Faculty news and updates

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies faculty have had a very busy year! 

Chip Callahan is on research leave during the 2017-18 academic year. He is working on two books. Cutting In and Trying Out: A Religious History of the 19th Century American Whaling Industry explores religion, the labor of natural resource extraction, and intercultural exchange in global oceanic network. His other book, The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Popular Culture, is co-edited with Lisle Dalton and Eric Michael Mazur. Chip also just wrote a piece for the AAR’s Spotlight on Teaching series about teaching a course on “Haunting and Healing” for their special edition about teaching the paranormal and the occult:  http://rsn.aarweb.org/spotlight-on/teaching/paranormal-occult/haunting-religious-studies-classroom


Dan Cohen’s collaborative research on the relationship between epilepsy and heightened religious experiences was featured in the news: http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2017/0308-researchers-find-neurological-link-between-religious-experiences-and-epilepsy/ Dan has also published a series of recent co-authored articles on religion and neuroscience (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13674676.2017.1333090, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13674676.2016.1238449?journalCode=cmhr20, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10508619.2015.1118328, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26708139).


Signe Cohen published an edited volume on the Upanishads (https://www.routledge.com/The-Upaniads-A-Complete-Guide/Cohen/p/book/9781138795051) and an article on Harry Potter and postmodernism (http://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/jrpc.28.1.3426). She presented a paper on mantras, orality and writing in the Upanishads at the American Oriental Society in Los Angeles in March, and last summer she gave a paper on elves, Rbhus, and the deified dead in Edinburgh and a paper on naming the celestial in Old Norse texts at the Sophia Centre in Bath, UK.


Rabia Gregory is co-editing Christianities Before Modernity, a new book series about Christianity in Afro-Eurasia and the Atlantic World in the late antique, medieval, and early modern eras: https://arc-humanities.org/our-series/mip/christianities-before-modernity/



Rabia spent two weeks this June living in a dormitory and visiting the Moravian Archives every day to learn how to read German Script (the various alphabets used to write German before the 1940s). While there she saw some incredible manuscripts dating back to the US Revolution, including this original John Hancock signature.


Kate Kelley’s popular online writing-intensive course Religion and Science Fiction received the College-level Course Award during the 2017 ADEIL (Association for Distance Learning and Independent Learning) World Conference in Toronto. Congratulations, Kate!


Don’t forget to tune in to the Classical Ideas Podcast by Greg Soden. Recent episodes feature Dennis Kelley speaking about American Indigenous religion, David Amponsah discussing African Indigenous religion, and MA program alumnus Eric Lancaster talking about teaching religious studies: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-classical-ideas-podcast/id1268915829?mt=2