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For information on our Fall 2018 courses, see here (flyers) and here (videos)

For our Department’s Statement on the Future of the Confederate Statue, click here.



Dr. Zlatko Pleše appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Bern

The University of Bern, Switzerland has appointed Dr. Zlatko Pleše as an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of New Testament Studies. This is a three-year appointment, through August 31st, 2021. Dr. Pleše specializes in ancient philosophy and medicine, early Christianity, Hellenistic rhetoric and hermeneutics, and Coptic language, and he will be continuing this research with Prof. Rainer Hirsch-Luipold at the University of Bern.


Congratulations, Zlatko!


Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Pubs & Profiles, News & Events on October 8, 2018  
Isaac Weiner and Amy DeRogatis awarded Luce Foundation Grant for American Religious Sounds Project

Amy DeRogatis (PhD UNC 1998), Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University, and Isaac Weiner (PhD UNC 2009), Associate Professor of Comparative Studies and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at The Ohio State University, have been awarded a three year, $750,000 grant issued by The Henry Luce Foundation’s Theology Program for the American Religious Sounds Project.

The ARSP is a multiyear, collaborative initiative co-directored by Weiner and DeRogatis. The project aims to study religious diversity by documenting and interpreting the auditory cultures of the various religions in the United States. The project has grown since its first developments aided by a 2015 grant awarded by Humanities Without Walls. This new grant will allow geographic expansion, long-term preservation and accessibility, interpretive scholarship, and community engagement.

Congratulations, Amy and Isaac!

Posted in Alumni News, News & Events on October 1, 2018  
Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer: From Muslim Cool to Umi’s Archive

Professor Su’ad Abdul Khabeer joined us for the the first of our McLester Colloquia for the Fall semester. Dr. Abdul Khabeer is Associate Professor of American Culture and Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan and received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Princeton University. She is a scholar-artist-activist who uses anthropology and performance to explore the intersections of race and popular culture.

Dr. Abdul Khabeer’s  talk included both prose and performance. She explored what the Black Muslim experience – belief, cultural practice, and intellectual thought – offers theoretically, methodologically and for political praxis within and outside the academy. The talk, directed towards graduate students, focused on the evolution of her research from Muslim Cool to umisarchive.com, and illustrated how personal family history can inform the approach to the history of Islam in America.

The lecture was thought-provoking and generated questions and responses from the faculty and graduate students present. As usual, the lecture was followed by a time of casual conversation over refreshments.

Looking forward to the next McLester Colloquium!



Posted in Events, Graduate Student News, News & Events on September 25, 2018  
New forum on Divine Fatherhood on the Immanent Frame by Professor Juliane Hammer

Dr. Juliane Hammer has co-convened a forum on Divine Fatherhood alongside scholars from varied disciplinary backgrounds, with a wide array of regional and religious expertise. The forum, Divine Fatherhood, is currently being hosted by the Social Science Research Council.

The forum reflects on what it means to treat fathers as God-like and what it means to treat God as father-like. Forum pieces will dive into the topic of unexpected linking of gods and fathers drawing from examples in feminist theory and practice, including the the erotics of divine fatherhood from purity balls to Beyoncé’s ambiguous “Daddy.”

To read the published pieces and find out more about the forum, visit SSRC’s The Immanent Frame website.

Congratulations, Juliane!


Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Pubs & Profiles, News & Events on September 7, 2018  
Sacred Writes, Directed by Megan Goodwin, receives Henry Luce Foundation Grant
Image may contain: text Megan Goodwin (PhD UNC 2014), Visiting Lecturer of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University, has been named Director of Sacred Writes at Northeastern University, a project committed to amplifying the voices of experts who often go unheard in public discourse.

Sacred Writes is a four-year project funded by the LUCE foundation’s Theology Program, geared toward the advancement of public scholarship on religion and theology. Sacred Writes is one of seven programs to receive 2018 grants through the Theology Program.

Congratulations, Megan!


Posted in Alumni News, News & Events on August 24, 2018  
New Book by Calvin Lane (UNC 2002)

Calvin Lane (UNC 2002) has published Spirituality and Reform: Christianity in the West, ca1000-1800 (Lexington / Fortress).

From the Lexington/ Fortress Press Website:

“In colorful detail, Calvin Lane explores the dynamic intersection between reform movements and everyday Christian practice from ca. 1000 to ca. 1800. Lowering the artificial boundaries between “the Middle Ages,” “the Reformation,” and “the Enlightenment,” Lane brings to life a series of reform programs each of which developed new sensibilities about what it meant to live the Christian life. Along this tour, Lane discusses music, art, pilgrimage, relics, architecture, heresy, martyrdom, patterns of personal prayer, changes in marriage and family life, connections between church bodies and governing authorities, and certainly worship. The thread that he finds running from the Benedictine revival in the eleventh century to the pietistic movements of the eighteenth is a passionate desire to return to a primitive era of Christianity, a time of imagined apostolic authenticity, even purity. In accessible language, he introduces readers to Cistercians and Calvinists, Franciscans and Jesuits, Lutherans and Jansenists, Moravians and Methodists to name but a few of the many reform movements studied in this book. Although Lane highlights their diversity, he argues that each movement rooted its characteristic practice – their spirituality – in an imaginative recovery of the apostolic life.”

Dr. Lane is currently an adjunct professor in history at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio as well as an affiliate professor at an Episcopal seminary in Wisconsin, Nashotah House.

Congratulations, Calvin!

Posted in Alumni News on August 12, 2018  
Ph.D. Candidate Katherine Merriman on New York City’s Forgotten Muslim Past

UNC Religious Studies Ph.D. Candidate Katherine Merriman was recently featured in the New Yorker discussing the Muslim History Tour she leads in New York City.

From the New Yorker:

“For the past four years, Merriman has been giving Muslim-history tours of Trump’s home town, focussing on Harlem. ‘There are roughly three hundred mosques in New York City,’ she said the other day. ‘New York is one of the most, if not the most, diverse Muslim cities in the world. There is no such thing as a ‘Muslim world’ somewhere else.’

…This summer, Merriman will start a Wall Street-area tour, which will cover Little Syria and the site of the Ottoman mosque on Rector Street. She told the group, ‘Your job is to keep these stories alive.’”

Katherine’s Muslim History Tour of New York City was also recently featured in the New York Times.

Congratulations, Katherine!


Posted in Graduate Student News, News & Events on August 11, 2018  
Recent Discoveries by Professor Jodi Magness’s Team at Huqoq

A team of specialists and students at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee led by UNC Religious Studies Professor Jodi Magness have discovered unparalleled mosaics that shed new light on the life and culture of an ancient Jewish village.

From the UNC College of Arts and Sciences website:

The discoveries indicate villagers flourished under early fifth century Christian rule, contradicting a widespread view that Jewish settlement in the region declined during that period. The large size and elaborate interior decoration of the Huqoq synagogue point to an unexpected level of prosperity.

“The mosaics decorating the floor of the Huqoq synagogue revolutionize our understanding of Judaism in this period,” said Magness. “Ancient Jewish art is often thought to be aniconic, or lacking images. But these mosaics, colorful and filled with figured scenes, attest to a rich visual culture as well as to the dynamism and diversity of Judaism in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.”

More images and coverage of the dig can be found at the Times of Israel, the News and Observer, and Hyperallergic.

Congratulations to Jodi and the team!


Posted in Faculty News, News & Events on July 17, 2018  
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