Departmental news

Religious Studies Department kicks off its Fall Lecture Series with three visiting speakers

Yvonne Sherwood, Sept 11, 2014

"The Hagaramic and the Abrahamic, or Abraham the non-European"

In his strangely haunting book, Moses and Monotheism, Freud makes Moses an Egyptian and attributes the origins of ethical monotheism to this 'great stranger'. In his 2001 lecture 'Freud and the Non-European', Edward Said seizes on this trauma to identity as a challenge to European parochialism. The brilliant book cover turns Europe into a Rorschach test. Europe rises as an eery grey spectre, with a shadow self. In this lecture I explore how the scandal that Freud tried to enact by injecting the foreign-Egyptian at the very point of Jewish origin is already being performed at the on the surface of the biblical corpus--particularly in Genesis, which is a long way from the self-assured story of origins that we might expect from the Bible. In particular I look at the political potential of the 'Hagaramic' based on the story of Hagar, Abraham and Sarah's Egyptian slave. Exploring how the uncanny female/Egyptian/slave functions as a double to the story of Abraham, I ask how the Hagaramic might trouble European (and American) provincialism, and upset bland invocations of the 'Abrahamic' on the public stage.


Courtney Bender, Sept 16, 2014

"The Work of Art in the Age of Inarticulate Religion"

The First World War and its aftermath found American religious liberals increasingly troubled by the evident inabilities of human language to evoke or express religious truth. But others understood this crisis in language as heralding a new post-religious spiritual future for humanity – a future in which modern works of art would play an important role. This presentation investigates the efforts of numerous American modernists (including artists, collectors, and gallerists) to promote modern painting's role in shaping new spiritual devotions and experiences. Their activities prompt us to reconsider the role of secular art worlds in shaping history of twentieth-century American spirituality, and more.


Kay Read, Oct 27, 2014

"Cooking the Cosmos: Ecologically Understanding both the Aztecs and Ourselves"

Using exquisitely sophisticated depictions of Aztec cooking vessels from a pictorial cosmology found in the pre-Conquest, fifteenth-century Codex Borgia, we will: (a) Explore the Aztec ecologically relational and sacrificially cooked, often violent cosmos in order to; (b) Compare it to some of our own seemingly “cosmically” rooted, often equally violent paradigms which--in light of our current, wide-spread environment crises–may be worth challenging. The ultimate goal is to use these challenges to help open us to concepts offered by this Aztec comparison, which might either help warn us about possibly unfortunate ways of thinking ecologically or provide us with ideas assisting us with our efforts to ecologically retool ourselves.


IU Department of Religious Studies hosts Schempp Conference

Schempp conference

September 27-29, 2013

Fifty years ago the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in Abington v Schempp changing the way we view the academic study of religion in public colleges and universities across the U.S. and beyond.

This conference explored the impact that Schempp may have had on the comparative and multi-disciplinary nature of the study of religion as well as other significant influences on shifts in the study of religion over that time.

Details here >

The Devonia and Steve Stein Fund for the study of American Religion

David and Devonia Stein
Steve and Devonia Stein

The Devonia and Steve Stein Fund for the study of American Religions was launched in September 2013. Named after one of the Department's most well respected emeritus professors this fund will go towards a named fellowship for graduate students working in the field of American religions. Click here for more details about the fund, the kick-off event, and how you can get involved.

Faculty News

Professors Heather Blair and David Haberman awarded research grants by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society

photo of Michael Ing
Michael Ing

Michael Ing awarded Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation grant

Heather Blair awarded 2014 Trustees Teaching Award

Constance Furey awarded the James P. Holland award for exemplary teaching and service to students

Lisa Sideris named director of Consortium for the study of Religion, Ethics and Society (CSRES)

David Haberman receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Aaron Stalnaker wins 2013 Trustees Teaching Award

Faculty publications

Click here for the latest faculty publications.

Student News

Indiana university team wins regional ethics bowl

Kerrilyn Harkaway-Krieger accepted to NEH seminar

Two Religious Studies graduate students receive funding through the Felix G. Ilarraz Memorial fund

Diane Fruchtman awarded AAUW fellowship and wins prestigious writing award

Kristen Francoeur receives Mellon dissertation fellowship

Undergraduate honors

2014 student essay winners

URSA news