Jessica Boon: The End of the World in Medieval Thought and Spirituality

Jessica Boon: The End of the World in Medieval Thought and Spirituality
 

ErnstAssociate Professor, Jessica Boon, along with Eric Knibbs and Erica Gelser, have co-edited a collection of essays titled The End of the World in Medieval Thought and Spirituality (Springer, 2019) in honor of the retirement of E. Ann Matter, now Professor Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania. From the Springer website:

“This essay collection studies the Apocalypse and the end of the world, as these themes occupied the minds of biblical scholars, theologians, and ordinary people in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Early Modernity. It opens with an innovative series of studies on “Gendering the Apocalypse,” devoted to the texts and contexts of the apocalyptic through the lens of gender. A second section of essays studies the more traditional problem of “Apocalyptic Theory and Exegesis,” with a focus on authors such as Augustine of Hippo and Joachim of Fiore. A final series of essays extends the thematic scope to “The Eschaton in Political, Liturgical, and Literary Contexts.” In these essays, scholars of history, theology, and literature create a dialogue that considers how fear of the end of the world, among the most pervasive emotions in human experience, underlies a great part of Western cultural production.”

Congratulations, Jessica!

Posted in Faculty Publications, News & Events on June 10, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Jodi Magness: Masada

Jodi Magness: Masada
 

MagnessThe latest book by Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, is a new account of the famous site and story of the last stand of a group of Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire titled Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth (Princeton University Press, 2019). From the Princeton University Press website:

“Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children—the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple—reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author—the Jewish historian Josephus—some scholars question if the event ever took place.

“Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story. Incorporating the latest findings, she integrates literary and historical sources to show what life was like for Jews under Roman rule during an era that witnessed the reign of Herod and Jesus’s ministry and death. Featuring numerous illustrations, this is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.”

Congratulations, Jodi!

Posted in Faculty Publications on May 28, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Immanent Frame Forum on Divine Motherhood by Prof. Juliane Hammer

Immanent Frame Forum on Divine Motherhood by Prof. Juliane Hammer
 

presentationFollowing on last year’s Immanent Frame forum on divine fatherhood, Prof. Juliane Hammer, along with Prof. Vincent Lloyd of Villanova University, have co-curated a new online forum on divine motherhood that will be published over the coming weeks. From the introduction to the new forum:

What if God is not Father but Mother, or both? What if God is not even a parental figure at all?… Rather than posing a straightforward answer to Mary Daly’s implicit question of what lies beyond God the Father, perhaps the most generative way of engaging with divine motherhood is to ask how it might invite us to fundamentally alter what we mean by motherhood and what we mean by divinity.

For the main page of the forum, see here, where newly published pieces will appear in the weeks ahead.

You can also read the Introduction to the forum and the first contribution, “Must a female God mother?”, by Rebecca Todd Peters.

Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Publications on May 10, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Professor Boon Wins 2019 SMFS Prize for Best Article

Professor Boon Wins 2019 SMFS Prize for Best Article
 


Dr. Jessica Boon, Associate Professor in Religious Studies, has won the 2019 Prize for Best Article of Feminist Scholarship on the Middle Ages from the Society for Feminist Medieval Scholarship. This prize is awarded every two years (in odd numbered years) and was “established in 2004 as a way for the Society for Feminist Medieval Scholarship to recognize outstanding scholarly contributions.” The prize includes a monetary award and will be officially presented at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in May.

Professor Boon’s winning article, titled “At the Limits of (Trans)Gender: Jesus, Mary, and the Angels in the Visionary Sermons of Juana de la Cruz (1481–1534),” was published in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies in 2018 and explores the visionary sermons of Juana de la Cruz through the more precise analytical categories derived from contemporary approaches to gender. To read the article, click here.

Congratulations, Jes!

Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Publications on February 19, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Carolina Stories Magazine Features Huqoq Mosaics and Professor Jodi Magness’ Annual Expedition

Carolina Stories Magazine Features Huqoq Mosaics and Professor Jodi Magness’ Annual Expedition
 

Professor Jodi Magness‘ annual summer expedition to Huqoq brings students together to uncover ancient mosaics depicting biblical scenes. This is the 111th story in the Carolina Stories Magazine, a Magazine published to highlight the achievements made possible through Carolina Giving.

