become secular," said Dr. Lilly Souza-Fuertes, coordinator of the Global Issues Series and director of Latin American studies at Baylor. "The contrary has happened--since the end of the 20th century, religion has reemerged, especially through grassroots movements and we have seen a rise in Pentecostalism, fundamentalism and liberation theology."

Dr. Marsh is the author or editor of eight books, including Orthodoxy, Islam, and Church-State Relations in Russia (with Wallace Daniel and Peter L. Berger), and he has published numerous articles in such places as Religion, State & Society; Nationalism and Ethnic Politics; Society; and Journal of Church and State.

"It will be interesting to hear Dr. Marsh's perspective on what has happened in Russia and China," Fuertes said. "He is an excellent speaker and it will be not only a pleasure to hear him speak, but those in attendance will gain a new perspective on religion in this area of the world."
For more information on the Global Issues lecture series contact Souza-Fuertes at (254) 710-4531.