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New Book by Gregory A. Lipton (PhD 2013)
 

Gregory A. Lipton, a PhD graduate of our department, has recently published a book titled Rethinking Ibn ‘Arabi (Oxford University Press, 2018), which offers a critique of the interpretive field of Frithjof Schuon, or Schuonian Perennialism, and challenges long-held preconceptions of both Ibn ‘Arabi and Perennialism. From the Oxford University Press website:

“The thirteenth century mystic Ibn `Arabi was the foremost Sufi theorist of the premodern era. For more than a century, Western scholars and esotericists have heralded his universalism, arguing that he saw all contemporaneous religions as equally valid. In Rethinking Ibn `Arabi, Gregory Lipton calls this image into question and throws into relief how Ibn `Arabi’s discourse is inseparably intertwined with the absolutist vision of his own religious milieu–that is, the triumphant claim that Islam fulfilled, superseded, and therefore abrogated all previous revealed religions.

Lipton juxtaposes Ibn `Arabi’s absolutist conception with the later reception of his ideas, exploring how they have been read, appropriated, and universalized within the reigning interpretive field of Perennial Philosophy in the study of Sufism. The contours that surface through this comparative analysis trace the discursive practices that inform Ibn `Arabi’s Western reception back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century study of ‘authentic’ religion, where European ethno-racial superiority was wielded against the Semitic Other-both Jewish and Muslim. Lipton argues that supersessionist models of exclusivism are buried under contemporary Western constructions of religious authenticity in ways that ironically mirror Ibn `Arabi’s medieval absolutism.”

Dr. Lipton will be joining the faculty of High Point University in the fall.

Congratulations, Gregory!

 

Posted in Alumni News on May 27, 2018  
Kathryn Lofton Keynote Address
 

On Saturday, May 12, Dr. Kathryn Lofton, (PhD UNC 2005), Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, delivered the keynote address at UNC’s Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. Dr. Lofton is a historian of religion who has written extensively about capitalism, celebrity, sexuality, and the concept of the secular. In her work, she has examined the ways the history of religion is constituted by the history of popular culture and the emergence of corporations in modernity. You can watch Dr. Lofton’s Keynote Address below:

 

Posted in Alumni News, News & Events on May 21, 2018  
Congratulations, 2018 Graduates!
 

Congratulations to all the 2018 graduates of our Religious Studies program! You have inspired us with your enthusiasm, creativity, and critical insight. We wish you every success in your future endeavors!

Posted in News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on May 16, 2018  
RELI 283: The Buddhist Tradition
 

In Fall 2018, Professor Lauren Leve will be teaching RELI 283: The Buddhist Tradition.

Learn more about this course below!

 

Posted in News & Events on May 7, 2018  
Benjamin White receives NEH stipend
 

Benjamin White, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Clemson University, has been awarded a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  He received the stipend to support his project “The Authorship of the Pauline Epistles: The Promise and Limitations of Computational Methods.”

He was one of 65 scholars around the country selected to receive 2018 grants through the NEH Summer Stipends program, out of a field of nearly 800 applicants.

Dr. White received his Ph.D. in Ancient Mediterranean Religions from UNC in 2011.

Congratulations, Benjamin!

 

Posted in Alumni News on May 2, 2018  
2018 Department Awards Ceremony
 

On Wednesday, April 18, the department held its annual awards ceremony at which we celebrated the accomplishments of our students and faculty over the past year. The ceremony was held in the Graduate Student Center and was followed by a wonderful time of conversation over refreshments. The many recognitions we noted that day include:

Undergraduate Student Awards:

Halperin-Schütz Undergraduate Essay Awards:

Ingrid Kottke, “Witchcraft as Crime in the Treatises of King James VI and I and Matthew Hopkins”

Sydra Siddiqui, “Narratives of Healing and Personhood in Indian and Tanzanian Society”

Bernard Boyd Memorial Prize: Sydra Siddiqui

Graduate Student Awards:

Peck Prize for Graduate Student Teaching Excellence: Miguel Vargas

Religious Studies Department Summer Research Awards:

Isaiah Ellis,“American Architecture and American Religion: A Case Study in the Spiritual Valences of the Urban West”

Joanna Smith, “Secrecy, Limits, and the Configuration of Bodies at the Modern Slaughterhouse”

GSOC Peer Recognition Teaching Award: Ehsan Sheikholharam  

 

Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News, News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on April 26, 2018  
Halperin-Schütz Undergraduate Essay Awards
 

Announcing the winners of the Halperin-Schütz Undergraduate Essay Award:

Named in honor of David J. Halperin (Rabbinic Judaism) and John Howard Schütz (New Testament), former faculty members of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Religious Studies who were influential on a generation of students through their interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching, this essay competition recognizes undergraduate scholarship in the study of religion.

The winners are Ingrid Kottke, for a Capstone paper in RELI 697: “Witchcraft as Crime in the Treatises of King James VI and I and Matthew Hopkins;” and Sydra Siddiqui, for a selection from the Honors thesis, “Construction of The Body and Personhood: A Comparative Analysis of Religious and Indigenous Healing Practices in India and Tanzania,” Chapter 2: “Narratives of Healing and Personhood in Indian and Tanzanian Society.”

Congratulations to the winners!

Posted in News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on April 23, 2018  


RELI 180: Introduction to Early Islamic Civilization
 

In Fall 2018, Professor Carl Ernst will be teaching RELI 180: Introduction to Early Islamic Civilization.

Learn more about this course below!

 

Posted in News & Events on April 20, 2018  
RELI Instagram Contest Winners
 

Announcing the winners of our RELI Instagram contest:
Most Likes: Jessie Mosley
Faculty Appreciation Award: Emily Parker
Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all for submitting your photos! You can follow us on Instagram at @reliunc.

 

Posted in News & Events on April 18, 2018  
RELI 106: Introduction to Early Judaism
 

In Fall 2018, Professor Jodi Magness will be teaching RELI 106: Introduction to Early Judaism.

Learn more about this course below!

Posted in News & Events on April 16, 2018  
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