Matthew Satcher

Matthew Satcher, a double major in religious studies and philosophy, had his philosophy honors thesis published in the April 2006 issue of Dialogue, a scholarly journal for undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy. His essay, entitled “Proper Function Theory, Religious Exclusivism and the Challenge of Religious Diversity,” is a rebuttal to Alvin Plantinga’s “A Defense of Religious Exclusivism,” a topic Matthew first tackled in his final project for Catherine Roach’s REL 344 “God and Moral Reasoning” class. An earlier draft […]

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Nic Reagan

Since graduating from the University of Alabama in 2002, I have been at the University of West Florida in Pensacola studying anthropology. I am currently a graduate student here working on an M.A. in biosocial anthropology. How are current human social behaviors (including “religion”) affected by our evolutionary past? Are the behaviors of humans really all that different in kind from other primates? What role does group identity play in human “culture” and how is it related to our biological […]

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John W. Parrish

I was sitting in at Tim Hortons this morning, having a cup of coffee and reading a book, when I began to think about how it’s funny where life takes you. I grew up in Ft. Payne, Alabama–a small town by its own admission, snuggled in the valleys of the Appalachian foothills. Now, I am close to finishing the first semester of a Master’s program in Religious Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. How did someone from […]

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Craig Nutt

I may not be the best example of what can be done with a degree in Religious Studies as I have made my living as an artist and craftsman. However, the courses I took in that department have turned out to be surprisingly influential in the way I view my work and my role as an artist. I stumbled upon the REL department having little knowledge of or interest in the topic of religion, but found the topics relevant, and […]

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Justin Nelson

Justin kindly answered the following questions for us before he graduated in the Spring of 2007. Where did you go to high school? I attended West Blocton High School. How did you find out about the academic study of religion? I was being advised and I needed a class to fill up space on my schedule and the advisor says, “So, what are you interested in?” I say, “I like movies and reading about philosophy and religion.” Then she replies, […]

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Josh McDonough

Moving Forward The following essay by Josh McDonough was published in our annual Newsletter in the Spring of 2007, Issue 4. As I sit in this cold classroom learning the difference between an assignment and a sub-lease, I try to remember how I came to be here. Two years ago, I was in Tuscaloosa studying Asian religions, enjoying the more moderate climes of central Alabama. Now I am in Chicago, where the wind chill is negative twenty degrees, and Buddhism […]

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Michael Manasco

I’ll be honest; religious studies was not on my radar as I began my undergraduate career at the University of Alabama. However, it turned out to be exactly the program I needed to realize who I was, as well as who I was to become. I began as a biology major in 2000, but as I became aware of the wide variety of fields of study the University offered, I began to seriously think about another passion of mine: philosophy. […]

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Kim Davis

Inspired by Prof. William Doty’s Blount Undergraduate Initiative class on Joseph Campbell’s work on myth, Kim Davis soon found herself an REL and French double major. In addition, she worked part-time in the Department’s main office from May 2003 until August 2004. As the Department’s webmistress extraordinaire, main office assistant, and always enthusiastic “Jill-of-All-Trades,” Kim was directly responsible for much of the content and format of this site, as well as being responsible for taking the lead on such projects […]

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Tonya Daniel

“Religious studies? Your major was religious studies?” Telling someone what my college major was always elicits this response. Of course, the immediate follow-up question is, “why religious studies?” Religion is a dynamic subject, and I enjoy learning the particulars of the different faiths. It is a sensitive topic to broach with most people. Therefore, I welcome inquires about my liberal arts education because they give me an opportunity to discuss religion and my choice of it for my major. My […]

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Nell Perry Earnest Dalton

A Very Special Story I was pleased to hear from you and to read of your activity. Your letter stirred fond memories and inspired me to delve into notes and papers that I had saved from my years at the University of Alabama. Those were exciting years to me. Having married when I was but sixteen, I had not even a high school diploma when I was widowed at forty-six. Within months of my husband’s death, I had earned my […]

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