A Good Book

libraryEver wonder if your professors have really read all those books in their offices? Well, they certainly have, and a few of those books have made lasting impressions on them.

In our new series A Good Book, the REL faculty members each choose a book and discuss its influence on them — as a student, a scholar, and as a teacher.

Eleanor Finnegan
Merinda Simmons
Mike Altman
Sarah Rollens
Steven Ramey
Russell McCutcheon
Nathan Loewen
Ted Trost
Steve Jacobs

If You Believe…

Picture 6Irving Rosenfeld: I got a knife, alright? This is for the mayor.
[he shows the knife to Paco]
Irving Rosenfeld: You gotta present it to the mayor.
[Paco goes to take the knife but Irving pulls it back]
Irving Rosenfeld: Just look at me, alright? Look me in the eye. This means a lot to you. Right? That knife.
Paco Hernandez: Oh.
Irving Rosenfeld: Play it. You present it, alright? Friendship for life. Alright? You gotta feel it.
Paco Hernandez: Right.
Irving Rosenfeld: It’s sacred. Can you do it?
Paco Hernandez: Sacred.
Irving Rosenfeld: You gotta sell it.
Paco Hernandez: Sacred.
Irving Rosenfeld: You gotta sell it.
Richie DiMaso: Sell it.
Irving Rosenfeld: If you believe it’s sacred, it’s sacred.

Scene from “American Hustle” (2013)

Scene from “Peter Pan” with Mary Martin (1960)

George teaching Jerry to lie — and get away with it.


Tweet Us Your #UALife Pictures

Class has started. The bookstore is a zoo. Students and faculty are wandering halls with bemused looks in search of their classrooms. We want to see pictures of all of this. What is the start of school like for you? Tweet us your pictures at @StudyReligion and use #UALife. Give us a glimpse into your first days of class. Who knows, we may retweet the good ones. And while you’re at it, follow us!


A Beginner’s Guide to Manly Hall

tips picNew to Manly Hall this semester? Confused about what all REL has to offer?

Well you’re in luck!

Our handy dandy Manly Hall tips and pointers video has just hit the big screen. Give it a watch and you’ll be more than ready for the coming semester!

You’re welcome.

Manly Hall Handbook from UA Religious Studies.

Did you see our new Welcome Back video?
If not, give it a watch here.

Now It’s On!

welcome back
Hopefully the Welcome Back video reruns whetted your appetite — because now the main course is here.

That’s right — it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…, the premiere of our 2014 Welcome Back video!

It’s time to get back in the groove of school, because ready or not, it’s on!

Welcome Back 2014! from UA Religious Studies.

Conflict of Interest?


The other day I was watching an episode of HBO’s weekly satirical news round-up, “Last Week Tonight,” in which they focused on how payday loan businesses prey on poor people — specifically noting an interaction in the Texas state legislature in which Vicki Truitt (pictured above), then a Republican state legislator, called out one of her colleagues for having a conflict of interest when he opposed legislation aimed at controlling payday loans. (He owns a bunch of payday loan businesses; that she herself became a lobbyist, after leaving politics, for, yes, a payday loan business is, at best, ironic.) Continue reading

Meet the Press


Our own Dr. Merinda Simmons recently published a book, titled Changing the Subject: Writing Women Across the African Diaspora. In this post, she sat down for an interview to discuss the book, her work, and its relations to the academic study of religion.

Continue reading

The Faculty Retweet


From last year’s faculty retreat. What excellent ideas can we expect from this year’s meeting?

The semester is almost upon us and, for us faculty, that can mean only one thing: the annual Faculty Retreat. On Monday, all of the department’s faculty will hunker down in the University Club, drink coffee, eat the buffet, and think hard about the future. It’s a time of planning, dreaming, and strategery. It’s a time when we sit down as a department and figure out what we want to accomplish this year.

Want to know what we’re up to? Want the scoop on what we’re planning for 2014-2015? Just curious how the food is? Follow our Twitter feed, @StudyReligion, to get live updates from the Red Room of the University Club throughout the day Monday.