In the past few weeks, we held two events commemorating the end of the 2020-2021 academic year–a year that was obviously beset with unprecedented challenges but that also demonstrated the resilience and capability of our wonderful students.
On April 28th, we held our annual awards ceremony in which we celebrated the achievements of our undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Worthy of special note were Eden Teichman, who was acknowledged (again) for winning the Halperin-Schütz Undergraduate Essay Award, as well as both Eden Teichman and Robert Rhinehart, who were co-recipients of the Boyd Prize for outstanding achievement by a senior undergrduate major. Among our graduate students, Emily Branton received both the Peck Teaching Award (as recognized by the faculty) and the Peer Recognition Teaching Award. We also noted the many book publications of our faculty over the past two years.
2021 Year-End Awards Ceremony
May 14th was the date of our graduation ceremony. In addition to hearing a message from our department chair, Dr. Barbara Ambros, for our graduating seniors, we also acknowledged the names of our graduates, including those whose academic achievement earned them membership in the Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society. The event concluded with an extended time for faculty and students to interact over conversation in smaller groups.
Message to Graduating Seniors from our Chair, Dr. Barbara Ambros
Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News, News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on May 22, 2021
On Tuesday, April 13th, our department held its first ever Undergraduate Research Symposium, featuring presentations from six of our undergraduates: Olivia Giroux, Caleb Cooke, Jude Peppers, Robert Rhinehart, MaryBeth Thomas, and Eden Teichman. The goal of the symposium is to provide a setting to showcase the creative work of students in a welcoming and scholarly environment. By any measure, the symposium was a great success, demonstrating the wide scope of exciting research being done by our undergraduates.
Prof. Youssef Carter with the opening remarks
Dr. Bert Harrill, Professor of History and Classics at Ohio State and a UNC RELI alum
The program for the symposium
The symposium concluded with the announcement of the annual Halperin-Schütz Essay Prize, which was awarded to Eden Teichman (one of our symposium presenters) for a paper titled “Am I One with God? How the Sufi Path According to al-Hujwiri and al-Qushayri Assesses a Sufi’s Ability to Become One with God,” written in an upper-level seminar with Prof. Carl Ernst. Congratulations, Eden!
Prof. David Lambert presenting the Halperin-Schütz Essay Prize
Posted in Undergraduate Accomplishments on May 4, 2021
Prof. Waleed Ziad discussed the extraordinary life of the Afghan female Sufi saint Bibi Sahiba Kalan (d. 1803) in a recent episode of the What’s Her Name Podcast. Bibi Sahiba was recognized as a leading scholar-saint of the Afghan Empire, and her travels took her as far as Central Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. The What’s Her Name Podcast, on great women in history, is produced by Olivia Meikle and Katie Nelson, and two talented star musicians of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Zeb Bangash and Shamali Afghan, especially composed the original soundtrack for this episode. This is also the subject of Dr. Ziad’s next book, The Arch-Saint of the Afghan Empire, Her Teacher, and Her Son, based on fieldwork in 20 towns across Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The podcast, as well as photos relating to the episode, can be found here.
Prof. Jodi Magness was also featured in another episode of The Ancients podcast on the topic of “Jewish Burial at the Time of Jesus,” following upon her highly popular podcasts on the site of Masada. In this episode, Prof. Magness discusses ancient Jewish burial customs, the Talpiot Tomb controversy, and other topics that shed light on the depictions found in the Gospel accounts.
This latest episode can be found here.
Posted in Faculty News on April 21, 2021
A video introduction to RELI 141: African American Religions, offered this Summer Session II:
Posted in News & Events
on April 12, 2021
Check out this course video for RELI 236: Religious Things, being offered in Summer Session I!
Posted in News & Events
on March 4, 2021
Prof. Jodi Magness was recently featured on The Ancients, a podcast for ancient history fans. In the two-part podcast interview, Prof. Magness discusses the fascinating site of Masada, which was the topic of her recent book, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth (Princeton University Press, 2019), and where she also worked as co-director of the 1995 excavations of the Roman siege works.
For Part 1 of the interview (“Besieging Masada”), click here.
For Part 2 of the interview (“Myths of Masada”), click here.
For more about The Ancients podcast in general, click here.
Posted in Faculty News on February 22, 2021
Professor Evyatar Marienberg has just published his new book, Sting and Religion: The Catholic-Shaped Imagination of a Rock Icon (Cascade Press / Wipf and Stock, 2021). From the publisher’s website description of the book:
On the back cover of one of his most groundbreaking solo albums, . . . Nothing like the Sun of 1987, Sting (Gordon Matthew Sumner, b. 1951 in Wallsend, UK) somberly stands close to a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The album was released a few months after his own mother, Audrey, died. The picture was taken on the island of Montserrat, where he was recording the album, apparently on the day of her death. “I said goodbye to my mother, as I had a recording date in Montserrat, and she died a week later.” When asked by the author if his mother was particularly connected to Mary, and if this was why he chose this image, he replied “No, but I did.” This evocative photograph and Sting’s quick answer encapsulate the two pillars of this book: a microhistory of a specific British Catholic parish in the 1950s-60s, and the impact that growing up there had on Sting’s artistic output. And beyond that, this book opens a window onto the influence of Catholic education and imagination on millions of less famous people who had similar upbringings.
A discount voucher for purchasing the book, as well as much more information on the work, can be found on the book’s website: http://www.stingandreligion.com
For previous posts on Prof. Marienberg’s work on this topic, see here and here.
Posted in Faculty Publications
on January 27, 2021
Prof. David Lambert was recently featured on The Biggest Questions, a podcast produced by the University of Chicago Divinity School. In the podcast interview, Prof. Lambert discusses his current research on the idea of Scripture, including the concept of “assemblages” as a way of approaching religious texts in antiquity.
To listen to the podcast episode, click here.
For more about The Biggest Questions podcast in general, click here.
Posted in Faculty News on January 2, 2021
(Updated November 11, 2020)
Here are the courses we are offering for the Spring 2021 semester! (Click on each slide for a PDF version of the poster.)
Note that many of the posters have not yet been updated with the revised class meeting times for Spring 2021, so be sure to check our spring course schedule as well as ConnectCarolina for the most up-to-date scheduling and meeting room information.
Posted in News & Events
on November 10, 2020
Professor Brandon Bayne and Professor Andrea Cooper were interviewed by Erin Villeneuve, an Academic Advisor in The College of Arts and Sciences at UNC, as part of a virtual “Fall into your Major” event.
Posted in News & Events
on September 28, 2020