October 14, 2023

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At the center of postmodern culture is a paradox: What Christopher Lasch analyzed as The  Culture of Narcissism (1979) that celebrates an individual’s unbounded subjectivity, found an unlikely ally in what Mark Milke calls The Victim Cult (2021) that focuses on past grievances while forsaking the future.  Both Hitler and Stalin thought of themselves as “victims.”  Their paranoia stoked fascist and communist totalitarian dictatorships punctuated by Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet Gulag chronicled by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn.  In post-World War II U.S., racial, ethnic and gender preferences had unintended consequences.  Beneficiaries who succeeded due to talent and effort would have done so without preferences, while those less-prepared often faced higher education’s revolving door.  As contributors to A Dubious Expediency (2021) conclude, such preferences damage higher education, lowering standards, resulting in demands for further leveling, and silencing of independent voices via political correctness.  But the major deleterious consequence of preferences is the retribalization of American society and resulting identity politics which now divide the Republic along ancient tribal, non-negotiable, lines. John McWhorter claims in Woke Racism (2021) that the “Elect”--self-styled gurus who demand uncompromising racial consciousness of victimhood from blacks and whites alike--propagate a new “religion” that has betrayed black America.  The question arises: Can individuals and groups in 21st-century America find common ground, renewing the culture and civil society as the precondition for community and a more perfect Union?

JIS Symposium 2023 endeavors to bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines and denominations for an exciting international conference which takes both scholarship and faith seriously.  JIS Symposium 2023: Culture & Its Discontents is co-sponsored by IIR-ICSA-JIS in the City of the Roses--the world-famous Tournament of Roses--in sunny Southern California, with many cultural & sightseeing opportunities (via Zoom).  All conference participants must pre-register.  Abstracts (250 words) due: August 15, 2023: c/o Dr. O. Gruenwald, JIS Editor, 1065 Pine Bluff Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA, per e-mail (no attachments) to: [email protected]. Include: Paper Title, First & Last Name, faculty or student, institution, mailing address, telephone & e-mail. Fully-developed papers will be considered for publication in the refereed Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies XXXVI 2024.  Web:

       Main Conference Program via Zoom:  Saturday, 14 October 2023.
       Format:  Multidisciplinary panels and papers.
       Keynote:  “Identity Politics, Natural Law and Human Dignity”
       Nalani E. Hilderman, San Diego Christian College
       Leitmotif:  In search of truth without prejudice (tao).
       Sponsors:  Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute for InterdisciplinaryResearch,     International Christian Studies Association.
       Hosted By:  Omega Graduate School.  Cindy Schmitt, Zoom Tech Director.
       Registration: Donation (tax-deductible):  Online Option via PayPal:  Use PayPal Donate
       Button on JIS Symposium 2023 web:

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August 15, 2023, 9:00am UTC

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