Category: Grad Blog

Posts in this category are written by, or are about, graduates of the Department.


What Can You Do With a Degree in Religion?

Al McGowen majored in Religious Studies (minoring in Social Work and English) while at UA in the late-1970s, after having served in the USAF during the Vietnam era. He went on to earn an M.Div. from Memphis Theological Seminary and did his clinical training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Al became a Fellow In The College of Chaplains, which later became the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), and a Board Certified Chaplain, a Clinical Member of the Association for […]

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The Inquisition’s Baggage

Christopher Hurt is an REL alum who works in Los Angeles. He is best known for his work with the rock ‘n’ roll group, Jamestown Pagans. Have you ever seen Inquisición (film, 1977)? If you’re a lover of period-piece horror movies, like I am, then you’ll want to check it out. Mondo Macabro has a Blu-ray release that is standout. The subject matter calls to mind this data… Several years into his papacy John Paul II initiated a commission to […]

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Have You Read the Latest Bulletin for the Study of Religion?

Prof. Richard Newton introduces us to the latest iteration of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion, now a joint collaboration between Equinox Publishing and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. […]

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Recognizing Alum Accomplishments

At Honors Day 2019 the Department first awarded a new annual prize, to recognize the accomplishments of our graduates — the majority of whom go on to succeed in a wide variety of fields, making evident to our current students, we hope, the wide applicability of the skills gained in our classes. Then, this past Spring, it was renamed in honor of the commitment to our student shown by our longtime Administrative Secretary, Betty Dickey, who retired on April 1, […]

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And So You’re About to Start an M.A. at Alabama…

Keeley McMurray, from Huntsville, AL, earned her BA (2018) and MA (2020) in REL and is now beginning her Ph.D. at Florida State. We asked her to offer incoming students a little advice on what to expect. Congratulations and welcome to Tuscaloosa! There are a few things you should know as you’re getting acquainted. No fear — we’ve got some insider information that will supplement a graceful transition into the Bama world. 1. ROLL TIDE — Surely you’ve heard this […]

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Studying Undertakerness and Religion

Christopher Hurt is an REL alum who works in tech in Los Angeles. He is best known for his work with the rock ‘n’ roll group, Jamestown Pagans. Without a doubt my favorite professional wrestler has always been, and will always be, The Undertaker. The Undertaker is a character performed by Mark William Calaway in World Wrestling Entertainment (back in my day it was WWF). Recently the WWE released a documentary chronicling the 30 year career (and retirement) of Calaway. […]

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The Religious is the Political

Savannah H. Finver is a recent graduate of U.A.’s Master of Arts in Religion in Culture program. Beginning in the Fall of 2020, she will be pursuing her Ph.D. at Ohio State University in Comparative Studies. Her interests lie in discourses on religion as they appear in U.S. law and politics, especially as they pertain to the assignment of civil rights and legal privileges. Regardless of what platform you use to get your news, you likely saw a photo circulating […]

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Violence Against Blacks in America, Part 4

Vincent D. Jennings graduated in May 2020 from the University of Alabama with a dual B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology. In the Fall of 2019 he began an in-depth study on America’s history of racial violence as part an independent study course with REL’s Prof. Theodore Trost — which culminated in this four-part series. With the evolution of slavery in mind, consider a recent movie entitled “Just Mercy,” which chronicles the fight of the Equal Justice Initiative to defend […]

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Violence Against Blacks in America, Part 3

Vincent D. Jennings graduated in May 2020 from the University of Alabama with a dual B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology. In the Fall of 2019 he began an in-depth study on America’s history of racial violence as part an independent study course with REL’s Prof. Theodore Trost — which culminated in this four-part series. Of all the violations deemed worthy of lynching an African American, no offense or accusation stirred the level of vitriol and incited the level of […]

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Violence Against Blacks in America, Part 2

Vincent D. Jennings graduated in May 2020 from the University of Alabama with a dual B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology. In the Fall of 2019 he began an in-depth study on America’s history of racial violence as part an independent study course with REL’s Prof. Theodore Trost — which culminated in this four-part series. Between 1868 and 1871, a wave of terror swept across the South, resulting in the deaths of thousands of freed African Americans for simply asserting […]

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