David Lambert on “The Idea of Scripture” (Podcast)

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.

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. Bookmark the permalink.

A Distinguished Scholar Webinar featuring Bart D. Ehrman

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!

Posted in Faculty News on September 22, 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

Dr. Youssef Carter Joins the Department as Assistant Professor

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!

Posted in Faculty News on July 1, 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

Prof. Marienberg on Sting and Religion

Prof. Marienberg on Sting and Religion
 

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.”

Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Publications on January 31, 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

Masada by Jodi Magness: 2019 National Jewish Book Award Finalist

Masada by Jodi Magness: 2019 National Jewish Book Award Finalist
 

Professor Jodi Magness’s recent book, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth, was selected as a finalist for the 2019 National Jewish Book Award in History (the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award). The Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards were estab­lished by the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil in 1950 in order to rec­og­nize out­stand­ing works of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture.

From a review of the book by Gila Wertheimer:

“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.”

Congratulations, Jodi!

Posted in Faculty News, Faculty Publications on January 21, 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Carl Ernst

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Carl Ernst
 
For the department’s McLester Seminar last week, we were pleased to hear from our very own Carl Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor in Religious Studies, who presented on the topic of “Anglo-Persian Texts and The Colonial Understanding of Religion.” In characteristic fashion, Dr. Ernst examined a pair of often-neglected texts from the early British-Indian colonial encounter in order to uncover the concepts and taxonomies of religion they reflect. We were grateful for the opportunity to hear from Dr. Ernst on this fascinating subject, and the talk was followed by a wonderful time of conversation over refreshments.
Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News on November 4, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Andrea Cooper is Recipient of First Book Subvention Prize

Andrea Cooper is Recipient of First Book Subvention Prize
 

Professor Andrea Cooper has received a First Book Subvention Prize from the Association for Jewish Studies. According to the committee, her manuscript “will have a tremendous impact on the field of Jewish studies.” Her book, Beyond Brotherhood: Gendering Modern Jewish Thought, is under contract with Indiana University Press in the series New Jewish Philosophy and Thought.

Congratulations, Andrea!

 

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

Brendan Thornton to Speak at WPU Interdisciplinary Conference

Brendan Thornton to Speak at WPU Interdisciplinary Conference
 

Professor Brendan Thornton will be the keynote speaker for a conference at William Peace University in October on “Exploring the Macabre, Malevolent, and Mysterious…” Conference organizers invite proposals for paper presentations, demonstrations, and interactive workshops that explore the macabre, malevolent, and mysterious. The deadline for submission is August 1st.

For more information on the conference and how to submit proposals, visit www.peace.edu/peaceic.

Posted in Faculty News on July 5, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Dr. Waleed Ziad Joins the Department as Assistant Professor

Dr. Waleed Ziad Joins the Department as Assistant Professor
 

The Department of Religious Studies would like to extend its warmest welcome to Dr. Waleed Ziad, who joins the faculty as Assistant Professor in Islamic Studies. Dr. Ziad holds a Ph.D. in History (with Distinction) from Yale University, and his research focuses on the religious landscape of the modern Persianate world. His doctoral dissertation at Yale won the Theron Rockwell Field Prize, a university-wide award given for an exceptional “poetic, literary, or religious work” of scholarship. Prior to coming to Carolina, Dr. Ziad served as Assistant Professor in Comparative Liberal Studies at Habib University, the first full-fledged liberal arts university in Pakistan, from 2017-2019. In addition to numerous publications in academic venues, Dr. Ziad’s writing has also appeared in journalistic outlets such as The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Hill.

Posted in Faculty News on July 1, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Faculty Promotions: Brandon Bayne and Brendan Thornton

Faculty Promotions: Brandon Bayne and Brendan Thornton
 

We are pleased to announce that, as of July 1, 2019, two members of our faculty have been promoted to new ranks in the department:

Brandon Bayne has been promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Bayne specializes in the study religion in the Americas and Medieval and Early Modern Christianity, particularly European and indigenous encounters in the contact zones of the Americas. He teaches a range of courses in the area of religion in the Americas, including recent courses on “Catholicism in America” (RELI 142), “The Reformations” (RELI 454), “Readings in American Religion to 1865” (RELI 744), and “Religion and Cultural Contact in America” (RELI 842).

ThorntonBrendan Thornton is now Associate Professor in the department. Dr. Thornton specializes in the intersections of religion, culture, and identity in the Caribbean, concentrating on the ethnographic study of Pentecostal Christianity and the intersecting themes of gender, cultural change, and religious authority in the Caribbean and Latin America. He teaches a variety of course in the areas of Christianity and the supernatural, including “Supernatural Encounters: Zombies, Vampires, Demons and the Occult in the Americas” (RELI 246), “Anthropology of Christianity” (RELI 352), “Spirit Possession” (RELI 427), and “Christianity and Cultural Change” (RELI 721).

Congratulations to Brandon and Brendan!

Posted in Faculty News on July 1, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.