Webinar: More Than Just Mosaics, The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee

Webinar: More Than Just Mosaics, The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee
 

Webinar by Professor Jodi Magness Hosted by Prof. Bart D. Ehrman (This event will not be recorded)

Time: Mar 1, 2023 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Since 2011, Professor Jodi Magness has been directing excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. The excavations have brought to light the remains of a monumental Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue building paved with stunning and unique mosaics, including biblical scenes and the first non-biblical story ever discovered decorating an ancient synagogue. In this slide-illustrated lecture, Professor Magness describes these exciting finds, including the discoveries made in last summer’s season. For more information visit www.huqoq.org.

About the Lecturer: Jodi Magness (www.JodiMagness.org) is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Past President of the Archaeological Institute of America. Magness’ research interests, which focus on Palestine in the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods, and Diaspora Judaism in the Roman world, include ancient pottery, ancient synagogues, Jerusalem, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Roman army in the East.

FUNDRAISER FOR THE ROBERT MILLER GRADUATE STUDENT EXCELLENCE FUND

The person who makes the largest gift will receive a free signed copy of Jodi Magness’ 2019 book, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press).

To make a gift to the Robert Miller Graduate Student Excellence Fund, please go to: https://give.unc.edu/donate?f=105550&p=asrs
The Robert Miller Graduate Student Excellence Fund honors an exceptional academic editor and provides support for our graduate students to present their research in scholarly venues and conferences across the country and around the world.

Posted in Events, News & Events on February 23, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Religious Studies Trivia Night

Religious Studies Trivia Night
 

Last Thursday, February 16, the Religious Studies department hosted a trivia night with food and prizes. It was an opportunity for undergraduates (majors, minors, and others interested in religious studies) to get together for a social evening with faculty and graduate students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in News & Events on February 22, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Wondrium (Great Courses) launches Professor Joseph Lam’s “Creation Stories of the Ancient World”

Wondrium (Great Courses) launches Professor Joseph Lam’s “Creation Stories of the Ancient World”
 

Religious studies professor Joseph Lam has recently released a 12-lecture course on Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses). This course, entitled “Creation Stories of the Ancient World,” is now available online. You can watch the trailer and see more information here: 

Creation Stories of the Ancient World | Wondrium 

Overview of the course: Creation stories—which recount the origins of the universe, the earth, and humanity—show us how ancient cultures made sense of the human condition. In this course, you’ll explore great creation texts such as the Babylonian Creation Epic, the Egyptian Memphite Theology, the Hittite Kumarbi Cycle, the Greek Theogony of Hesiod, the two contrasting accounts of creation in the biblical Genesis, and more.

Joseph Lam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Patterns of Sin in the Hebrew Bible: Metaphor, Culture, and the Making of a Religious Concept, as well as a number of scholarly articles in the fields of Hebrew Bible and Ugaritic studies. He teaches ancient languages beyond Hebrew, such as Akkadian, Aramaic/Syriac, and Ugaritic.

Posted in News & Events on February 22, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Scholarship Supporting People in Need

Scholarship Supporting People in Need
 

The Bart Ehrman Blog raised just over $500,000 last year for charity. The membership-based blog donates all monies it receives to combatting hunger and homelessness and to supporting health and literacy. In 2022, it benefitted five organizations: three that focus on local communities and two that work internationally. See more at https://ehrmanblog.org/

Fees go directly to charities

Posted in News & Events on February 6, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

3D imaging project brings Nepali sacred site to life

3D imaging project brings Nepali sacred site to life
 

Religious studies scholar Lauren Leve partnered with a computer science class last semester to further her ongoing work to create an annotated 3D model of Swayambhunath, an ancient holy site in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley.

Lauren Leve, an expert in Himalayan Buddhism, was conducting research in Nepal in 2015 when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit, demolishing many cultural and religious monuments.

In all, about 9,000 people were killed as a result of the severe earthquake, and more than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and nearby towns were damaged or destroyed.

“Architects and engineers were trying to reconstruct these monuments, and they didn’t have the information to do that at the precision that was needed,” said Leve, a UNC associate professor of religious studies who has been conducting research in Nepal for over 30 years. “Cultural preservationists were also concerned that knowledge about the monuments would be lost forever.”

To read more of this story, check out the original article, written by Kim Spurr, here!

Posted in News & Events on January 24, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Congratulations to 2007 RELI major for new publications!

Congratulations to 2007 RELI major for new publications!
 

Join us in congratulating one of our 2007 Religious Studies majors: Glenn Butner. After completing his Ph.D. at Marquette University, Glen Butner became an assistant professor and director of the Honors Program at Sterling College. Professor Butner published his first book, Trinitarian Dogmatics: Exploring the Grammar of the Christian Doctrine of God, last summer. His new book, Jesus the Refugee: Ancient Injustice and Modern Solidarity, drops this week!

Images of modern refugees often invoke images of the infant Christ and the historical circumstances of the holy family’s flight to Egypt in the face of persecution. But rather than leaving this association at the merely symbolic level, Jesus the Refugee explores Jesus’s flight through modern legal conventions on refugee status in the United States and the European Union. Would Jesus and his parents be protected from refoulement? Would they receive rights to employment and civic engagement? Would they be turned away? Is the holy family a refugee family?

Jesus the Refugee argues that the holy family has a limited set of legal options for protection, but under current law is unlikely to receive any. This shocking claim stands or falls on legal details like the ability to demonstrate reasonable fear of persecution, or whether fleeing Palestine (but not the Roman Empire) affords protection for internally displaced migrants.

Besides introducing the basics of modern refugee law and processes, Jesus the Refugee aims to raise ethical challenges to our current refugee system by highlighting Jesus as one of the “least of these,” indicting our moral failures and challenging us to make amends.

Posted in News & Events on January 22, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Bart Ehrman’s new book recognized by The New Yorker as one of 2022’s best!

Bart Ehrman’s new book recognized by The New Yorker as one of 2022’s best!
 

Join us in congratulating Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor in Ancient Mediterranean Religions. His recent book Journeys to Heaven and Hell: Tours of the Afterlife in the Early Christian Tradition has made the New Yorker’s Best of 2022 list!

Ehrman follows up his masterly history of concepts of the afterlife with one about narratives in which a living soul—like Dante led by Virgil—is given a tour of what awaits us after death. Focussing on pre-Christian and early-Christian literature, Ehrman shows how Homer’s egalitarian afterlife, where all meet the same fate, gave way to Virgil’s version, where an elect few enjoy eternal rewards while the rest suffer torments. Early Christians imagined Hell as a punishment for nonbelievers, but it was gradually cast as an elaborate realm that terrorized even the faithful. As Ehrman notes, in every era, such tales aimed to teach readers “how to live in the here and now.”

 

Posted in News & Events on January 19, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.