On Saturday March 3, IU's Department of Religious Studies and Jackson Creek Middle School will be co-hosting the first annual Bloomington Big Questions Speech & Debate Tournament. The event, which will take place in Ballantine Hall from 8 a.m.-3:00 p.m., was made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, in collaboration with the National Speech & Debate Association. Middle-school students from across the state of Indiana will be debating the proposition: Humans are fundamentally different from other animals. Debaters will investigate important questions in science and religion, while developing life-long skills in evaluation of evidence, analysis, and argumentation. The tournament will also feature eleven other public speaking events—such as Impromptu, Humorous and Dramatic Interpretation, Original Oratory, and Radio Broadcasting. Any sixth, seventh, or eighth-grader is eligible to compete in speech and/or debate. Any high-school or college student or adult is eligible to judge! Spectators are welcome. If you would like to help by judging or donating food, or if you would like more information, please contact Candy Gunther Brown, Professor of Religious Studies at IU and Speech & Debate Coach at Jackson Creek Middle School, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-269-2710.
Professor Winnifred Sullivan has been awarded the American Academy of Religion's 2017 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion. The award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of those whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks,not just to scholars,but more broadly to the public as well.
Professor Candy Brown has been named President-Elect of the American Society of Church History for 2016, a one year term that will lead to her becoming President in 2017, and Past President in 2018.
The American Society of Church History (ASCH), founded in 1888, is one of the oldest and most distinguished historical societies in the United States. In its early years, ASCH focused on the disciplines of Christian denominational and ecclesiastical history. Over time, ASCH interests broadened to include diverse critical scholarly perspectives, as applied to the history of Christianity and its relationship to surrounding cultures in all periods, locations and contexts. Today, ASCH is a 3,000-member society that seeks to advance and deepen historical knowledge of Christianity in all periods and places, in every aspect of its expression—institutional, religious, and intellectual—as well as its manifold interrelationships with nations, cultures, and other religions. The Society fosters stimulating, intellectual cross-pollination through its conferences, publications, awards, and research grants. The ASCH hosts an annual winter meeting in conjunction with the American Historical Association, as well as a bi-annual spring meeting. The Society gained admission to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) in 2001. ASCH publishes the quarterly, peer-reviewed, academic journal Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, established in 1932, and now disseminated by Cambridge University Press. Church History is widely recognized as the flagship journal for studies in the history of Christianity and culture. The journal publishes original research articles and book reviews covering all areas of the history of Christianity and its cultural contexts in all places and times, including its non-Western expressions. It is abstracted and indexed in the ATLA Religion Database. The European Reference Index for the Humanities classifies Church History as “INT 2,” a category of “international publications with significant visibility and influence in the various research domains in different countries.”
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd of Northwestern University and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan of Indiana University have been awarded a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for a three-year collaborative research project (2016-2019) entitled “The Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad.” The project, which will be based primarily at Northwestern, will examine the particular complex of religion, law, and politics at the dynamic pivot between the domestic and the international in the United States, at a time when the political role of religion is under renewed scrutiny, and the nature and the role of the nation-state is under revision. Sullivan, Hurd, and their collaborators will study the politics of religion from an “inside/outside” vantage point to better understand the symbiotic relation between US domestic and foreign policy, past and present, with regard to religion and religious governance. The project will also have a comparative dimension as the inside/outside framework is applied to other contexts.
The project will include a research program as well as pedagogical and public outreach elements. Networking and career development opportunities for younger scholars and advanced graduate will be prioritized, and graduate students from across the disciplines will be closely engaged in project activities. A new 2-year postdoctoral fellowship will be created at Northwestern to support a junior scholar working in this area of study. A sub grant to Indiana University will support faculty and student research connected to the project.
Professor Sarah Imhoff was awarded a New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship Grant to assist in the development of innovative works of scholarship and creative activities in the arts and humanities. Imhoff will be using the money to visit an archive and work toward the publication of her second book. Her book will look at the life of Jessie Sampter who Imhoff describes this way.
"Jessie Sampter was best known as the author of A Course on Zionism, which promoted Zionism to an American audience. It went through three editions, expanding from 95 pages to 262 pages to 411 pages in 1933. Defying many social norms, the young, unmarried Sampter embraced a Judaism her parents had rejected, bought a trousseau, drolly declared herself “married to Palestine,” and moved there in 1918. But Sampter’s own life and body hardly matched typical Zionist ideals: while Zionism celebrated the strong and healthy body, Sampter spoke of herself as “crippled” from polio and plagued by weakness and sickness her whole life; while Zionism applauded reproductive (women’s) bodies, Sampter never married or bore children—in fact, she wrote of homoerotic longings and had same-sex relationships we would consider queer."
This book will seek to understand how a queer, “crippled” woman become a leading voice of American Zionism, and why history largely overlooked her. It will discuss how to understand a Zionist whose embodied experiences did not conform to Zionist ideals—and suggests that this conflict between embodiment and religious thought was far from unique in American religious experience.
Professor Jason Mokhtarian's book Rabbis, Sorcerers, Kings, and Priests was chosen as a finalist for the 2015 Jewish Book Award in the scholarship category. You can find out more information on the Jewish Book Council website.
Professor Lisa Sideris Featured in Special Issue of The Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature And Culture
Professor Lisa Sideris’s work is the subject of a special issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture. In this issue, Sideris critiques efforts of religion scholars and others to consecrate scientific narratives of the evolution of the cosmos as sacred stories that provide universal meaning and ethical guidance. In this issue of JSRNC, ‘Contesting Consecrated Scientific Narratives in Religion and Environmental Ethics’, readers will find Sideris’s original paper, “Science as Sacred Myth?” along with critics’ responses to it from a variety of disciplines, and Sideris’s subsequent reply to the critics.
Professor Winnifred Sullivan has been awarded the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Analytical-Descriptive Studies for her book, A Ministry of Presence: Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care, and the Law (University of Chicago Press, 2014). This award is given annually by the American Academy of Religion to, “honor works of distinctive originality, intelligence, creativity, and importance; books that affect decisively how religion is examined, understood, and interpreted.” (AAR website)
Founded in 1909, the American Academy of Religion is the world’s largest association of religion scholars, and its mission is to foster excellence in the study of religion by promoting research, publishing, and teaching about religion in academia. As a learned society and professional association of teachers and research scholars, the American Academy of Religion has about 9,000 members who teach in some 900 colleges, universities, seminaries, and schools in North America and abroad. The Academy is dedicated to furthering knowledge of religion and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations. This is accomplished through Academy-wide and regional conferences and meetings, publications, programs, and membership services.
Past Faculty News
Professor Aaron Stalnaker Awarded Grant by Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Scholar Grant
Professor Michael Ing Named Scholar With the "Enhancing Life" Project
Professors Manring and Furey Awarded Individual Research Awards by the Institute for Advanced Study
Professor Schott Awarded College Arts & Humanities Institute Travel Grant
Professor Sideris Wins Sustainability Course Development Fellowship
Religious Studies Adjunct Jamsheed Choksy Honored As A “Distinguished Professor” By Iu
Professor Brown Awarded Jane Dempsey Douglass Prize
Professors Schott and Selka Awarded Cahi Fellowships
Professor Blair Awarded New Frontiers in The Arts & Humanities Grant
Professors Heather Blair And David Haberman Awarded Research Grants By The Consortium For The Study Of Religion, Ethics, And Society
Lisa Sideris awarded the Beth Wood Distinguished Service-Learning Faculty Award
Michael Ing awarded Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Grant
Heather Blair wins 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