Is Guru Ravidas English?
Studying Religion in Culture
by Steven Ramey
2M ago
Casey A’Hearn completed their MA in Religion in Culture from the department in May 2024 and will be starting their PhD at Princeton in August 2024. In 2008, a group of Ravidassia practitioners held a parade in Bedford, England to celebrate the birthday of Guru Ravidas. It was this image taken by Mr. Simon Speed that caught my attention. I am not a scholar of Ravidassia, nor am I particularly familiar with their traditions. But I have learned that they follow a guru from India named Ravidas, identify mostly with the region of Punjab and have a complicated relationship with Sikhism. Additionall ..read more
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Revision is For More Than Just Essays
Studying Religion in Culture
by Steven Ramey
2M ago
Trevor Linn, from Cozad, Nebraska, graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2023 and is entering his second year of the REL MA. During my undergraduate degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University, the Archway Curriculum required that I take at least three different writing instructive classes—First Year Writing, Lower-Level Writing Instructive, and Upper-Level Writing Instructive. In these classes I learned how to construct a thesis statement, synthesize evidence, and revise my work for a more cohesive paper; however, the classes did not teach me the wide applicability of these skills. My pr ..read more
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What Can You Do With a MA in Religious Studies?
Studying Religion in Culture
by Ellie Dilworth
2M ago
Studying about the practices, narratives, and ideas that people commonly identify as religious is fascinating. What students do not often realize (at least at first) is how much the skills that they develop in Religious Studies classes benefit them not only in other classes but also after graduation. Three alums of our MA Religion in Culture program returned to the department last month to talk about their experiences working at UA. One of those MA alums did their BA at Alabama, while the others were REL majors elsewhere before coming here. Sonya Harwood-Johnson, originally from Grimes, Iowa ..read more
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Religion is….
Studying Religion in Culture
by Russell McCutcheon
3M ago
Some students have been asking me about my Fall REL 440/REL 512. The course will enroll both REL undergrads, via a course devoted to Theories of Religion, and grad students, in a course on Debates in Method & Theory. The specific debate that we’ll be focusing on — as the required book above should make clear (click the image to learn more about it) — is how to define religion. And the theories of religion part…? Well, definitions are theories in miniature — you wouldn’t expect Freud, a psychologist, to offer a Marxist definition of religion that focuses on its political and economic roles ..read more
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Honors Day 2024
Studying Religion in Culture
by Steven Ramey
3M ago
Last Friday, April 5, was Honors Day at UA, meaning the annual REL Honors reception on the balcony of Presidents Hall. Whether you want to relive the thrills or see all that you missed, here are a few photos of the action that day. Prof. Steven Ramey, department chair in REL, welcomed friends, family, students, and faculty and kicked off Honors Day, describing it as one of his favorite days of the academic year. Prof. Richard Newton, REL Undergraduate Director, and Prof. Edith Szanto, REL Undergraduate Advisor, presented Silverstein Scholars with a book and their award. Pictured here are Tay ..read more
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Two Interdisciplinary Majors: Adding More Insights and Skills
Studying Religion in Culture
by Julianne Losacco
3M ago
Katherine Hartley is a senior finishing up her final semester within the Religious Studies department and New College. She hales from Pace, Florida, and has served as a Resident Advisor in Paty Hall while also succeeding as a scholar. Although she recently joined our department, she has accomplished some amazing things utilizing the skills of a Religious Studies scholar. New College is a specifically interdisciplinary program where Katherine has been able to pick and choose specific classes that interest her and will eventually help her reach her final objective, where she is specifically foc ..read more
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New Additions to REL
Studying Religion in Culture
by Steven Ramey
3M ago
The Department of Religious Studies is thrilled to announce that two new faculty will be joining us in the Fall 2024 semester. Jeff Turner, who currently is an instructor at Utah Valley University, will be contributing to our projects and courses in the REL Digital Lab, among other areas. He has worked on a variety of Digital Humanities projects at the University of Utah during his doctoral work. His research analyzes the use of exclusionary mechanisms in US immigration law, particularly in relation to the category of polygamy, and the ways those mechanisms extended beyond the groups initiall ..read more
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Adding a Second Major: An REL Tale
Studying Religion in Culture
by admin
4M ago
by Taylor Lech, a Religious Studies and Political Science double major At the end of last semester, I was a Political Science student who needed 17 more credits to graduate and had already taken the courses necessary to finish my degree. Finally, I had room in my schedule to take my education down a different path that sparked my interest, and I craved direction. I went to Dr. Edith Szanto’s office in Presidents Hall, ready to fight my case to add a Religious Studies minor onto my degree; I did the math and knew it could work with some convincing. To my surprise, I was greeted with open arms ..read more
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Unexpected Paths to Intended Outcomes: Using Digital Tools in Religious Studies
Studying Religion in Culture
by Ellie Dilworth
4M ago
What happens when a Criminology and Criminal Justice major takes a Religious Studies class? Well, for Drake Jones, a new major and new perspectives were in store. Drake, one of our majors expecting to graduate this fall (and a trombone player in the Million Dollar Band), came to REL for Dr. Richard Newton’s African Diaspora class in the Spring of 2023. With this class, he contributed significantly to the ongoing effort to digitize and analyze data related to the Decoding Diaspora project. He specifically worked on the historical limits of identity and race classifications. The next semester ..read more
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From REL Undergrad to an Air Force Major: Learning to Analyze and Construct Arguments
Studying Religion in Culture
by Julianne Losacco
5M ago
Maj. Rhodes Berry near his home in Germany Within the study of religion undergrads are told that you can apply “these skills” anywhere, but what exactly are these skills? Maj. Rhodes Berry, an alumni of our department was able to apply the reading, writing and critical thinking skills learned in his undergrad to his work in law school and now in his profession. Maj. Berry graduated in 2010 from the University of Alabama with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in English. He always enjoyed reading and philosophy so Religious Studies naturally drew him in when he first came to college. Wh ..read more
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