Photo by Jim Haberman

“This is by far the most extensive series of biblical stories ever found decorating the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue,” said Magness. “The arrangement of the mosaics in panels on the floor brings to mind the synagogue at Dura Europos in Syria, where an array of biblical stories is painted in panels on the walls.” – Read more in an earlier edition of the Carolina Stories Magazine

Update: The Mosaics, and the story behind them, have been featured on The National Geographic and Fox News. For the latest news coverage of the Huqoq mosaics please visit the Huqoq Excavation Project website.

Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Pubs & Profiles, Faculty Spotlight, News & Events on November 7, 2018. Bookmark the permalink.

UNC Expedition in Nepal with Professor Lauren Leve

UNC Expedition in Nepal with Professor Lauren Leve
 

A team of scholars from across disciplines traveled to Nepal to study the impacts of climate change on Buddhist holy lakes. The interdisciplinary team included two mathematicians (Department Chair Rich McLaughlin and Roberto Camassa), a marine scientist (Harvey Seim), and Religious Studies Professor Lauren Leve.

Image from UNC College of Arts & Sciences Magazine

From the UNC Arts & Sciences Magazine:

“Leve laid the groundwork for interviewing local people about their understanding of the impacts of climate change. She also became a critical cultural translator when the group ran into major roadblocks days into the research expedition. Negotiating with the competing parties involved in granting research permissions fell right in line with her research, which looks at religion as a window into understanding cultural change.”

Congratulations Lauren and the team!

Posted in Faculty Pubs & Profiles, Faculty Spotlight, News & Events on October 22, 2018. Bookmark the permalink.

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

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. Bookmark the permalink.

New forum on Divine Fatherhood on the Immanent Frame by Professor Juliane Hammer

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. Bookmark the permalink.

Lauren Leve Wins James Fisher Prize

Lauren Leve Wins James Fisher Prize
 

The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) has announced that Lauren Leve, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Graduate Studies, has won the first James Fisher Prize for First Books on the Himalayan Region for her book The Buddhist Art of Living in Nepal: Ethical Practice and Religious Reform (Routledge, 2016). 

In honor of the scholarly contributions of Dr. James Fisher to scholarship in the region, the Fisher Prize honors books which contribute an innovative and lucid written account of Himalayan studies research. Professor Leve shares the prize with Sarah Shneiderman, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Professor Leve’s book chronicles how Theravada Buddhism has grown to have a significant presence in Nepal, especially among Newar communities of Kathmandu. The ANHS announcement includes the following statement: “Besides being a pleasure to read, the book’s significance lies in its ethnographic treatment of families adopting religious tenets which help them adjust to the contemporary changes of late modernity and neoliberal globalization.”

For the full prize announcement, see here.

Congratulations, Lauren!

Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Publications on April 4, 2018. Bookmark the permalink.

Bart Ehrman on “Faith in Our Lives: Why We Follow” and “The Triumph of Christianity”

Bart Ehrman on “Faith in Our Lives: Why We Follow” and “The Triumph of Christianity”
 

On March 10, PlayMakers Repertory Company hosted a symposium, “Faith in Our Lives: Why We Follow,” with UNC’s Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, and Robert M. Franklin, Jr., James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Prof. Ehrman and Prof. Franklin discussed how faith and belief serve us both personally and collectively, as well as what may be at risk when doctrine plays too little or too large a role in our lives. The symposium was moderated by Adam Versényi, Chair of UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art and Dramaturg for PlayMakers Repertory Company.

Prof. Ehrman also appeared recently on WUNC’s The State of Things episode “The Sunday School Teacher Turned Skeptic,” hosted by Frank Stasio. Among other topics, Prof. Ehrman discussed his recently published book The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World,” which tells the story of how Christianity grew from the religion of a few peasants in the Roman Empire to become the most powerful cultural force in the West.

Congratulations, Bart!

   

Posted in Faculty Publications, Faculty Pubs & Profiles, Faculty Spotlight on March 14, 2018. Bookmark the permalink.