More Than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee
Mark your calendars for this exciting event on March 1, 2023! Prof. Jodi Magness will deliver a lecture on Zoom entitled “More Than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee,” to benefit the Miller Fund for Graduate Students. No gift required to attend. We hope to see you there!
Dr. Eden Consenstein Joins the Department as Assistant Professor
The Department of Religious Studies is delighted to welcome Dr. Eden Consenstein to the faculty as Assistant Professor and Mary Noel and William M. Lamont Fellow in Religion and Media. Dr. Consenstein holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Princeton University and is an expert in religion, media, and capitalism in the twentieth-century United States. She is currently working on two book projects. The first, Religion at Time Inc.: From the Beginning of Time to the End of Life, examines the Presbyterian media mogul Henry Luce’s tenure as editor-in-chief of Time and Life magazines and chairman of Time Incorporated. Her second project, Pyramids of Plenty: Christianity and Multi-level Marketing, will trace the historical entanglement of Christianity, new media, and the multi-level marketing industry. This coming Fall semester, Dr. Consenstein will be teaching RELI 135, “Technology, the Self and Ethical Problems.”
Please join us in welcoming Eden to the department!
In this webinar, Professor Bart Ehrman discussed his new project on the book of Revelation and expectations of Armageddon. Professor Ehrman talked about historical misrepresentations of the Book of Revelation, especially by evangelical Christian communities in the United States over the last one hundred years. His talk focused on evangelical accounts of the impending end of the world, Armageddon, and the wrath of a vengeful God. He asked, how do New Testament themes of tolerance and forgiveness fare in these accounts?
Professor Ehrman publishes extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity. He was written or edited thirty-three books, six of them New York Times best sellers, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews.
Professor Ehrman’s webinar helped to raise funds for graduate students in the UNC – Chapel Hill Department of Religious Studies. 100% of all donations benefit the William Peck Fund for Graduate Student Excellence, devoted to supporting and recognizing teaching among graduate students.
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.
David Lambert on “The Idea of Scripture” (Podcast)
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.
A Distinguished Scholar Webinar featuring Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Professor of Religious Studies, is the author or editor of more than 30 books, including the forthcoming Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife. In this webinar, organized by Carolina Public Humanities, he will examine views of the afterlife from the Ancient Near East, Greek, and Roman cultures, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the early centuries of the church, showing where the ideas of paradise and hell came from and how they became a dominant religious view in the West.
This webinar is a virtual event. Tuition is $40, which includes “admission” to the webinar in real time (with live Q&A). Registrants will receive instructions for accessing the event online by the morning of November 5.
The webinar will take place from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm on both Nov. 5 and 6. For further details and to register, click here!
Dr. Youssef Carter Joins the Department as Assistant Professor
The Department of Religious Studies is delighted to welcome Dr. Youssef Carter to the faculty as Assistant Professor and Kenan Rifai Fellow in Islamic Studies. Dr. Carter holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California-Berkeley and is an expert in Sufism and Islam in West Africa and the United States. His book in progress, “The Vast Oceans: Remembering God and Self on the Mustafawi Sufi Path,” examines the discourses and practices of a transatlantic Sufi spiritual network through detailed ethnographic work. Dr. Carter was previously awarded a College Postdoctoral Fellowship from Harvard University, where he also received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. This coming Fall semester, Dr. Carter will be teaching the course RELI 580, “African-American Islam.”
Please join us in welcoming Youssef to the department!
Professor Evyatar Marienberg published a guest blog post on the University of Toronto Press website called “When a rock star whose picture you had on your wall as a teenager becomes your topic of academic study as an adult.” He describes his project on the religious themes in Sting’s music and life. Prof. Marienberg also highlights a recent article in the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture,“O My God: Religion in Sting’s Early Lyrics.”
From the blog post:
“We are all influenced, in different ways, by popular culture. Our popular culture is influenced, in different ways, by religion. What occurs when those among us who are not only influenced by, but actually contribute much to, the popular culture around us, have religion influence them as well? This result is of particular interest for me, and for many of those writing for this journal.
“Having contemporary Catholicism as one of my main fields of interest, I quickly realized that Sting represents the type of Catholics I am most interested in: those who were born about a decade before the Second Council of the Vatican (a meeting of the world’s Catholic bishops from 1962 to 1965), which brought huge changes to Catholicism.”
“In her new book, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth, Magness re-examines the story of Masada, setting it in its historical context during the period of the Second Temple. As part of this she includes the fascinating stories of 19th century explorers who travelled to the area, many searching for biblical sites, but on their return provided valuable information about the inhospitable region. She addresses questions some scholars have today about the accuracy of the story of mass suicide, taken from the multi-volume The Jewish War by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus… Magness has managed the difficult feat of writing for both the scholar and the interested non-specialist reader. There is plenty of archaeological detail and description, which comes with the history of the area as well as topics such as how the Jews got to Masada, how they survived, and how the desert fortress became part of the foundational story of the modern state of Israel.”