University of Pittsburgh

Department of Religious Studies

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New & Noteworthy



Beginning Spring Term 2017, undergraduate majors will be able to structure their coursework around a set of dynamic "thematic clusters." These clusters will offer majors the opportunity to delve deeply into specific questions that engage them. Whether students are most fascinated by the intersections between religion and medicine; the role that religion plays in politics, social justice or environmental concerns; the relationship between religion and creative expression; or the religious aspects of philosophical or ethical questions, the newly designed major enables the investigation of these ideas comprehensively and from a variety of perspectives. Please contact our DUS, Dr. Rachel Kranson to learn more.


May 6-7, 2016: Eastern International Region/American Academic of Religion Annual Meeting.

April 13, 2016: "American Chinese Medicine: Orientalized Biopower," talk by Tyler Ngyuen-Phan (University College London).

April 7, 2016: "The Meaning of Life in Medicine: Non-Religious Spiritual Care in Japan," talk by Clark Chilson (University of Pittsburgh).

March 30, 2016: "The Hebrew Bible and the Roots of Modern German Literature," talk by Karin Schutjer (U/Oklahoma).

March 25, 2016: Roundtable on Religious Diversity and Tolerance.

March 21, 2016: "The Promises and Problems of Mindfulness: Between Mental Stillness and Mental Illness," talk by James Robosn (Harvard).

March 18, 2016: "Classic Men: Muslim Dandies and the War on Terror," talk by Su'ad Abdul Khabeer (Purdue).


RELGST 1405: Religion and Sexuality
RELGST 1452: Hymns to HipHop—Sounds of Islam
RELGST 1681: Zionism, Anti-Zionism, Post-Zionism


We welcome Drs. Jeanette Jouili, assistant professor of modern/contemporary Islam, and Benjamin Gordon, Perlow Lecturer of Classical Judaism and the Ancient Near East.


Clark Chilson, Secrecy's Power: Covert Shin Buddhists in Japan and Contradictions of Concealment, Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture (UHP, 2014).

Jeanette S. Jouili, Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe (Stanford, 2015). INTERVIEW with the author.

Paula Kane, Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America (UNC Press, 2013). PODCAST interview with the author.

Rachel Kranson coedits special issue of the Journal of Jewish Identities 8.2 (July 2015) on “Jewish Youth in the Global 1960”

Linda Penkower coedits Hindu Rituals at the Margins: Innovations, Transformations, Reconsiderations (USCP, 2014)

Adam Shear coedits Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honor of David B. Ruderman (HUCP/Pitt Press, 2014)


Adam Shear, along with his collaborators, launched the pilot database of Footprints, a long-term digital humanities project that focuses on the circulation of Hebraica and Judaica in early modern Europe and the Middle East.

FROM THE "BLOG" (Huffington Post)

"Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal," by Susie Meister (PhD, Religious Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2014)


Emily Stewart wins an AY 2017 Mellon Fellowship for dissertation research on "The Turn to Human Rights: David M. Stowe, Liberal Protestantism, and Postcolonial Mission in the 20th Century."

Lianghao Lu wins the C.Y. Hsu Summer Fellowship for dissertation research on "Periodicals and the Making of Modern China."

Adam Shear named coeditor of the journal AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) Review.

Linda Penkower named president of the EIRAAR 2016; Emily Stewart named 2016 EIRAAR conference coordinator.

Adam Shear wins 2015 Special Initiative to Promote Scholarly Activities in the Humanities for the digital humanities project "Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time And Space."

Rebecca Denova wins 2015 CGS "Students' Choice Award."

Tucker Ferda (PhD candidate) selected as a 2015 Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Regional Scholar, which recognizes promising younger scholars in the field of biblical studies. Open to junior faculty and graduate students, Tucker was selected as one of only three Regional Scholars in US and Canada for 2015.

Emily Stewart wins the 2015 Best Graduate Student Paper Award, Eastern International Region/American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, for “Evangelizing the World (Wide Web): Christian Mission in Digital Contexts.”

Keep up-to-date on Religious Studies news, events, scholarship and other opportunities for undergraduates and majors. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

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The Top Five Reasons to Study Religion

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