University of Pittsburgh

Department of Religious Studies

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New & Noteworthy

THREE NEW COURSE OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2017

1102 The History of God
1370 Global Christianity
1475 Religious Diversity

QUEERING RELIGION SERIES

September 18, 2017, 12:00 Noon, 602 CL, Humanites Center
Workshop with Lucinda Ramberg on excerpts from her Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Duke University Press, 2014)
Open to faculty and graduate students.

September 18, 2017, 5:00p, 602 CL, Humanities Center
Who and What is Sex for? Notes on Theogamy and the Sexuality of Religion
Lucinda E. G. Ramberg, associate professor of Anthropology, Cornell University

November 29, 2017, 12:00 Noon, 602 CL, Humanities Center
Workshop with Ann Pellegrini on “What’s Wrong with Tolerance” from her Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance (NYU Press, 2003)
Open to faculty and graduate students. Download PDF of advanced readings here.

November 29, 2017, TBA
Angry Subjects: In/Civility, Christian Nationalism, and the Paranoid Position in an Age of Trump
Ann Pellegrini, professor of Performance Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis and director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University

NEWLY DESIGNED MAJOR

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.

FIRST FRIDAYS

We invite all religious studies, majors, minors, prospective majors and minors. the merely curious, and those craving cookies for an informal lunch with our facutly on the first Friday of each month during the acadmeic year. Bring your lunch and we'll supply dessert and coffee. 2628 CL, noon. Contact Dr. Adam Shear.

COURSE SPOTLIGHT: THE PITTSBURGH TORAH SCROLLS PROJECT

Because many Jews consider Torah scrolls to be sacred and treasured objects, and because of great expense involved commissioning new scrolls, many Torah scrolls have long, fascinating histories. When synagogues dwindle and decline, they do not discard their Torah Scrolls but pass them along to new congregations. When, historically, Jews have been forced to flee their communities because of persecution, they often took Torah scrolls with them as they sought safer shores. Uncovering the histories of individual Torah scrolls, therefore, can tell us a great dealabout Jewish history. In the spring of 2017, the students in Dr. Rachel Kranson’s “Jews and Judaism: Modern” course researched the histories of ten of the Torah Scrolls that can be found in the Pittsburgh area. In the process, they discovered a rich history of Jewish migration, mobility, spirituality, and community-building.

DIGITAL HUMANITIES PROJECTS

The Meyers Excavations Digital Archives Project

Ben Gordon and his collaborators are developing a website that presents artifacts and archaeological remains through a series of interactive maps of a rich archive of archaeological data from the Galilee region of northern Israel. The data derives from nearly three decades of excavation seasons led by Carol Meyers and Eric Meyers (Duke University).

Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place

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.

HONORS AND AWARDS

David Givens wins the 2017 Tolerance Dialogue Scholarship for "The Opportunities and Impediments of Tolerance.” He joins the "ToleranceMeans Dialogue on "Religion and Gay Marriage: Do They Have To Be At Odds?," March 16, 2017, 3:00p, Barco Law Building/Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom.

Adam Shear is named coeditor of the journal AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) Review (2016-2019).

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 2016 C.Y. Hsu Summer Fellowship for dissertation research on "Periodicals and the Making of Modern China."

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Brock Bahler, Childlike Peace in Merleau-Ponty and Levinas: Intersubjectivity as Dialectical Spiral (Lexington, 2016). PODCAST interview with the author.

Brock Bahler (coeditor), Philosophy of Childhood Today: Exploring the Boundaries (Lexignton, 2016)

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

Rachel Kranson (coeditor), Special Issue of the Journal of Jewish Identities 8.2 (July 2015) on “Jewish Youth in the Global 196.”

Linda Penkowe (coeditor), Hindu Rituals at the Margins: Innovations, Transformations, Reconsiderations (USCP, 2014)

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

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

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

TEACHABLE MOMENTS: THE BURKINI CONTROVERSY

Jeanette Jouili discusses the so-called "Burkini controversy" that emerged in France in the summer of 2016, in which mayors in some French cities and towns attempted to ban the wearing of modest, full-body swimwear at public beaches. Interviewed by Allyson Delnore (European Studies Center) (9/2016)

EMBODIED RELIGIOUS PRACTICES, CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

Brock Bahler discusses the notion of ritual as a locus of power in terms of structure and agency. His recent book, Childlike Peace in Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. Intersubjectivity as a Dialectical Spiral (Lexington Books, 2016) focuses on neuroscience to grasp the topic power relations at the confluence of religion and other social influences on one’s trajectories. Interviewed by the Religious Studies Project (6/2016)

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

Why STEM majors should also consider Religious Studies

The Top Five Reasons to Study Religion

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

Revised 07/18/17 | Copyright 2007 | Site by UMC WebTeam