University of Pittsburgh
three small photographs depicting various religious icons

Department of Religious Studies


Current Graduate Students

2632 Cathedral of Learning

David Givens
PhD candidate
MA, December 2010

Research areas: relationships between religion and health (at personal and community levels); the intersection of American Christianity (contemporary and historical) and LGBTQ issues

Dissertation title: “Saints at the Margins: the roles of saints in American’s understandings of LGBTQ issues, sexuality, and stigma”

MA thesis: "Shared Visions in Shared Space: Latino and Euro-American Identity Transformation at St. Regis Catholic Church"

Lianghao Lu
PhD candidate
MA, April 2014

Research Areas: Early modern and modern Chinese Buddhism, Buddhism and modernity

Dissertation topic: "The Buddhist Modernization Project: Periodicals and the Making of Modern Chinese Buddhism"

MA thesis: "A Modern Encounter between Chinese Buddhism and Periodical Publishing"

Soorakkulame Pemarathana
PhD candidate

Research areas: contemporary Buddhist liturgical and ritual practices in South Asia

Dissertation title: “Making the Buddha Modern: Ritual and Religious Change in Sri Lanka”

Emily Stewart
PhD candidate
MA, April 2013

Research areas: Modern American religious history, media and
religion/sacred texts, Protestantism in America, Protestant world missions and missiology

Dissertation title: “The Turn to Human Rights: David M. Stowe, Liberal Protestantism, and Postcolonial Mission in the 20th Century”

MA thesis: "E-Scripture: The Impact of Technology on the Reading of Sacred Texts (2013)"

Graduate Student News and Achievements

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