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.
“Fall into your Major” Interview with Professor Bayne and Professor Cooper
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.
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!
Our department is pleased to announce the following undergraduate awards for 2020:
Alexandra Barnes has been chosen as the recipient of the Bernard Boyd Memorial Prize in Religious Studies, which is a $500 award given annually for academic achievement by a senior religious studies major or double major. Alexandra is a double major in Religious Studies and History (with a concentration in US history) who intends to complete a gap-year internship after graduation with the chaplains at the hospice house in her hometown. She is also considering pursuing further education in religious studies at a divinity school.
Quinn Eury and Olivia Giroux are co-recipients of the Halperin-Schütz Undergraduate Essay Award. This essay competition recognizes outstanding undergraduate scholarship in the study of religion, as evidenced by a paper written in a Religious Studies or Jewish Studies class, or by a part of a senior honors thesis. It also comes with a monetary prize.
Quinn Eury (essay title: “Transgressive Gendered Behavior and the Stability of Ma’at”) is a senior Archaeology and Anthropology double major whose main interests include zooarchaeology, conflict archaeology, and houseplants. Olivia Giroux (essay title: “A Broken System: Redefining Mental Healthcare for Muslim Women in America”) is a junior and a double major in Biology and Religious Studies; her areas of interest range from ancient religions to the intersection of science and religion in the modern world.
While we are disappointed that we will not be able to hold our usual awards ceremony this year, we are keeping open the possibility of recognizing these students at a future event. We extend them our warmest congratulations!
Last month, we mourned the passing of a former faculty member in our department, Dr. Charles H. Long, who taught at Carolina from 1974 to 1987 as the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor in Religious Studies. In addition to UNC, Dr. Long also taught at the University of Chicago, Syracuse University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies. He served as the president of the American Academy of Religion in 1973.
An obituary, posted on the American Academy of Religion website, can be viewed here.
We post here a link to a lecture that Dr. Long gave in 2013 on “America and the Academic Study of Religion: Hermeneutics and Method,” which provides a glimpse of his work and approach (the lecture begins at 5:35 of the video):
This Wednesday, February 26, we were pleased to hear from Dr. Pamela Klassen at this month’s McLester Colloquium on “Metals and Memory: Gold and the Metaphysics of Colonial Territory.”
Pamela Klassen is a Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion, cross-appointed to Anthropology, at the University of Toronto, where she is also Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & International in the Faculty of Arts & Science. She teaches in the areas of the anthropology and history of Christianity and colonialism in North America, religion in the public sphere, and religion, law, media, and gender.
We were grateful for the opportunity to hear from Professor Klassen on this fascinating topic.