Gaston Espinosa to Serve as Keynote for Conference in Europe

Gaston Espinosa, assistant professor of religious studies, will serve as a key discussant and presenter for a three-day, international conference in Europe on Religion and the Americas, sponsored by the American Studies Program at the University of Paris.

Espinosa, co-editor of Latino Religions and Civic Activism in the United States (Oxford, 2006) and Rethinking Latino Religion and Identity (Pilgrim Press, 2006), will first present a scholarly paper on Demographic Shifts in U.S. Latino Religions on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the University of Paris, France. He is one of two American scholars participating in the multi-day, interdisciplinary conference that will also include speakers from France and throughout Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, with papers in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Espinosa will then give a keynote lecture on Thursday, Nov. 22, Demographic Shifts in U.S. Latino Religions and Politics, at the prestigious Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, one of Europe's premier social science institutes. Espinosa's presentations will examine the seismic impact of demographic shifts in U.S. Latino religions on American religions and the U.S. political scene. "Most Hispanic Catholics and Protestants have voted Democrat up until this last election, when George W. Bush made significant in-roads through the faith community," Espinosa says.

The CMC professor, co-editor with Mario T. Garcia from the University of California, Santa Barbara, of Mexican American Religions: Spirituality, Activism and Culture (spring 2007, Duke University Press), and editor of the forthcoming Religion and the American Presidency (Columbia University Press, 2008), says he was invited to participate by the conference director, who has been "reading from a distance my published papers about demographic shifts and politics."

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